By Jim Ward President of Premier Golf
first European Ryder Cup
After the Americans won the Ryder Cup in 1991 it was back to
the Belfry for the 1993 matches. This was Premier Golf’s first opportunity to
manage a European event and it was an interesting challenge; hotels, transportation
arrangements, concierge services etc. One challenge not usually appreciated, is
the financial risk of currency exchange. For the first time we had to take into
consideration the impact of currency changes when we priced our packages for
|Celebrations after the 1991 Ryder Cup |
I think we came through the operational challenges with
flying colors and everybody seemed to have a great time. It didn’t hurt that
the Americans won an exciting match 14.5 to 13.5. I can still see Davis Love’s
hands up in the air after holing a six foot putt on 18 to win it for the
But my favorite memory of the 1993 Ryder Cup happened during
the Saturday afternoon four ball matches. By now, we had learned that the best
strategy for watching the matches is to pick a hole early, get a good
vantage point, and let the matches come to you.
This is exactly what my wife Sandy and I did. We went to the
5th hole to watch the fourball matches come through. As it turned
out there were very few Americans and we found ourselves right in the
middle of a group of British fans. There were two fathers and their young sons
right in front of us. As the day wore on, I carried on a friendly verbal battle
with everyone around us, especially these two boys. We took great pleasure
shouting USA! Anytime the Americans did something well.
Eventually, Corey Pavin and Lanny Wadkins came through in
their match with Bernhard Langer and Barry Lane. We watched as the Euros
knocked their shots to within ten feet. Corey Pavin was next to play his shot.
Then, I don’t know what made me do it, but before Pavin played his shot, I
turned around to all my new found friends, with my hands a foot apart, and said
“Watch my man Corey stiff it!” Well you can look it up, Corey Pavin knocked it
right in the hole from about 150 yards…Eagle 2. I was wearing a bright,
American flag sweater so when I threw up my hands to celebrate, Corey picked me
out as one of the few Americans in the crowd.
|1993 Ryder Cup Team USA|
With a big smile, Corey picked his ball out of the hole and
as he walked past us he tossed the ball to me. Without thinking, I gave the
ball to one of the boys I had been teasing all afternoon. Actually I wish I had
that ball today, but I wouldn’t trade it for my memories of those British fans
or for the picture I have hanging in my office of that young man with that
And so now the Americans had won the Ryder Cup back to back.
Would they begin to dominate again? Next stop, Oak Hill Country Club in