A lot can change in 13 years.
The announcement that the Ryder Cup will be returning to Ireland in 2026 is already a coup, but the fact that it will be hosted in the picturesque village of Adare, Co Limerick makes it all the more promising. Adare Manor previously hosted the Irish Open and is one of the premier golf destinations in Europe and under the guidance of its most ardent supporter J.P. McManus, it is being elevated into the upper echelons of global hospitality.
But, let’s rewind for a minute and remember the last time the Ryder Cup was held in Ireland. Back in 2006, the world’s biggest golfers and their glamorous other halves descended on Kildare’s The K Club for a jam-packed agenda and the finest entertaining the mid-noughties had to offer.
For some reason, all of the male golfer’s partners are expected to wear matching outfits associated with their country; each usually more hideous than the last. In 2006, Team America wore brown pleated knee-length wool skirts and brown plaid single breasted blazers, while Team Europe were reduced to pastel blue blazers and the black bottoms of their choosing. Each look was paired with the same tinted rimless sunglasses synonymous with the era.
Meanwhile, the players’ uniform wasn’t exactly a breath of fresh air. Tiger Woods and co looked as if they were dressed for an early 20th century funeral juxtaposed with their beaming smiles. Uniforms in general can be a good thing; not in this case.
Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren
Before Tiger’s downfall and subsequent comeback, he and ex-wife Elin Nordegren, a Swedish model and former nanny, seemed happily married at the time. Elin was the undisputed star of the event and was thrilled to cheer on her husband, setting the tone for style assessment of partners on the green.
Padraig and Caroline Harrington
Aside from the golf itself, the most exciting part of the Ryder Cup pictures is a makeshift runway show featuring every player on each team and their respective partner. In Caroline and Padraig Harrington’s case, Caroline semi-sheer and black lace gown was straight off the 2006 runway, but there was no logic to Padraig’s white tuxedo with red bowtie, except for bravery in his personal style. The event took place at the aheam..glittering venue that is Citywest Hotel in Dublin.
Sergio Garcia and Morgan Newman (but mostly Morgan Newman’s hat)
Before he married former golfer Angela Atkins and winning The Masters, he was in a long-term relationship with Morgan Leigh Norman, the daughter of Australian golder Greg Norman. At the time, the couple had been dating for just over one year and it was another three before she ended things and Sergio detailed his heartbreak in the press.
Sharon Ní Bheoláin
Last but not least is Irish newsreader Sharon Ní Bheoláin, who was given the honours of MCing the opening day festivities and did so with expected glamour. While everyone else’s wardrobe choices dated almost instantly, Sharon’s full-length beige dress and slicked back hairstyle has stood the test of time.
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