Thirty years after a “War by the Shore” victory, US captain Dave Stockton has a message for future Ryder Cup golfers — play the host course forward of time.
The 79-year-old two-time main winner recalled the 1991 US-Europe showdown on Wednesday at Kiawah Island, the place the 103rd PGA Championship tees off Thursday.
The windy Ocean course was only some months outdated when the Americans edged Europe 14 1/2-13 1/2 in a matchup full of gamesmanship and spats, profitable again the trophy after its longest absence from US soil following two losses and a 1989 draw.
“It was stressful times for us because it had been six years since the Cup had been back,” Stockton mentioned.
“I enjoyed them flying over and circling the course with the Concorde, bringing the Cup back to where I thought it belonged. We got to keep it here, which made it memorable for us for sure.”
Stockton was surpised that European gamers by no means visited the course early to see the windy circumstances that might prevail, not even after the Masters or a close-by PGA occasion.
“The Europeans never came in and played a practice round, which I couldn’t understand, because I just think this is such a difficult golf course with the winds,” Stockton mentioned.
With the subsequent Ryder Cup solely 4 months away at Whistling Straits, gamers from each groups might be aware of the structure, a bunch of three PGA Championships.
“Now we come up to Whistling Straits shortly and the European players have played it just as much as we have so we’re going to have our hands full,” mentioned Stockton, who hopes US gamers stay conscious come 2023 in Italy.
“I’m hoping in two years’ time in Rome that a bunch of our guys play the Italian Open that’s going to be played at that golf course so we don’t walk in and get shellshocked.”
Stockton mentioned he disliked the “War by the Shore” nickname, noting the groups met for a Tuesday cookout earlier than the begin and a Sunday dinner after the epic conclusion, which noticed Germany’s Bernhard Langer miss a six-foot par putt with the Cup on the line.
“I had my head down the whole time. I knew he was going to make it,” Stockton mentioned. “There’s no way I was going to root against him not to make.
“I used to be principally mad at (Europe captain Bernard) Gallacher to place any individual whose stress is their placing in the final spot.
“To put that pressure on Langer and to have him miss it, it made for a thrilling finish, but I was really disappointed.”
Stockton recalled Europe’s dealing with of the heartbreaking defeat.
“They were much more gracious in defeat than I think we would have been. They were unbelievable,” he mentioned.
He famous how each groups had crammed one bus as an alternative of taking separate automobiles to the dinner and Welshman Ian Woosnam discovered a seating answer for the near-full bus by grabbing US rival Corey Pavin.
“Woosie turns to me and says, ‘Stocky, not to worry, Pavin is so small I’ll carry him on,'” Stockton mentioned. “He picked Pavin up and carried him right on the bus, and we rode in one bus.”