Who is Samuel Ryder, why is the Ryder Cup named after him, and how did he have such an impact on world golf?

THE 42nd Ryder Cup nears its conclusion at Le Golf National in Paris TODAY.

The US defend the bi-annual trophy that was partly the brainchild of Samuel Ryder, an English businessman, entrepreneur, golf enthusiast and golf promoter.
 Samuel Ryder, the donor of the Ryder Cup, presents the trophy to winning captain, Great Britain's George Duncan at Moortown in Leeds in 1929

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Samuel Ryder, the donor of the Ryder Cup, presents the trophy to winning captain, Great Britain's George Duncan at Moortown in Leeds in 1929

Ryder was born at Walton-le-Dale near Preston in 1858.

He trained as a teacher at Owens College in Manchester but did not graduate due to ill health. Ryder first worked at a shipping firm in Manchester, and then for his father whose business expanded to include a nursery, florist and seed merchant.

A disagreement with his dad led Ryder to move to London to join a rival seed merchant. He married Helen Mary Barnard, known as Nellie, in November 1890.

 The British Ryder Cup team on Cunard Liner Aquitania on their way to America for the first tournament in 1927

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The British Ryder Cup team on Cunard Liner Aquitania on their way to America for the first tournament in 1927
 Europe skipper Thomas Bjorn will be hoping to wrest the Ryder Cup out of US hands in Paris

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Europe skipper Thomas Bjorn will be hoping to wrest the Ryder Cup out of US hands in Paris

Ryder lived near St Albans, originated the idea of selling garden seeds in "penny packets" and built a very successful business on the concept.

It wasn't until he reached the age of 50 that he became keen on golf and, together with his brother James, started sponsoring a number of local golf tournaments and matches.

Ryder was Mayor of St Albans in 1905 and remained a councillor until 1916.

He was also a committed Christian.

 Le Golf National in Paris is the venue for the 42nd Ryder Cup

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Le Golf National in Paris is the venue for the 42nd Ryder Cup
 Jim Furyk is the US captain this time around

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Jim Furyk is the US captain this time around

In early 1926 came the idea for a match between British and American professional golfers. Ryder became involved and sponsored the event.

His intention was to make it the first Ryder Cup but, as it turned out, the match was not an official contest.

The first official event actually took place in 1927 and Ryder donated a gold trophy.

 US ace Rickie Fowler looks on as J.B. Holmes, Erica Holmes, Jimmy Walker, Erin Walker, Jordan Spieth, Annie Verret, Justine Reed and Patrick Reed celebrate during the 2016 singles matches at Hazeltine

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US ace Rickie Fowler looks on as J.B. Holmes, Erica Holmes, Jimmy Walker, Erin Walker, Jordan Spieth, Annie Verret, Justine Reed and Patrick Reed celebrate during the 2016 singles matches at Hazeltine
 The United States celebrates during the 2016 closing ceremony

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The United States celebrates during the 2016 closing ceremony

The Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts hosted the inaugural event in June 1927.

The format, still used today, was for the competition to be staged in alternate years, with the two sides taking turns as hosts.

Ryder attended the first two home matches played at Moortown in Leeds and Southport in 1929 and 1933 respectively and presented the trophy to Britain's successful captain George Duncan in 1929.

The trophy was manufactured by Mappin & Webb and cost nearly £300.

 The victorious European team celebrate victory in 2014

EPA
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The victorious European team celebrate victory in 2014
 Paul McGinley was the captain at Gleneagles

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Paul McGinley was the captain at Gleneagles

Hosts of the Ryder Cup say the tournament always has a strong economic, sporting and educational impact on them directly, often leaving a lasting legacy.

The matches are played out in front of spectators who show a fanaticism more akin to that of a football crowd than a genteel golf gallery.

Ryder Cup Europe team’s four wildcard picks revealed by team captain Thomas Bjorn

That unique appeal, plus the global interest generated, makes hosting a Ryder Cup a treasured and much sought-after prize.

These days the competition is contested by Europe and the US. This year Thomas Bjorn captains the European team and Jim Furyk the US.

Ryder suffered from poor health in later life and spent some time in South Africa and with elder daughter Marjorie. He died in January 1936 at the Langham Hotel in London's Portland Place, London, the family's traditional Christmas holiday retreat.

 

 

THE 42nd Ryder Cup nears its conclusion at Le Golf National in Paris TODAY.