New award to recognise 'spirit' of Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

A new award commemorating sportsmanship is being introduced in this year’s 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.

Former Ryder Cup captains Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus during the 2016 Ryder Cup ppening ceremony at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.
Former Ryder Cup captains Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus during the 2016 Ryder Cup ppening ceremony at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

The ‘Nicklaus-Jacklin Award presented by Aon’ will be given to two players - one from each team as the US and Europe battle it out in Wisconsin in September - who “best embody the spirit of the event”.

The new award has been named after the famous 1969 concession by Jack Nicklaus as he gave Tony Jacklin a two-foot putt for a halved match that resulted in the first tie in Ryder Cup history.

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The recipients of the inaugural award will be selected by a committee consisting of Nicklaus and Jacklin, as well as other past European and US Ryder Cup captains.

“The players are the beating heart of the Ryder Cup,” said European Ryder Cup director Guy Kinnings.

“Once every two years, these individual giants of our sport come together as a team and have to make decisions under the utmost scrutiny that not only affects themselves, but also their team-mates, their fans and their continent. Decision-making under such intense pressure is a crucial part of any Ryder Cup.

"It is fitting, therefore, that this new award not only recognises the decisions that ultimately characterise success, but also the sportsmanship which has defined many of them over history and will continue to do so.”

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

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