Friday, 19 September 2014

1985 Ryder Cup: Craig Stadler

Eighteen inches. Just eighteen inches. So close, that even asking a former US Masters champion to play the shot seemed questionable, almost a waste of time. You or I might miss the occasional one from this length, but not a professional playing in the Ryder Cup. Surely not. Back went the putter and.....

Monday, 15 September 2014

1989 Ryder Cup: Christy O'Connor Jnr

Before 1989, Christy O'Connor Jnr had a strained relationship with the Ryder Cup. Winless in his one previous appearance and then rejected in 1985, he must have felt that his chances of taking part in the ever popular event had long gone. But just when it looked as if the two would go their separate ways, fate decided to play a part in giving O'Connor and the Ryder Cup one last chance at patching up their differences. Beautiful fate.

Monday, 8 September 2014

1989: The decline of Sandy Lyle

February 1989: the start of Sandy Lyle's season on the US tour has continued where he left off in 1988. Two second-place finishes and another in third gives the impression that all is well with Lyle's game, and that he is set for another prosperous year on both sides of the Atlantic. Whether he can repeat his marvellous feats of 1988 is questionable, after all Lyle won the Greater Greensboro Open and then the US Masters, as well as the Dunhill Masters and World Matchplay in a never to be forgotten year. But the early signs are promising.

Fast forward just six months. Lyle is unrecognisable from the man who was ranked world number two and sat third in the US PGA money list. In a relatively short space of time, Lyle's game has dissolved completely, so much so that when Tony Jacklin offers him a place on Europe's Ryder Cup team, Lyle has no other option but to turn it down. How did it come to this?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

1980s: Match of the Day Goal of the Season

Whilst watching the recent 50 years celebration programme about Match of the Day it struck me how big a deal the Goal of the Season award was during my formative years. So this week I am taking a look back on the ten winning goals during the 1980s, a collection of volleys, headers and screamers that I could watch again and again and again.