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February 11 , 2011

Us Against Them

Oral History of the Ryder Cup


The Only Oral History of the Ryder Cup Since Its Genesis in 1927

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In the fall of 1913, Laura and Earle Smith, a young Iowa couple, made the gutsy—some might say foolhardy—decision to homestead in Wyoming. There, they built their first house, a claim shanty half dug out of the ground, hauled every drop of their water from a spring over a half-mile away, and fought off rattlesnakes and boredom on a…

Us Against Them recounts how the Ryder Cup grew from the brink of extinction to become the most compelling and controversial tournament in golf. The popularity of the Ryder Cup, played every other year in the fall (alternately in the United States and in Europe), has soared in the last ten years. Its worldwide television audience is now the largest of any in golf, and the last tournament, in 2002, was viewed by an estimated 100 million fans.

The story of this meteoric rise – and all the rich history that predated it – is told in the actual voices of more than forty players and other participants, including Ryder Cup players and captains Curtis Strange, Dave Stockton, Sam Torrance, and Tony Jacklin; American legends Hale Irwin and Billy Casper; U.S. network television commentators Peter Alliss, David Feherty, Peter Oosterhuis, and Jimmy Roberts; Tour players Peter Jacobsen, Tom Lehman, and Brad Faxon; and such names from the past as Dow Finsterwald, Johnny Pott, and Tommy Bolt. More than recalling simply the play-by-play, Us Against Them also goes behind the scenes – to the Ryder Cup tournament director whose participation almost ended in his own bloody death, to the matches in Britain that nearly ended in blows, to the car crash that some say decided the outcome of one of the matches, to a small plane carrying players that almost fell from the sky, and to the prominent American network golf commentator who introduced himself to a U.S. president while dressed in a large plastic garbage bag!

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