1989 Ryder Cup Winner, Match Scores, Player Records

The 1989 Ryder Cup was the 28th time this tournament was played, but only the second time it ended in a tie score. Because Team Europe was the defending champion, the tie allowed it to hold the cup for another two years. Following the result here, the all-time standings were 21 wins for the United States, five wins for Europe, and two draws.

Final Score: Europe 14, United States 14 (Europe holds the Cup)

Dates Played: September 22-24, 1989

Golf Course: The Belfry (Brabazon Course) in Wishaw, Warwickshire, England

Team Captains: Raymond Floyd for the United States, Tony Jacklin for Europe

Team Rosters:

  • USA — Mark Calcavecchia, Curtis Strange, Chip Beck, Payne Stewart, Tom Kite, Paul Azinger, Fred Couples, Ken Green, Mark O'Meara, Mark McCumber, Tom Watson, Lanny Wadkins
  • Europe — Ronan Rafferty, Mark James, Jose Maria Olazabal, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, Gordon Brand Jr., Seve Ballesteros, Sam Torrance, Jose Maria Canizares, Bernhard Langer, Christy O'Connor Jr., Howard Clark
Match Notes: Having lost the two previous Ryder Cups — the first back-to-back losses ever for Team USA — American captain Raymond Floyd attempted to fire up his team by using Ben Hogan's motivational trick from the 1967 Ryder Cup: He introduced his team as, simply, "the 12 greatest players in the world."

Just as in 1967, the opposition players felt slighted. Unlike in 1967, this time Team Europe was able to make the American captain eat his words.

Though the 1989 Ryder Cup ended in a draw, a tie goes to the defending champion in this event. That meant the tie let Team Europe hold the Cup another two years. It was the first time in Ryder Cup history that Team Great Britain/Great Britain & Ireland/Europe had gone undefeated for three consecutive Cups. (It was only the second draw in tournament history, the first happening at the 1969 Ryder Cup.)

Europe took the Day 1 lead by sweeping the afternoon fourballs, 4-0. The margin remained two points in Europe's favor after the sides split the Day 2 matches. Europe took a 9-7 lead into singles.

Team USA won the first two singles matches, and swept the final four — but by that point, Europe had already won the point that guaranteed it would retain the Cup. It happened in the middle section of the singles session, when Mark James, Christy O'Connor Jr. and Jose Maria Canizares reeled off three wins in a row.

Jose Maria Olazabal, also a singles winner, led Europe with a 4-0-1 record. Fred Couples and Paul Azinger made their Ryder Cup debuts for Team USA.

For the first time, Team USA used captain's picks here (a practice first used by Team Europe in the 1979 Ryder Cup). Lanny Wadkins and Tom Watson have the distinction of being the first American wildcard selections.

This was the last of four consecutive times as Team Europe captain for Tony Jacklin, who went 2-1-1 in that span. His teams' winning and holding the Ryder Cup three times in a row was a sea change in the tournament's history, one that previously consisted of near total American domination.

1989 Ryder Cup Results

Day 1

  • Nick Faldo/Ian Woosnam, Europe, halved with Tom Kite/Curtis Strange, USA
  • Lanny Wadkins/Payne Stewart, USA, def. Howard Clark/Mark James, Europe, 1-up
  • Seve Ballesteros/Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe, halved with Tom Watson/Chip Beck, USA
  • Mark Calcavecchia/Ken Green, USA, def. Bernhard Langer/Ronan Rafferty, Europe, 2 and 1
Score after first session: USA 3, Europe 1


  • Sam Torrance/Gordon Brand Jr., Europe, def. Curtis Strange/Paul Azinger, USA, 1-up
  • Howard Clark/Mark James, Europe, def. Fred Couples/Lanny Wadkins, USA, 3 and 2
  • Nick Faldo/Ian Woosnam, Europe, def. Mark Calcavecchia/Mark McCumber, USA, 2-up
  • Seve Ballesteros/Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe, def. Tom Watson/Mark O'Meara, USA, 6 and 5
Score of second session: Europe 4, USA 0
Cumulative score after two sessions: Europe 5, USA 3

Day 2

  • Ian Woosnam/Nick Faldo, Europe, def. Lanny Wadkins/Payne Stewart, USA, 3 and 2
  • Chip Beck/Paul Azinger, USA, def. Gordan Brand Jr./Sam Torrance, Europe, 4 and 3
  • Mark Calcavecchia/Ken Green, USA, def. Christy O'Connor Jr./Ronan Rafferty, Europe, 3 and 2
  • Seve Ballesteros/Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe, def. Tom Kite/Curtis Strange, USA, 1-up
Score of third session: USA 2, Europe 2
Cumulative score after three sessions: Europe 7, USA 5


  • Chip Beck/Paul Azinger, USA, def. Nick Faldo/Ian Woosnam, Europe, 2 and 1
  • Tom Kite/Mark McCumber, USA, def. Bernhard Langer/Jose Maria Canizares, Europe, 2 and 1
  • Howard Clark/Mark James, Europe, def. Payne Stewart/Curtis Strange, USA, 1-up
  • Seve Ballesteros/Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe, def. Mark Calcavecchia/Ken Green, USA, 4 and 2
Score of fourth session: USA 2, Europe 2
Cumulative score after four sessions: Europe 9, USA 7

Day 3

  • Paul Azinger, USA, def. Seve Ballesteros, Europe, 1-up
  • Chip Beck, USA, def. Bernhard Langer, Europe, 3 and 2
  • Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe, def. Payne Stewart, USA, 1-up
  • Ronan Rafferty, Europe, def. Mark Calcavecchia, USA, 1-up
  • Tom Kite, USA, def. Howard Clark, Europe, 8 and 7
  • Mark James, Europe, def. Mark O'Meara, USA, 3 and 2
  • Christy O'Connor Jr., Europe, def. Fred Couples, USA, 1-up
  • Jose Maria Canizares, Europe, def. Ken Green, USA, 1-up
  • Mark McCumber, USA, def. Gordon Brand Jr., Europe, 1-up
  • Tom Watson, USA, def. Sam Torrance, Europe, 3 and 1
  • Lanny Wadkins, USA, def. Nick Faldo, Europe, 1-up
  • Curtis Strange, USA, def. Ian Woosnam, Europe, 2-up
Score of fifth session: USA 7, Europe 5
Overall and final score: Europe 14, USA 14 (Europe holds the Cup)

1989 Ryder Cup Player Records

(Records are listed as wins-losses-halves.)

Paul Azinger, 3-1-0
Chip Beck, 3-0-1
Mark Calcavecchia, 2-3-0
Fred Couples, 0-2-0
Ken Green, 2-2-0
Tom Kite, 2-1-1
Mark McCumber, 2-1-0
Mark O'Meara, 0-2-0
Payne Stewart, 1-3-0
Curtis Strange, 1-3-1
Lanny Wadkins, 2-2-0
Tom Watson, 1-1-1

Seve Ballesteros, 3-1-1
Gordon Brand Jr., 1-2-0
Jose Maria Canizares, 1-0-1
Howard Clark, 2-2-0
Nick Faldo, 2-2-1
Mark James, 3-1-0
Bernhard Langer, 0-3-0
Christy O'Connor Jr., 1-1-0
Jose Maria Olazabal, 4-0-1
Ronan Rafferty, 1-2-0
Sam Torrance, 1-2-0
Ian Woosnam, 2-2-1

Previous and next:
1987 Ryder Cup | 1991 Ryder Cup

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