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1969 Ryder Cup Summary

1969 edition of the Ryder Cup

1969 Ryder Cup also known as Ryder Cup 1969  

The 18th Ryder Cup Matches were held 18–20 September 1969 at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England. The competition ended in a tie at 16 points each, when America's Jack Nicklaus conceded a missable three-foot (0.9 m) putt to Britain's Tony Jacklin at the 18th hole, in one of the most famous gestures of sportsmanship in all of sport. It was the first tie in Ryder Cup history, and the United States team retained the Cup.The matches were marred by considerable acrimony and unsportsmanlike behavior by players on both sides. Britain's captain Eric Brown had instructed his players not to search for the opposition's ball if it ended up in the rough. American Ken Still, in the first-day foursomes, had deliberately and regularly stood too close to Briton Maurice Bembridge as he was putting. During one of the fourballs on the second day, both captains had to come out and calm down the warring players. This led to Nicklaus conceding Jacklin's final putt with the knowledge that the overall competition would end in a draw. On the previous hole, Jacklin sank a long eagle putt while Nicklaus missed his from 15 feet (4.5 m) and the match was squared. Jacklin had won the Open Championship two months earlier at nearby Royal Lytham & St Annes to become the first British champion in eighteen years. After holing his final putt for par, Nicklaus picked up Jacklin's ball marker and told him, "I don't think you would have missed it, but I wasn't going to give you the chance, either."Playing in his first Ryder Cup at age 29, Nicklaus' gesture became known as "the concession" and marked the beginning of a lasting friendship between the two that has spanned nearly a half century. It was the inspiration for The Concession Golf Club in Florida near Sarasota, which was co-designed by Nicklaus and Jacklin. The two were opposing captains in the competition in 1983 and 1987. While the concession is now viewed as one of the world's greatest acts of sportmanship, US captain, Snead, was furious that the chance of outright victory had been given away.The U.S. team had only two players with previous Ryder Cup experience, Billy Casper and Gene Littler. The team was the only one that Arnold Palmer was not a member of from his first appearance in 1961 through his final appearance in 1973.

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