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1929 Ryder Cup


1929 ryder cup - water hagen, samuel ryder and george duncan

Samuel Ryder (center) is flanked by the 1929 Ryder Cup captains, Walter Hagen (left) and George Duncan. Duncan beat Hagen 10 and 8 in a 36-hole singles match.

H. F. Davis / Topical Press Agency / Getty Images
Score: Great Britain 7, USA 5
Site: Moortown Golf Club in Leeds, England
Captains: USA - Walter Hagen; Great Britain: George Duncan
The 1929 Ryder Cup was the second one played, and the first played in Great Britain. And the British didn't disappoint the home crowd, winning by two points on the strength of their singles play.

Team USA led after the foursomes, 2.5 to 1.5. The Americans' only loss in foursomes was by the partnership of Gene Sarazen and Ed Dudley, and Sarazen also lost his singles game.

Team Great Britain got off to a great start in singles, with Charles Whitcombe beating Johnny Farrell by an 8-and-6 score. And then, in a matchup of the teams' player-captains, George Duncan defeated Walter Hagen by an even bigger score - 10 and 8. And that remains to this day the Ryder Cup record for biggest win/worst loss in a singles match (keep in mind that matches were 36 holes at this time).

The British went on to win 5.5 of the available 8 singles points.

The golfers at the 1929 Ryder Cup all used hickory shafts in their clubs. Steel shafts were not yet approved for play in Britain by the R&A (the R&A finally approved steel shafts one year later). For most of the American golfers that wasn't a problem, since they all had experience with hickory. Except, according to the PGA of America tournament history, Horton Smith, who had never used anything but steel shafts in his club. Despite playing hickory for the first time, Smith posted one of the just two singles wins for Team USA.

Team Rosters:

• USA - Leo Diegel, Ed Dudley, Al Espinosa, Johnny Farrell, Johnny Golden, Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Horton Smith, Joe Turnesa, Al Watrous
• Great Britain - Percy Alliss, Aubrey Boomer, Stewart Burns, Archie Compston, Henry Cotton, George Duncan, Abe Mitchell, Fred Robson, Charles Whitcombe, Ernest Whitcombe


• Charles Whitcombe/Archie Compston, GB, halved with Johnny Farrell/Jim Turnesa, U.S.
• Leo Diegel/Al Espinosa, U.S., def. Aubrey Boomer/George Duncan, GB, 7 and 5
• Abe Mitchell/Fred Robson, GB, def. Gene Sarazen/Ed Dudley, U.S., 2 and 1
• Walter Hagen/Johnny Golden, U.S., def. Ernest Whitcombe/Henry Cotton, 2-up


• Charles Whitcombe, GB, def. Johnny Farrell, U.S., 8 and 6
• George Duncan, GB, def. Walter Hagen, 10 and 8
Leo Diegel, U.S., def. Abe Mitchell, GB, 8 and 6
• Archie Compston, GB, def. Gene Sarazen, U.S., 6 and 4
• Aubrey Boomer, GB, def. Jim Turnesa, U.S., 4 and 3
Horton Smith, U.S., def. Fred Robson, GB, 4 and 2
Henry Cotton, GB, def. Al Watrous, U.S., 4 and 3
• Al Espinosa, U.S., halved with Ernest Whitcombe, GB
Player Records (wins-losses-halves)

Leo Diegel, 2-0-0
Ed Dudley, 0-1-0
Al Espinosa, 1-0-1
Johnny Farrell, 0-1-1
Johnny Golden, 1-0-0
Walter Hagen, 1-1-0
Gene Sarazen, 0-2-0
Horton Smith, 1-0-0
Joe Turnesa, 0-1-1
Al Watrous, 0-1-0

Great Britain Percy Alliss, did not play
Aubrey Boomer, 1-1-0
Stewart Burns, did not play
Archie Compston, 1-0-1
Henry Cotton, 1-1-0
George Duncan, 1-1-0
Abe Mitchell, 1-1-0
Fred Robson, 1-1-0
Charles Whitcombe, 1-0-1
Ernest Whitcombe, 0-1-1

1927 Ryder Cup | 1931 Ryder Cup
Ryder Cup Results

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