The four-star Macdonald Rusacks Hotel in St Andrews has been invited to permanently display a unique collection of oil painted portraits of golfers deemed to have made the greatest contribution to the history of the Ryder Cup.
Earlier this week and just a month before the 40th Ryder Cup returns to Scotland, the commemorative Tony Jacklin Ryder Cup Collection was opened within the hotel’s Austen Gallery of Champions by Tony Jacklin CBE, one of the greatest Ryder Cup captains of all time.
The collection of 14 golfing greats (expected to ultimately feature more than 30), consists of oil painted portraits by world-renowned Scottish golf artist Joe Austen. Fittingly, the Austen Gallery of Champions in Macdonald Rusacks Hotel is located just a few feet from the famous 18th fairway of The Old Course, St Andrews.
This autumn the hotel, which dates back to 1887, will undertake the final phase of a £1m refurbishment programme of its bedrooms and suites, all named after famous golfers or features of the Old Course.
Chris Feeney, general manager, Macdonald Rusacks Hotel, commented: “Macdonald Rusacks Hotel is very proud to be chosen to display Joe Austen’s paintings of Tony Jacklin’s collection of European and US Ryder Cup greats within what is one of the world’s most iconic golfing hotels.”
Tony Jacklin, said: “It goes without saying that the Ryder Cup is very close to my heart and I strongly believe that the competition would not have become the worldwide phenomenon that it is today without the sporting greats of the past like Samuel Ryder, Abe Mitchell, Walter Hagen and so many others.
“The rich history of the Ryder Cup interests me greatly and the idea of capturing this legacy for generations to come inspired me to work with Joe Austen. It is with this collection that I hope to honour both the historical champions and the present players who have made, and continue to make, the greatest contribution to the Ryder Cup.”
Joe Austen, Tony Jacklin Ryder Cup Collection artist, said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with Tony to bring the Tony Jacklin Ryder Cup Collection to fruition. As the person who has done the most to transform the Ryder Cup into the spectacle it has become, Tony Jacklin is best placed to select the golfing greats who will be included in his Collection.”
Golfers currently featured within the Tony Jacklin Ryder Cup Collection include: Tony Jacklin, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Paul McGinley, Seve Ballesteros, Ian Poulter, Arnold Palmer, Samuel Ryder, Abe Mitchell, Walter Hagen, Phil Mickelson, Paul Azinger, Sam Torrance CBE, Ian Woosnam CBE.
Further champions will be added to the growing Collection throughout 2014 and announced at a later date.