While this will be the first Ryder Cup in Minnesota, it certainly isn’t the first major golf event to be held in the state. Hazeltine National has played host to 4 majors, starting in 1970 with the US Open, won by English Golfer Tony Jacklin. The course did not get good reviews, hosting a major only 8 years after opening. When asked what the course lacked, runner-up Dave Hill said “80 acres of corn and a few cows. They ruined a good farm when they built this course.”
Twenty-one years later and following many significant renovations, Hazeltine again hosted the US Open in 1991, this time with positive reviews. Payne Stewart emerged with his first US Open Championship. Hazeltine would go on to host the PGA Championship in 2002, won by Rich Beem, and the PGA Championship in 2009, notable for unknown golfer Y.E. Yang coming from behind to stun Tiger Woods.
Major Golf in Minnesota goes back much further however. A small, private course in Southwest Minneapolis was founded in 1898 on the hills above Lake Calhoun. And in 1916, the US Open came to the Minikahda Club. Amateur Chick Evans led wire-to-wire and set a new US Open scoring record.
The US Open was also held at Interlachen in 1930 with the legendary Bobby Jones winning his second straight Open. That year, Jones would be considered the only golfer to win the Grand Slam, taking all four majors in the same year.
Other majors hosted in Minnesota include the PGA Championship at Keller Golf Club in 1932 and 1954, and the PGA Championship at Minneapolis Golf Club in 1959.
Minnesota has also hosted several majors for women. They include the 1956 US Open at Northland Country Club in Duluth, US Opens at Hazeltine in 1966 and 1977, and the 2008 US Open at Interlachen. The women’s version of the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup, was captured by the American side at Interlachen in 2002.
Listen for more “Road to the Ryder Cup,” on News Radio 830 WCCO!