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PHOTO GALLERY: Great moments in Ryder Cup history

  • FILE - In this April 23, 23, 1929 file photo, Samuel Ryder presents the Ryder Cup to George Duncan, the captain of the British team who beat the U.S., in Leeds, England. Ryder was an English businessman and was the inspiration behind the golf competition that bore his name. It was first contested in 1927 between the United States and Britain. The US won the inaugural competition. (AP Photo, File)

    FILE - In this April 23, 23, 1929 file photo, Samuel Ryder presents the Ryder Cup to George Duncan, the captain of the British team who beat the U.S., in Leeds, England. Ryder was an English businessman and was the inspiration behind the golf competition that bore his name. It was first contested in 1927 between the United States and Britain. The US won the inaugural competition. (AP Photo, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 15, 1977 file photo, Jack Nicklaus, left, and Tom Watson check the line of a putt, during the first round of the 22nd Ryder Cup golf competition against Britain and Ireland, at Royal Lytham & St. Anne's-on-the-Sea near Blackpool, England. After another convincing US victory, Europeans from the continent such as Severiano Ballesteros were invited to take part in the competition from 1979.  (AP Photo, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 15, 1977 file photo, Jack Nicklaus, left, and Tom Watson check the line of a putt, during the first round of the 22nd Ryder Cup golf competition against Britain and Ireland, at Royal Lytham & St. Anne's-on-the-Sea near Blackpool, England. After another convincing US victory, Europeans from the continent such as Severiano Ballesteros were invited to take part in the competition from 1979. (AP Photo, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 17, 1983 file photo, members of the US team pose under umbrellas with the trophy following their narrow one point victory over the European team, in the Ryder Cup golf tournament in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. After the closest Ryder Cup in years, the US would not win again till 1991. The players include from centre left top, Ray Floyd, Curtis Strange, Lanny Wadkins, and captain Jack Nicklaus. (AP Photo/Eliot Schechter, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 17, 1983 file photo, members of the US team pose under umbrellas with the trophy following their narrow one point victory over the European team, in the Ryder Cup golf tournament in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. After the closest Ryder Cup in years, the US would not win again till 1991. The players include from centre left top, Ray Floyd, Curtis Strange, Lanny Wadkins, and captain Jack Nicklaus. (AP Photo/Eliot Schechter, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Ryder Cup is one of sport's greatest contests. That wasn't always so.

The event, which started in 1927 at Worcester Country Club, Massachusetts, and takes place every two years, invariably saw the United States swat aside the teams from Great Britain and Ireland.

By 1977, when the U.S. won by another wide margin, Jack Nicklaus urged rethinking the event to make it more competitive. That included bringing in golfers from continental Europe, where the game was flourishing most notably with the dashing Spaniard Severiano Ballesteros.

Though the U.S. easily won in 1979 and 1981, Europe just fell short in 1983. In 1985, Europe won at the Belfry, England, heralding a golden age for the event. Though Europe has won more than it has lost since 1985, the competition has never been dull, usually thrilling and at times controversial.

The Ryder Cup climbed from near irrelevance to now one of the most anticipated events in the golfing calendar.

Over the years, it has provided moments of high drama. Attached are some of those great moments as captured by photographers from The Associated Press.