Ten of the best Ryder Cup photos

Lee Westwood celebrates a putt Image copyright david davies/pa

As the best golfers from Europe and the US converge on Gleneagles for the 40th Ryder Cup, Press Association photographer David Davies reveals what it is like to cover the prestigious golfing event and selects some of his favourites from past competitions.

Working as a photographer for the Press Association (PA) means my working day is far from the norm. Only this week I'll be sharing each day with some of the best golf players in the world, as I cover my sixth Ryder Cup and my fourth for PA.

I have always had a warm place in my heart for Gleneagles, as my work here at the Scottish Open in 1989 allowed me to cover my first Ryder Cup a few months later at the Belfry. Hopefully the course's familiar surroundings might give me the upper hand this time around when trying to capture those unique shots every media outlet wants.

Over the years this event has stood out on the calendar and been one I have always enjoyed covering, mainly because the atmosphere around the course is very special with huge galleries on each day of competition - I fully expect the same again this year.

I'm tasked with capturing all that the event provides, highlighting the player's mistakes and heroics, the crowd's jubilation and commiseration, and hopefully the indefatigable Poulter roar.

Filing these images on-site back to PA's news desk in London will mean some of the best shots I take will appear in print and online media a short time after.

Here are some of my favourite pictures that I've captured from previous Ryder Cups on European soil.

Image copyright David Davies/pa

In 2002, Paul McGinley sunk the winning putt on the 18th green and shortly after he was carried by his team mates towards the lake. When I realised he was getting a dunking, it was a case of getting the best position to capture the picture - I did actually think about jumping in with him at the time.

Image copyright David Davies/pa

In 2010, Padraig Harrington paraded the trophy for the Celtic Manor crowds while sitting on a buggy heading back to the media centre. I had been adding flash for my previous celebration pictures but as he turned into the sun and held the trophy up, I realised a silhouette image may work. I kept my finger on the button knowing the flash would not keep up with my shutter speed and I knew I needed a bit of luck to get the right composition. Thankfully all of those elements seemed to come together.

Image copyright David Davies/pa

Darren Clarke celebrates winning his match for Europe on the 16th green at the K Club in 2006. All the pressure and emotion leading up to, and during, the tournament were released in his tears on the green. How the event played out that year was arguably everyone's dream scenario.

Image copyright david davies/pa

Practice days are always a good chance to discover some nice angles for later in the week, as well as acting as a scene-setter for the week ahead. With such a dramatic backdrop, on such a significant hole, I'm hoping that come the end of the weekend the light will be perfect on the 18th green to draw the drama of the 40th Ryder Cup to a close. This competition provides golf's biggest stage and a striking picture here could become an iconic snapshot of this year's event in Scotland.

Image copyright david davies/pa

Opening morning at the K Club in 2006 and everyone gets off to a good start with Lee Westwood sinking an early one. Westwood was playing with his close friend Darren Clarke and ended up in a bunker on the second hole. Initially I lined it up for a bunker shot with a spray of sand, only to see him sink the chip causing the gallery to erupt and set Europe on their way.

Image copyright david davies/pa

Darren Clarke had sadly just lost his wife to cancer before his "home" Ryder Cup at the K Club in 2006. We needed a picture to illustrate the story and decided that the best place to do this was at the opening ceremony when he would be walking out on his own alongside the other players and their wives.

Image copyright david davies/pa

Rory McIlroy playing out of a bunker at Celtic Manor in 2010. This image works due to the nice symmetrical shape, while showcasing the beautiful Welsh surroundings.

Image copyright david davies/pa

This is immediately after Europe won at the Belfry in 2002. The champagne was flying everywhere and covering my camera, giving that unique image distortion. It turned into a scrum, with every man for himself, and I got lucky to capture Europe's winning captain Sam Torrance pulling this funny face through a clean spot on the lens.

Image copyright david davies/pa

Ian Poulter, Europe's main Ryder Cup talisman, pumps the crowd up on the second day of the 2010 event. Follow Poulter long enough and you know he will give you a fist pumping celebration. This works because the background is nice and clean, making the image stand out.

Top photograph: Lee Westwood celebrates a putt at the 2010 Ryder Cup. I was able to align the logo backdrop with Lee, while hoping for a little luck that he kept his line and looked the right way. This picture ended up as the front page of the Sunday Telegraph sport section the following day.

You can follow all the action at this year's Ryder Cup on BBC Sport.

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