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25th Aug 2014

Five of Ireland’s Great Ryder Cup Moments

Some of our greatest golfers have played a huge part in the famous competition down through the years...

Joe Harrington

Some of our greatest golfers have played a huge part in the famous competition down through the years…

The Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Golf Skills Challenge, a competition to find Ireland’s most skilled amateur golfer, is underway with club events taking place up and down the country ahead of the national final in the GUI Academy this September. As the Skills Challenge tests five key skills of golf, we thought we’d have a look at some Irish players who have put them all together on the biggest stage of all – the Ryder Cup.

Darren Clarke, The K Club, 2006

Darren Clarke with tears in his eyes  24/9/2006

It was one of the most emotional Ryder Cups in the history of the event and also one of the most touching. Darren Clarke turned in an exceptional performance winning three points from his three matches despite it just being over a month after his wife Heather sadly passed away.

Clarke and doubles partner Lee Westwood were formidable and Clarke’s 3 and 2 singles win over Zach Johnson was the highlight of the tournament. The moment that Paul McGinley sealed the match was incredible with the outpouring of emotion from Clarke,  the rest of the players and the Irish crowd just incredible. It will live long in our memory.

Christy O’Connor Jnr, The Belfry, 1989

Some people will argue that Christy O’Connor Jnr shouldn’t have even been on the Ryder Cup team in ’89 as they was a massive backlash to his inclusion before the tournament. He wasn’t selected but he was given a wild card by Tony Jacklin.

Sport always seems to find a way to create a fairytale story as O’Connor Jnr beat Fred Couples in a singles match and he did it in dramatic fashion by hitting a two-iron to within five feet of the 18th hole.

Paul McGinley, The Belfry, 2002

Paul McGinley was arguably the most influential player for Europe at the Ryder Cup in 2002. The Dubliner hit a brilliant four iron on the final hole of the foresomes on the Saturday which halved the match and left the teams on 8-8 heading into the singles on Sunday.

McGinley faced Jim Furyk in the singles and it went all the way to the 18th, the Irishman held his nerve and sunk a 10-footer to halve the match and clinch the Ryder Cup, here’s McGinley reflecting on that moment…

Graeme McDowell, Celtic Manor, 2010

Graeme McDowell clinched the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor after and 3&1 win over Hunter Mahan saw Europe claim victory by 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.

The winning of the match came on the 16th when McDowell made a birdie following a fantastic approach and an even better putt. That set him up to go on a win the match.

Eamonn Darcy, Muirfield, 1987

Eamonn Darcy defeated Ben Crenshaw, 1-up, after a rollercoaster match at the Ryder Cup in 1987. Darcy went two-up after six holes which saw Crenshaw lose his cool and snap his putter in disgust so he ended putting the remainder of the match with a one-iron and the edge of his sand wedge. It was a unique situation and a truly special win for the Irish man.

Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain is the official snack provider to the GUI National Golf Academy. For more on the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Golf Skills Challenge, just click here

The next Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Golf Skills Challenge will take place in the GUI National Golf Academy, Carton House on Wednesday 27th from 5pm – 9pm.  Qualifiers from this event will progress to the national final which will also take place in the GUI National Golf Academy on 13th September 2014.  For more information, log onto