In 1933 Southport & Ainsdale was chosen to host the Ryder Cup match – Great Britain versus America. Having staged the Dunlop – Southport Tournament in 1931 and 1933, the Ryder Cup Committee of the Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club were not without experience of large golfing events.
250 stewards armed with long canes with a red flag on top were ready to marshall the crowds, white lines around each green indicated just where the limit was for the spectators to stand, and the Official Programme contained an impressive list of “dont’s” to guide all those watching who were not golfers.
Whilst the course itself was in good shape and would provide a more than adequate test for the 20 best golfers in Britain and America, the clubhouse and it’s facilities, whilst attractive, could only be described as modest.
Captain A.N. Openshaw was the very able Secretary at the time, whilst the Professional was Percy Roberts who was in his 24th year at the Club, and would soon be granted Honorary Life Membership in recognition of his hard work during the Ryder Cup match, where he acted as Starter, no microphone of course! Just a good loud voice had to suffice. The Club Chairman, Mr. T.H.Thomas, and the Captain, Mr Paul Carter, played commanding roles in all that went on to ensure the success of the 1933 Ryder Cup match.
The respective Captains J.H. Taylor and Walter Hagen shake hands beside the practice putting green. Samuel Ryder supervises.
The Four Foursomes – DAY 1
Monday June 26th, 1933
The weather was ideal when the battle for the Ryder Cup commenced before a crowd of about 7,000 spectators. There was a bright sunshine nearly all day apart from a short period in the afternoon when rain threatened, but fortunately the heavy clouds passed.
At the end of the morning rounds, Great Britain led in three games, the other game being all square. In the first game Allis and Whitcombe stood 3-up on the powerful American pairing of Sarazen and Hagen, Mitchel and Havers were 4-up on Dutra and Shute in the second game and Padgham and Perry were also 4-up in the last game against Dudley and Burke. In the third game Davies and Easterbrook stood all square with Wood and Runyan.
The best golf of the morning had come from Allis and Whitcombe, and Mitchell and Havers, both round in 72. With a handsome lead in three games and all square in the fourth, the match situation was better than anyone could have hoped for. In the afternoon rounds the Americans fought back.
In the first game Hagen and Sarazen, round in 74, managed to halve their game after Britain had been dormie 1-up. Mitchell and Havers continued to play polished golf and won in 3 and 2 to claim the first point for Great Britain. In the third game, Davies and Easterbrook held on to beat Wood and Runyan by the smallest margin and claim Britain’s second point.
The fourth game saw a wonderful recovery by Dudley and Burke. Round in 70 , they overcame a four hole deficit to beat Padgham and Perry by one hole. So ended a very satisfactory first day for Great Britain, leading by 2 1/2 points to 1 1/2.