The Ryder Cup pits the best American golfers against their European counterparts in a unique team format. Originally contested between America and Great Britain in 1927, the team golf competition was expanded in 1979 to include all of continental Europe on one team. Since the switch, the biennial competition has become much more competitive after a long period of American domination. The Americans have lifted the Cup 26 times, while European teams have managed 13 wins, with the sides sharing 2 ties. While the selection format has changed over the years, those chosen to compete for the Ryder Cup represent the best golfers in their region. The following list compiles the European golfers with the most Ryder Cup experience.
1. Nick Faldo - 11 Ryder Cups
English golfer Nick Faldo is the undisputed European king of the Ryder Cup. Competing in a record 11 Ryder Cups from 1977-1997, the former world number one was known as a focused and fierce competitor. Since retiring from competition, Faldo was given the honor of knighthood.
2. Bernhard Langer - 10 Ryder Cups
Bernhard Langer was a dominant golfer throughout the 80s and 90s. Hailing from Germany, Langer was a member of 10 European Ryder Cup teams between 1981-2002.
3. Christy O'Connor, Sr. - 10 Ryder Cups
Irish golfer Christy O'Connor experienced golfing success both in Europe and America throughout his long career. As a reward for his high level of play, O'Connor was chosen 10 separate times from 1955-1973 to compete against America in the Ryder Cup.
4. Lee Westwood - 10 Ryder Cups
Englishman Lee Westwood is a professional golfer who competed in 10 Ryder Cups from 1997-2016. Westwood has a long history golfing excellence, including a 22-week span as world number one in 2010 and has won golf tournaments on five different continents.
5. Dai Rees - 9 Ryder Cups
Rounding out the top 5 is Dai Rees, a Welsh golfer who competed in 9 Ryder Cups between 1937-1961. Rees was named captain of the then solely British team 5 times, and in 1957 delivered the only victory of a European team over the Americans in a 52-year span from 1933-1985.
Other Notable European Ryder Cup Golfers
While not included in the top 5, the following golfers have all competed in a respectable 8 Ryder Cups against the American team.
Peter Alliss (England) 1953-1969
Steve Ballesteros (Spain) 1979-1995
Neil Coles (England) 1961-1977
Bernard Gallacher (Scotland) 1969-1983
Sergio Garcia (Spain) 1999-2016
Bernard Hunt (England) 1953-1969
Colin Montgomerie (Scotland) 1991-2006
Sam Torrance (Scotland) 1981-1995
Ian Woosnam (Wales) 1983-1997