Greatest Comebacks to Win In Ryder Cup History

Come-from-behind victories by one team over another at the Ryder Cup aren't common. Which makes those few comeback wins that do exist more impressive. Below we rank the Top 4 comeback wins at the Ryder Cup, considering only those teams that won after trailing entering the singles play.

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2012 Ryder Cup: Europe 14.5, USA 13.5

Martin Kaymer 2012 Ryder Cup
Martin Kaymer exults after sinking the putt that clinched the Ryder Cup for Team Europe in 2012. Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images

Europe trailed 10-4 with two fourball matches still on the course on Day 2, and that's actually where Team Europe's comeback began. Europe won those two remaining fourballs to make its deficit 10-6. And then in singles, Europe reeled off five straight wins to start the final day. Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia all came from behind in their individual matches to earn crucial victories.

Europe won that singles session by a score of 8.5 to 3.5 to match the Americans' comeback in 1999. So why is the 2012 Ryder Cup No. 1 on our list, and not the 1999 cup? Read on.

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1999 Ryder Cup: USA 14.5, Europe 13.5

Justin Leonard 1999 Ryder Cup Putt
Justin Leonard exults as his long putt across the 17th green finds the cup in his singles match against Jose Maria Olazabal. It was the key putt in Team USA's victory. Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images

Like Europe in 2012, Team USA trailed here 10-6 entering the singles. And like Europe, USA won the singles session 8.5 to 3.5, and the overall match 14.5 to 13.5.

In at least one way, though, USA's win exceeds Europe's 2012 victory. In the singles, the Americans opened with seven straight wins, and won eight of the first nine.

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1957 Ryder Cup: Great Britain 7.5, USA 4.5

In these days, the teams played only 12 games: four foursomes and eight singles. There was little margin for error. And the Americans absolutely dominated this era of Ryder Cup history, so when USA took a 3-1 lead into the singles, the outcome appeared a formality.

But not to Great Britain, which dominated singles to the tune of 6.5 to 1.5, flipping a 2-point deficit into a 3-point victory.

And while this USA team was lacking in major star power, it wasn't lacking for major champions: Seven of the eight Americans in singles had won, or would win, majors. None of the British singles players had won, or would win, a major. Yet Eric Brown beat Tommy Bolt, and Peter Mills beat Jackie Burke, in the first two singles games to even the score. Then, after Fred Hawkins posted the lone American singles win, the Brits ran off four more match victories.

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1995 Ryder Cup: Europe 14.5, USA 13.5

Phillip Walton wins the 1995 Ryder Cup
Overcome with emotion, Phillip Walton is embraced by Team Europe captain Bernard Gallacher after sinking the putt that won the 1995 Ryder Cup. Simon Bruty / Getty Images

Europe trailed by two points (9-7) following the first two days of play in 1995. But in singles, Europe won 7.5 of the available 12 points to earn the 1-point victory.

Tom Lehman opened the singles session with a win over Seve Ballesteros, and Ryder Cup rookie Phil Mickelson closed it with a win, but in-between the USA stumbled badly. Ben Crenshaw and Curtis Strange were among the losers; Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie among the winners.

Perhaps the biggest boost for Europe, though, were the wins from journeymen David Gilford (over Brad Faxon) and Philip Walton (over Jay Haas). Walton's victory clinched it for Europe. This was another comeback win on the road for Europe, too.