Oldest Players Ever in the Ryder Cup

Who is the oldest golfer to play in the Ryder Cup? In the event's history, which dates to 1927, there have been three golfers aged 50 or over who've played. The oldest of them all was 51-year-old Raymond Floyd.

Floyd was 51 years old when he was selected as a captain's pick by Team USA captain Tom Watson for the 1993 Ryder Cup. "I wanted players with hearts, players with guts," Watson said in explaining his selection of the gritty Floyd, who was already on the Champions Tour.

Floyd's most-recent win on the PGA Tour was the 1992 Doral Open, which happened more than a year prior to Watson's pick of him for Team USA in 1993. But he had finished 11th in the 1993 Masters and seventh in the 1993 U.S. Open, contended in some other PGA Tour events, and won twice in 1993 on the Champions Tour.

And how did that oldest-ever Ryder Cupper do? Floyd won three out of four matches he played, tying for the Team USA lead by earning three points. That included a 2-up victory over Jose Maria Olazabal in singles.

The oldest player on the Great Britain/GB&I/Europe side is Ted Ray, who, in the inaugural 1927 Ryder Cup was 50 years and three months old. (He was also the team captain.) He lost both matches he played, including a 7-and-5 (36-hole) singles defeat by Leo Diegel. But Ray remained the only 50-year-old Ryder Cupper for the next 66 years, until Floyd set the current mark in 1993.

The List: Oldest Ryder Cup Golfers

  • 51 years, 20 days — Raymond Floyd, Team USA, 1993 Ryder Cup. Had 3-1-0 record.
  • 50 years, 290 days — Jay Haas, Team USA, 2004 Ryder Cup. Had 1-2-1 record.
  • 50 years, 67 days — Ted Ray, Team Great Britain, 1927 Ryder Cup. Had 0-2-0 record.
  • 49 years, 23 days — Raymond Floyd, Team USA, 1991 Ryder Cup. Had 2-2-0 record.
  • 48 years, 273 days — Christy O'Connor Sr., Team Great Britain & Ireland, 1973 Ryder Cup. Had 1-3-1 record.
  • 48 years, 196 days — Dai Rees, Team Great Britain, 1961 Ryder Cup. Had 3-1-0 record.
  • 48 years, 153 days — Lee Westwood, Team Europe, 2021 Ryder Cup. Had 1-2-0 record.
  • 48 years, 104 days — Phil Mickelson, Team USA, 2018 Ryder Cup. Had 0-2-0 record.
  • 48 years, 95 days — Fred Funk, Team USA, 2004 Ryder Cup. Had 0-3-0 record.
In the 1961 Ryder Cup, Dai Rees was Great Britain's playing captain. And he played himself in four matches, winning three of them — including two singles matches. He beat Jay Hebert and Doug Ford.

Note that Fred Funk, in the 2004 Ryder Cup, was making his first (and only) appearance in the competition. He is the oldest rookie in the event's history.

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