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PGA Hopes to Strike Ryder Cup Gold

12.08am 7th October 2010 - People

The search is on for a unique series of gold medals awarded to the first ever team to represent Great Britain & Ireland in the Ryder Cup.

PGA Heritage Executive David Wright is hoping to unearth the medals to add to the Ryder Cup memorabilia collection which proved a popular attraction in the tented village at Celtic Manor Resort.

The medals, inscribed with the PGA crest on the front and the name of the player on the back, were given as a symbolic token for taking part in the inaugural 1927 matches which were won by the United States at Worcester Country Club, Massachusetts.

The PGA already possesses one in its heritage collection which was donated to the Association by the grandson of Fred Robson who played in the first three matches.

GB&I’s team was captained by Ted Ray and the rest of the team comprised Aubrey Boomer, Archie Compston, George Duncan, George Gadd, Arthur Havers, Herbert Jolly and Charles Whitcombe.

“If there was one there must be eight others out there somewhere,” said Wright.

“I’ve no idea where, perhaps in a descendant’s attic somewhere or uncovered for lack of interest. Either way we would welcome the opportunity to find out and if possible acquire them because building the memorabilia collection to reflect the trophy’s heritage is one of the significant aspects of the PGA’s role as the custodians of the Ryder Cup trophy.”

The collection, which has been showcased in Newport and Cardiff in the build-up to the event, has been viewed by thousands of spectators.

The origins of the collection date back to the aftermath of 1993 matches at The Belfry when a heritage committee was created in recognition of the interest in its rich history.

It’s been a slow process but Wright has painstakingly hunted down mementoes from the competition to add to the artifacts they already possessed.

Among the items on display is a banquet menu from the opening matches in 1927 – one of possibly only three in existence.

Another prized exhibit is the 1929 progamme from Moortown – the first time the event had been staged in England.

Signed dinner menus from pre-war matches through the 1930s also feature with signatures from the great players that have contested the famous gold trophy such as the Whitcombe brothers, Henry Cotton, Dai Rees, Percy Alliss, Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen.

Among those is a 1931 dinner menu at Scioto Country Club which includes the signature of the first Welshman to play in the event, Bert Hodson.

“My task has been to identify items which would enhance that journey down memory lane,” added Wright.

“The Ryder Cup has captured the public imagination so much down the years that compiling a collection seems a fitting way to reflect that interest and enable golf fans to share in the history of this great competition.”

If anyone has possible Ryder Cup memorabilia email david.wright@pga.org.uk

       

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