Heartbreak Hill: Anatomy of a Ryder Cup

Overview

Every two years, twelve men from the United States and twelve men from Europe compete for the pinnacle of professional golf - the Ryder Cup. With scores of telling historical references, Heartbreak Hill is Tim Rosaforte's masterful behind-the-scenes look at the 1995 Ryder Cup matches at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. The Ryder Cup competition has brought grown men to tears, caused the iciest veins to overheat, and the world's most intelligent strategists to make mind-boggling errors in ...

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Overview

Every two years, twelve men from the United States and twelve men from Europe compete for the pinnacle of professional golf - the Ryder Cup. With scores of telling historical references, Heartbreak Hill is Tim Rosaforte's masterful behind-the-scenes look at the 1995 Ryder Cup matches at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. The Ryder Cup competition has brought grown men to tears, caused the iciest veins to overheat, and the world's most intelligent strategists to make mind-boggling errors in judgment. Lanny Wadkins and his "dream team" were supposed to be a sure thing, and as expected, they led the first two days' matches by a substantial two-point margin. Only a miracle could bring European captain Bernard Gallacher and his team back to claim the cup. Rosaforte captures the dramatic holes-in-one, the clutch chips, the joys and numbing disappointments that led to the most spectacular comeback in the sixty-eight year history of the Ryder Cup. Heartbreak Hill is a must-have for every weekend golfer and armchair fan.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Golf's Ryder Cup, first contested in 1927, was donated for matches between teams of Americans and Britons. The British won in 1927, '29 and '33 and then were shut out until '57; there followed years of drought for the U.K. until the tourney was expanded so that the U.S. faced a team drawn from all of Europe, with the new alignment beginning in 1979. Ryder Cup play is tremendously important to participants, who feel they are playing for national or even continental honor-there is no prize money. Sports Illustrated writer Rosaforte here covers the 1995 matches at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y., won by the Europeans by the slimmest margin, 141/2-131/2. Despite moments of high drama, especially the contest between Curtis Strange and Nick Faldo, it remains to be seen whether even addicted fans will be caught up in the author's enthusiasm. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (June)
Library Journal
The first Ryder Cup was played in 1927 at the Worcester Country club in Massachusetts. A team of British golfers challenged an American team and lost. Played only in odd-numbered years, the Ryder Cup continued to pit Britain against the United States until 1979, when the all-British team was broadened to include the cream of European golfers. Rosaforte, a senior writer for Sport Illustrated and the current president of the Golf Writers Association of America, covers the personalities, politics, and events of the 1995 Ryder Cup. He provides a basic history of the cup and explains how this history affected the two teams. Extensive interviews with the participants give the reader an insider's view. While this is an excellent book for the knowledgeable golf fan, it is not as accessible as John Feinstein's A Good Walk Spoiled (LJ 5/15/95). Rosaforte assumes that the reader has a basic knowledge of the game and its terminology. For larger collections or wherever golf is popular.-Terry Jo Madden, Boise State University Lib., Id.
Kirkus Reviews
An uneven and frequently arcane account of last year's dramatic Ryder Cup golf tournament.

The Ryder Cup—a biannual tournament pitting an American team against an elite European squad—has in recent years grown from a virtual afterthought to one of the game's premier events. Last September, at the Oak Hill course in Rochester, N.Y., the American team nursed a sizable lead going into the final day of play, only to see it slip away to a European squad that mounted one of the game's truly great comebacks. Unlike most golf tournaments, which appeal mainly to players and fans, this Ryder Cup had something for everyone: high-pressure play and high stakes; flag-waving patriotism and international intrigue; and ample human drama, including the gut-wrenching story of Curtis Strange, a usually steady golfer experiencing hard times. His three consecutive bad holes on the last afternoon of play allowed the European side to surge ahead. Unfortunately, author Rosaforte (a senior writer for Sports Illustrated) makes poor use of this material, most notably by offering sloppy analogies to explain the obvious, such as why a tie (a result that favors the defending champion) is "like kissing your sister" when "your sister is Cindy Crawford," while allowing less obvious golf phenomena to go unexplained, such as why a shot "189 yards from the front of the green, uphill, into a left-to-right quartering breeze" would call for a 3-iron. And the text is littered with ham-fisted phrases such as "neither man dared to blink, the Spanish bullfighter or the bull from Minnesota" (describing Sunday's match between Seve Ballesteros and Tom Lehman).

A dramatic contest that should have been of interest to nongolfers is put out of reach of all but the most devoted hackers.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312304775
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Rosaforte is a Senior Writer for Golf World magazine. He is a frequent contributor to The Golf Channel and is a past president of the Golf Writers Association of America. He has written two books: Heartbreak Hill and Tiger Woods: The Makings of a Champion. He has covered golf for Sports Illustrated, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, and the St. Petersburg Times, and his work has appeared in Golf Digest, Golf, Golf Illustrated, and Links magazines. His television work includes commentaries on Inside the PGA Tour, cohosting The PGA Tour Florida Style, reports on the Golf Channel's Golf Central, and analysis on the Golf Channel's Viewers Forum.

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