THE EUROPEANS ENTER THE FRAY…
In 1971, John Jacobs, the first Managing Director of the European Tour, planned a great development and internationalisation of the Tour and saw the integration of European players in the selections as the next logical step.
In 1973, the Ryder Cup took place in Scotland for the first time – at Murfield, and the PGA of Great Britain changed its selection procedure: 8 players selected mathematically, 4 selected by the Captain.
In 1977, at Royal Lytham & St Annes, Jack Nicklaus warned the PGA of Great Britain about the importance of considering the level of competition and of opening up the method of selection.
In 1979, the Ryder Cup became a clash of Europe v The United States; Severiano Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido were the first players from continental Europe to participate. A new era began and the list of winners was about to see some upsets….
In 1997, for the first time, the Ryder Cup was organised on the continent. At Valderrama in Spain, Ballesteros took the reins of European selection – a Captain who would go down in history for his work in establishing this event on the European continent, and for his panache in leading his team to victory.