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Tony Jacklin: My Ryder Cup Journey

Tony Jacklin & Tony Jimenez

Tony Jacklin rescued the Ryder Cup from oblivion. Following years of American domination, interest in the event nosedived in the 1970s. It was Tony's appointment as captain of Europe in 1983 that helped resuscitate the matches and launch the remarkable transformation of a competition that is now one of the biggest showpiece occasions in the world of sport.

This book takes us on a journey through Tony's Ryder Cup career, his seven matches as a player and his four as captain. It details his friendships with some of the game's greats like Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer but also chronicles the times when he hit rock bottom - the sudden and unexpected death of his first wife, his own recent struggles with ill health, the year he lost everything financially and his affair with a sixteen-year-old that was splashed on the front page of a tabloid newspaper.

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My golfing ‘wow' moment arrived as a young child. Sitting in my grandparents' living room, watching on a grainy old black-and-white TV set, I was entranced by this shadowy figure reacting with stunned surprise after delivering a hole-in-one. It was, I discovered, the first time that particular feat had been televised live in Britain. That magical stroke by Tony Jacklin sparked my interest in the game. I eventually went on to fulfil my dream of becoming a sports journalist and ended up making a special friend of that shadowy figure who popped up on our screen in September 1967. To you ‘Sir Tony', thanks a million for affording me the honour and privilege of helping to compile this account of a remarkable Ryder Cup career.