1991 Ryder Cup Winner, Match Scores, Player Records

The 1991 Ryder Cup was the 29th time this tournament was played. Following the hard-fought, Team USA victory, the all-time standings were 22 wins for the United States, five wins for Europe, and two draws.

Final Score: United States 14.5, Europe 13.5

Dates Played: September 27-29, 1991

Golf Course: Kiawah Island Golf Resort (The Ocean Course) in South Carolina

Team Captains: Bernard Gallacher for Europe, Dave Stockton for the United States

Team Rosters:

  • Europe — Seve Ballesteros, Colin Montgomerie, Steve Richardson, Ian Woosnam, Sam Torrance, Bernhard Langer, Paul Broadhurst, David Feherty, David Gilford, Jose Maria Olazabal, Nick Faldo, Mark James
  • USA — Fred Couples, Payne Stewart, Lanny Wadkins, Hale Irwin, Paul Azinger, Corey Pavin, Mark O'Meara, Mark Calcavecchia, Wayne Levi, Steve Pate, Chip Beck, Raymond Floyd
Match Notes: The 1991 Ryder Cup was an intense affair from the start, with Team USA attempting to regain the Cup for the first time in three tries, and Team Europe hoping to defend once again. This one, played on the sandy shores of The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, has come to be known as "The War On the Shore," and set the adversarial tone of the years to come.

Team USA opened by winning the first session, 3-1, and held a one-point lead at the end of Day 1. Another 3-1 margin gave the Americans a solid lead midway through Day 2 ... but they gave it all back in the afternoon session, a near-sweep by Team Europe.

So the teams went into the Day 3 singles knotted at 8-8. And the singles session was close throughout. Late wins by Fred Couples and Lanny Wadkins put Team USA up a point.

The final match was Hale Irwin vs. Bernhard Langer. Irwin needed to halve the hole for the Americans to win back the Cup, Langer needed to win the hole for Europe to hold onto the Cup.

Nerves played havoc with them both. Irwin's approach into the green went into the crowd and hit a spectactor. He hit a bad chip shot, then putted to a foot from the hole. Langer, looking at a 45-foot birdie putt, conceded Irwin's short bogey putt.

Then Langer knocked his birdie putt six feet past the hole. It all came down to that putt, and Langer missed it. The hole was halved, and Team USA won back the Ryder Cup.

Two future Ryder Cup captains debuted here: Corey Pavin for Team USA and Colin Montgomerie for Team Europe. Seve Ballesteros led all players with a 4-0-1 record.

1991 Ryder Cup Results

Day 1

  • Seve Ballesteros/Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe, def. Paul Azinger/Chip Beck, USA, 2 and 1
  • Raymond Floyd/Fred Couples, USA, def. Bernard Langer/Mark James, Europe, 2 and 1
  • Lanny Wadkins/Hale Irwin, USA, def. David Gilford/Colin Montgomerie, Europe, 4 and 2
  • Payne Stewart/Mark Calcavecchia, USA, def. Nick Faldo/Ian Woosnam, Europe, 1-up
Score after first session: USA 3, Europe 1


  • Sam Torrance/David Feherty, Europe, halved with Lanny Wadkins/Mark O'Meara, USA
  • Seve Ballesteros/Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe, def. Paul Azinger/Chip Beck, USA, 2 and 1
  • Steven Richardson/Mark James, Europe, def. Corey Pavin/Mark Calcavecchia, USA, 5 and 4
  • Raymond Floyd/Fred Couples, USA, def. Nick Faldo/Ian Woosnam, Europe, 5 and 3
Score of second session: Europe 2.5, USA 1.5
Cumulative score after two sessions: USA 4.5, Europe 3.5

Day 2

  • Hale Irwin/Lanny Wadkins, USA, def. David Feherty/Sam Torrance, Europe, 4 and 2
  • Mark Calcavecchia/Payne Stewart, USA, def. Mark James/Steven Richardson, Europe, 1-up
  • Paul Azinger/Mark O'Meara, USA, def. Nick Faldo/David Gilford, Europe, 7 and 6
  • Seve Ballesteros/Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe, def. Fred Couples/Raymond Floyd, USA, 3 and 2
Score of third session: USA 3, Europe 1
Cumulative score after three sessions: USA 7.5, Europe 3.5


  • Ian Woosnam/Paul Broadhurst, Europe, def. Paul Azinger/Hale Irwin, USA, 2 and 1
  • Bernhard Langer/Colin Montgomerie, Europe, def. Corey Pavin/Steve Pate, USA, 2 and 1
  • Mark James/Steven Richardson, Europe, def. Lanny Wadkins/Wayne Levi, USA, 3 and 1
  • Seve Ballesteros/Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe, halved with Payne Stewart/Fred Couples, USA
Score of fourth session: Europe 3.5, USA 0.5
Cumulative score after four sessions: USA 8, Europe 8

Day 3

  • David Gilford, Europe, halved with Steve Pate, USA
  • David Feherty, Europe, def. Payne Stewart, USA, 2 and 1
  • Nick Faldo, Europe, def. Raymond Floyd, USA, 2-up
  • Colin Montgomerie, Europe, halved with Mark Calcavecchia, USA
  • Corey Pavin, USA, def. Steven Richardson, Europe, 2 and 1
  • Seve Ballesteros, Europe, def. Wayne Levi, USA, 3 and 2
  • Paul Azinger, USA, def. Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe, 2-up
  • Chip Beck, USA, def. Ian Woosnam, Europe, 3 and 1
  • Paul Broadhurst, Europe, def. Mark O'Meara, USA, 3 and 1
  • Fred Couples, USA, def. Sam Torrance, Europe, 3 and 2
  • Lanny Wadkins, USA, def. Mark James, Europe, 3 and 2
  • Hale Irwin, USA, halved with Bernhard Langer, Europe
Score of fifth session: USA 6.5, Europe 5.5
Overall and final score: USA 14.5, Europe 13.5

1991 Ryder Cup Player Records

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

Seve Ballesteros, 4-0-1
Paul Broadhurst, 2-0-0
Nick Faldo, 1-3-0
David Feherty, 1-1-1
David Gilford, 0-2-1
Mark James, 2-3-0
Bernhard Langer, 1-1-1
Colin Montgomerie, 1-1-1
Jose Maria Olazabal, 3-1-1
Steven Richardson, 2-2-0
Sam Torrance, 0-2-1
Ian Woosnam, 1-3-0

United States
Paul Azinger, 2-3-0
Chip Beck, 1-2-0
Mark Calcavecchia, 2-1-1
Fred Couples, 3-1-1
Raymond Floyd, 2-2-0
Hale Irwin, 2-1-1
Wayne Levi, 0-2-0
Mark O'Meara, 1-1-1
Steve Pate, 0-1-1
Corey Pavin, 1-2-0
Payne Stewart, 2-1-1
Lanny Wadkins, 3-1-1

Previous and next:
1989 Ryder Cup | 1993 Ryder Cup

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