Trophy For Ryder Cup Winner, Award For 1 Player On Each Team

By DOUG FERGUSON, Associated Press

The Ryder Cup for years has had an unofficial award known as “Man of the Match” for the key contributor in golf’s ultimate team event. Organizers now have created an official award for the September matches at Whistling Straits for players on each team who embody the spirit of the matches.

The PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe on Tuesday announced the “Nicklaus-Jacklin Award,” which will be given to one American and one European player as voted on by a select committee. Aon is the presenting sponsor of the award.

It is named in honor of Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin and the famous conclusion of the final match in 1969 at Royal Birkdale, where Nicklaus conceded a short putt to Jacklin that halved the matched and allowed the Ryder Cup to end in a tie. The Americans still kept the cup as the defending champions.

The award commemorates sportsmanship, teamwork and the type of strategic decisions that attract people to the game.

“Since its inception, the Ryder Cup was imagined as a spirited but friendly competition amongst allies,” said Seth Waugh, CEO at the PGA of America. “At its core, this remarkable tradition is based on the fundamental pillars of sportsmanship, teamwork and performance. We want to recognize and celebrate that key foundational tenet.”

The committee will consist of Nicklaus and Jacklin, other past captains from both teams, the PGA of America president, the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland chairman, representatives of TV rights holders NBC and Sky, and Carlo Clavarino, the executive chairman of international business at Aon.

They will pick players who make decisions critical to sportsmanship, teamwork and performance.

“I’m glad to see that everyone involved in the Ryder Cup is identifying the importance of the choices these players make in the heat of competition and on one of golf’s biggest stages, and that they are recognizing and celebrating individuals who approach this competition with the proper spirit and who put an emphasis on good will and camaraderie,” Nicklaus said.

The matches are Sept. 24-26 at Whistling Straits. The Ryder Cup and Aon will promote the award leading up to the event, including digital content that highlights some of the defining decisions at past Ryder Cups.