Countdown to Celtic Manor – 11 Days

PGA of America


Published: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 | 2:52 p.m.

In under two weeks, the 38th Ryder Cup makes its first appearance in Wales at The Celtic Manor Resort's Twenty Ten Course. PGA NEWS looks back at the 1951 Ryder Cup, the personalities and some special moments associated with golf's most compelling event.

1951 It's football for intermission
Pinehurst Resort — Pinehurst, N.C.

The only visit by the Ryder Cup to historic Pinehurst (N.C.) Country Club had a little of everything. It became the only Ryder Cup not to be played on consecutive days. Officials had arranged for the teams to attend a college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C., between North Carolina and Tennessee.

The Great Britain Team attended the game, while the U.S. Team declined the invitation – likely because Captain Sam Snead may have asked his players to concentrate on golf.

North Carolina was routed, 27-0, and it may have been an omen for the British spectators attending their first American football game. The following day, Snead "quarterbacked" the Americans to a 4 and 3 singles victory over Max Faulkner, and the U.S. cruised to a 9 1/2 to 2 1/2 victory. So convincing was the American performance, that only two of the 12 matches for both days reached the 18th hole.

Overlooked in the rout was American Jimmy Demaret, who made his last appearance and finished his career with a 6-0-0 Ryder Cup record. Defeated singles opponent Dai Rees said Demaret was "the greatest sand player I have ever seen. He was in 11 greenside bunkers and on 10 occasions he got down with a splash and a putt."

According to the late Henry Longhurst, "A further match, not recorded in the Handbook, was made when the British Captain, Arthur Lacey, married a lady from Pinehurst and lived happily ever after."

Pinehurst served as the only Carolinas PGA Section site to host a Ryder Cup until 1991, when Kiawah Island, S.C., and its Pete Dye-designed Ocean Course opened up a new chapter of intrigue in the competition.