Numbers, not pictures, is one of golf's hoariest axioms. Translation: Results are what matter, and not the circumstances that surround them. Not so with the SI Alltime Ryder Cup Teams, selected by staff writer Alan Shipnuck. Playing records were important in picking our Dream Teams but not paramount. The historic importance of a player's deeds was weighted heavily, as were moments of high drama that have helped turn the Ryder Cup into such rousing theater. Whimsy was used to break all ties.
The King made the Ryder Cup matter with gung-ho xenophobia.
He defined Ryder Cup sportsmanship when he conceded Tony Jacklin a terrifying two-footer to tie in '69.
The unblemished record is cool, and in a historic bit of gamesmanship he introduced his '67 team as "the 12 best golfers in the world."
He's 5-0-2 in singles—no one on either side has won more matches without a loss.
His wedge shot to 18 inches on the final hole to secure the '83 Cup was so tasty that Nicklaus kissed the divot.
He captured the real spirit of the Cup as captain in '69, grousing after Nicklaus's concession, "We went over there to win, not to be good ol' boys."
Forget his record. Zinger's testosterone-drenched victory over Ballesteros in '89 was the best singles match ever.
Bulldog's chip-in to trump Faldo-Langer in '95 remains the most memorable moment of recent Ryders.