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1959 Ryder Cup

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Sam Snead 1959 ryder cup

Sam Snead served as American captain for the second time at the 1959 Ryder Cup.

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Score: USA 8.5, Great Britain 3.5
Site: Eldorado Country Club in Palm Desert, Calif.
Captains: Great Britain - Dai Rees; USA - Sam Snead
In several important ways, the 1959 Ryder Cup was the last of its kind. It was the last one at which only 12 points were at stake; it was the last one at which the matches were 36 holes each.

And it was the last Ryder Cup that used the original format, the format that had been in play since the first one in 1927: Four foursomes matches on Day 1, followed by eight singles matches on Day 2. The switch to 18-hole matches happened at the 1961 Ryder Cup, and the addition of fourballs to the format happened at the 1963 Ryder Cup.

The PGA of America media guide points out that the 1959 Ryder Cup also was the final one to which one of the teams traveled by sea, Team GB arriving in America by ship. The last leg of another long journey from the East Coast to the California desert was a plane ride from Los Angeles to Palm Springs - and the plane carrying the Brits hit severe turbulence through which the pilot struggled to keep control of the plane, which dropped dangerously. The plane returned to Los Angeles, the PGA history states, and Captain Dai Rees decided to bus his shaken players to the golf course instead of rescheduling another flight.

On the course, the Americans took a slim advantage in foursomes, then dominated the singles matches. Eric Brown had the only singles victory for Team Great Britain. For Team USA, Dow Finsterwald, Bob Rosburg and Mike Souchak each won the maximum 2 points.

Sam Snead was player-captain for the U.S., and it was the last of Snead's seven appearances as a player in a Ryder Cup. His first was 1937.

Team Rosters:

• Great Britain - Peter Alliss, Ken Bousfield, Eric Brown, Norman Drew, Bernard Hunt, Peter Mills, Christy O'Connor Sr., Dai Rees, Dave Thomas, Harry Weetman
• USA - Julius Boros, Jack Burke Jr., Dow Finsterwald, Doug Ford, Jay Hebert, Cary Middlecoff, Bob Rosburg, Sam Snead, Mike Souchak, Art Wall

Foursomes:

• Bob Rosburg/Mike Souchak, U.S., def. Bernard Hunt/Eric Brown, GB, 5 and 4
• Julius Boros/Dow Finsterwald, U.S., def. Dai Rees/Ken Bousfield, GB, 2-up
• Christy O'Connor Sr./Peter Alliss, GB, def. Art Wall/Doug Ford, U.S., 3 and 2
• Sam Snead/Cary Middlecoff, U.S., halved with Harry Weetman/Dave Thomas, GB

Singles:

• Doug Ford, U.S., halved with Norman Drew, GB
• Mike Souchak, U.S., def. Ken Bousfield, GB, 3 and 2
• Bob Rosburg, U.S., def. Harry Weetman, GB, 6 and 5
• Sam Snead, U.S., def. Dave Thomas, GB, 6 and 5
• Art Wall, U.S., def. Christy O'Connor Sr., GB, 7 and 6
• Dow Finsterwald, U.S., def. Dai Rees, GB, 1-up
• Peter Alliss, GB, halved with Jay Hebert, U.S.
• Eric Brown, GB, def. Cary Middlecoff, US, 4 and 3
Player Records (wins-losses-halves)

Great Britain
Peter Alliss, 1-0-1
Ken Bousfield, 0-2-0
Eric Brown, 1-1-0
Norman Drew, 0-0-1
Bernard Hunt, 0-1-0
Peter Mills, did not play
Christy O'Connor Sr., 1-1-0
Dai Rees, 0-2-0
Dave Thomas, 0-1-1
Harry Weetman, 0-1-1

USA
Julius Boros, 1-0-0
Jack Burke Jr., did not play
Dow Finsterwald, 2-0-0
Doug Ford, 0-1-1
Jay Hebert, 0-0-1
Cary Middlecoff, 0-1-1
Bob Rosburg, 2-0-0
Sam Snead, 1-0-1
Mike Souchak, 2-0-0
Art Wall, 1-1-0

1957 Ryder Cup | 1961 Ryder Cup
Ryder Cup Results

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