The 1969 Ryder Cup is known for “The Concession.”
After a week of animosity between Team USA and Team Britain, the 1969 Ryder Cup came down to the final hole of the final match between Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin. A win by Jacklin would give Team Britain the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1957, and only the third time since 1927.
On the eighteenth, Jacklin hit his birdie putt to within two feet, while Nicklaus’ own went five feet past. Nicklaus sank his putt, then picked up Jacklin’s marker, conceding the par.
“I don’t think you would have missed that Tony, but I didn’t want to give you the chance,” Nicklaus said.
Nicklaus was fully aware that the US would retain the cup with a tie. He also was aware of Jacklin’s importance to British and European golf. A missed putt by Jacklin would perhaps have unnecessarily diminished his stature.
“The Concession,” as it came to be known, was one of the greatest feats of sportsmanship in the history of sports.