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For Whom is the Ryder Cup Named?

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Samuel Ryder ryder cup founded

Samuel Ryder (center) flanked by the 1929 Ryder Cup captains, Walter Hagen (left) and George Duncan.

H. F. Davis / Topical Press Agency / Getty Images
Question: For Whom is the Ryder Cup Named?
Who is the "Ryder" in the Ryder Cup competition? And why is the competition named after that individual?
Answer: The "Ryder" in Ryder Cup is Samuel Ryder, a wealthy British businessman and avid golfer who was born in 1858 and died in 1936.

Ryder's wealth derived from a simple idea that revolved around an easier way to package and sell seeds. You know those little paper envelopes that seeds can be purchased in? It was Ryder who first came up with the idea of selling seeds in packets.

And the Ryder Cup competition germinated from another of his ideas. The Walker Cup, pitting teams of British and American amateur golfers, began play in 1922. A London newspaper report from 1925 states that Ryder had proposed such a competition for professional golfers. In 1926, Ryder commissioned and paid for the trophy that now bears his name, and the first official Ryder Cup competition was played in 1927.

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