When Team USA last faced Team Europe in 2021, the Ryder Cup became a showcase for how good Dustin Johnson can be when he’s on top of his game.
Johnson, who had won the Open Championship, U.S. Open, PGA Championship and Masters on the PGA Tour, became only the sixth player to go 5-0-0 in his Ryder Cup matches (more on this later) while leading the Americans to their largest margin of victory (19-9) in the event since 1967.
After winning at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin and at Hazeltine in Minnesota in 2016, the United States had won its first back-to-back tournaments over the European team in America since 1983.
Winning across in continental Europe, however, has been a much different story for USA, which hasn’t beaten the European Ryder Cup team on its home turf since 1993. Tiger Woods was still four years away from his first Ryder Cup appearance at that point.
They’ve since lost in Spain (1997), England (2002), Ireland (2006), Wales (2010), Scotland (2014) and France (2018), but will try to change that when the teams battle in Europe for the first time in five years this week at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Italy.
PGA Tour majors can be intensely competitive, but this showdown is a different animal altogether. And the rosters are set after European captain Luke Donald and American team captain Zach Johnson made their picks in the first week of September.
But Dustin Johnson, who now plays on the LIV Tour, won’t be around playing for the Americans this time around after Zach Johnson made a controversial decision not to select him.
“I get the case for DJ,” Brooks Koepka told Sports Illustrated. “He played great the last time, played great last year. Hasn’t really played that great this year… or hasn’t played to DJ’s standard. That’s a better way to put that. And he didn’t play well in the majors. So I can see why he didn’t get a pick. “
DJ won’t be able to add his name to the record books in Rome, but which other Ryder Cup players have already had their names immortalized as a result of their performance?
Let’s take a look at the all-time Ryder Cup records and standings (all data from the official Ryder Cup media guide):
Most Overall Matches Won
1. Sergio Garcia, Europe (25)
Garcia has played some of his best golf on the biggest stage. As a result, you’ll find his name scattered throughout the list of Ryder Cup records. He took over the top spot here in 2021 when he tied Jon Rahm for the team lead with three wins at Whistling Straits.
2. Nick Faldo, Europe (23)
3. Arnold Palmer, USA (22)
T-4. Bernhard Langer, Europe (21)
T-4. Lee Westwood, Europe (21)
Most Overall Points Won
1. Sergio Garcia, Europe (28.5)
The previously mentioned Garcia won’t be able to add to his total after Donald informed him that he wasn’t being chosen as one of the team’s 12 players or five vice captains. “It will be the first Ryder Cup I’ve been involved without Sergio,” Donald told ESPN. “But he understands the role and he was more than supportive.”
2. Nick Faldo, Europe (25)
T-3. Bernhard Langer, Europe (24)
T-3. Lee Westwood, Europe (24)
T-5. Billy Casper, USA (23.5)
T-5. Colin Mongomerie, Europe (23.5)
Most Wins in Foursome Matches
1. Sergio Garcia, Europe (12)
Yep, Sergio has been pretty good for the European Ryder Cup team.
2. Bernhard Langer, Europe (11)
T-3. Nick Faldo, Europe (10)
T-3. Seve Ballesteros, Europe (10)
T-5. Arnold Palmer, USA (9)
T-5. Lanny Wadkins, USA (9)
T-5. Lee Westwood, Europe (9)
Most Four-Ball Wins
1. Ian Woosnam, Europe (10)
Woosnam represented Europe in eight straight Ryder Cups from 1983-97. Despite not winning a singles match, he accumulated a record 10 four-ball wins. He was a vice captain on the 2002 European team and a captain on the 2006 team.
T-2. Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe (9)
T-2. Sergio Garcia, Europe (9)
T-4. Phil Mickelson, USA (8)
T-4. Seve Ballesteros, Europe (8)
T-4. Lee Westwood, Europe (8)
Most Wins in Singles Matches
T-1. Lee Trevino, USA (6)
T-1. Billy Casper, USA (6)
T-1. Peter Oosterhuis, Europe (6)
T-1. Nick Faldo, Europe (6)
T-1. Colin Montgomerie, Europe (6)
T-1. Sam Snead, USA (6)
T-1. Arnold Palmer, USA (6)
T-1. Ian Poulter, Europe (6)
Eight different players are tied for the most wins in a singles match with six.
Players to Go 5-0-0 in One Ryder Cup
Gardner Dickinson, USA (1967)
Arnold Palmer, USA (1967)
Larry Nelson, USA (1979)
Ian Poulter, Europe (2012)
Francesco Molinari, Europe (2018)
Dustin Johnson, USA (2021)
We mentioned Johnson’s historic effort earlier, but it’s also notable that he became the first American to finish the tourney with five wins since Nelson in 1979.
Largest Margin of Victory
1967 USA (15, 23.5-8.5)
Arnold Palmer and Gardner Dickinson both went 5-0-0, while Billy Casper, Bobby Nichols and Johnny Pott won four matches each as the Americans, led by captain Ben Hogan, rolled to their biggest victory at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas.
Most Consecutive Ryder Cup Wins
USA 1971-83 (7)
USA 1935-55 (7)
After their run from 1935-55, the Americans went on to win or retain the Ryder Cup 13 times in a row from 1959-83, including a tie in 1969.