The Ryder Cup was totally transformed when it became a contest between the best players from Europe and America in 1979. The States still won the first three matches in this format but at least there was more interest generated by a Continental side. The United States won the 1983 match by just one point and from then on the outcome has been much less predictable.
There have been 13 Ryder Cups since 1985. The matches were formerly played in odd years but the Americans refused to travel in 2011 due to 9/11 and since then the competition is staged in even years. Europe has won eight of the last thirteen competitions and there has been one tie. The Europeans have won three of the last seven matches staged in the States.
Since 1985 Europe has won 193 points and the United States has won 171 points. That means the percentage split over the last 13 matches has been 53% to 47% in favour of Europe. The biggest margins of victory came in 2004 and 2006 when Europe won on both occasions by nine points.
Since 1985 there have been six Ryder Cups played on American soil. Europe has also won more points in these matches, outscoring their opponents by 86.5 points to 81.5 for a percentage split of 51% to 49%.
Assessing the relative strengths of either side on world ranking, major championship victories and match play experience the European side compares favourably with other teams who have contested the Ryder Cup away from home. Home advantage has been a factor in recent years without providing conclusive evidence that the result is totally dependent on the geographical location of the host course.
The home side have won eight of the last thirteen matches so clearly there is some advantage in competing in front of home fans. However, in that spell Europe have managed to win the Cup three times when it has been staged in America and conversely the States have won one match in Europe. The discrepancy between the figures is due to the tied match in 1989.