2018 Ryder Cup: the French Connection

The 42nd staging of the biennial genial golfing grudge match between the leading professional players of Europe and their American cousins breaks new ground, taking place in France over the spectacular L'Albatross course at Le Golf National near the French capital, Paris. With the small gold cup firmly in the grip of the USA, Europe may have its work cut out to regain the coveted trophy, even on home soil

Brian Harman, Kevin Kisner and captain Jim Furyk practice

UP FOR THE CUP

One of the smallest, but many sought-after trophies in world sport, the Ryder Cup is a symbol of world-class sport, played for in a spirit of spirited but friendly competition between two continents that have, in golf a great deal more in common than divides them.

• The Ryder Cup trophy measures just 17 inches tall and weighs 4 pounds. It’s small in stature, and it’s about the same size of the FIFA World Cup trophy won by France in Russia earlier this year.

• The Ryder Cup is made of 9-carat gold.

• Samuel Ryder, the founder of the Ryder Cup, commissioned the trophy and donated it in 1927; it was the prize he had made for the first matches in 1927, pitting the best golfers in the United States against the best golfers from Great Britain.

• The trophy costs in the order of $400 at the time to make; it would cost about $6,000 now, but because of its invaluable status, is insured for many times more than that.

• The original Ryder Cup trophy is owned by the Professional Golfers Association of Great Britain and Ireland (PGA – GB&I), bequeathed to it by seedsman Samuel Ryder.

• The original Ryder Cup trophy remains at the PGA GB&I headquarters in Great Britain.

• A golden golfer sits atop the lid of the Ryder Cup at the top of the trophy, thought to be Abe Mitchell, Ryder’s friend and personal golf teacher who played in the inaugural event in 1927 at Worcester Country Club, Massachusetts, USA, where the match was tied 9.5-9.5pts.

• The trophy base has the Ryder Cup results engraved on a band that goes around it.

• The winning Ryder Cup team does not get the actual original trophy; instead, they get an identical replica made for the PGA of America, whilst there is also a replica trophy that is used for promotional appearances.

• By coincidence, the capacity of the Ryder Cup is the same, 70cl, as a standard bottle of Champagne, some 25 of which were consumed as Europe celebrated victory at Gleneagles in 2014.

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