1937 Ryder Cup: The First Road Win (or Home Loss)

Walter Hagen receiving the 1937 Ryder Cup
Captain Walter Hagen receives the Ryder Cup after Team USA's 1937 win from Lord Wardington at Southport & Ainsdale in England. Topical Press Agency / Getty Images

The 1937 Ryder Cup was the occasion of the first road win/home loss in the tournament's (at this point still very brief) history. Team USA won it playing on British soil.

Dates: June 29-30
Score: USA 8, Great Britain 4
Site: Southport & Ainsdale Country Club in Southport, England
Captains: USA - Walter Hagen; Great Britain - Charles Whitcombe

Following the result here, the all-time standings in the Ryder Cup were four wins for the United States and two victories for Great Britain.

1937 Ryder Cup Team Rosters

United States
Ed Dudley
Ralph Guldahl
Tony Manero
Byron Nelson
Henry Picard
Johnny Revolta
Gene Sarazen
Denny Shute
Horton Smith
Sam Snead
Great Britain
Percy Alliss, England
Dick Burton, England
Henry Cotton, England
Bill Cox, England
Sam King, England
Arthur Lacey, England
Alf Padgham, England
Alf Perry, England
Dai Rees, Wales
Charles Whitcombe, England

Notes on the 1937 Ryder Cup

At the first five Ryder Cups, the home team won. The 1937 Ryder Cup, played in England but won by Team USA, was the first one claimed by the visiting team.

The United States side won the Day 1 foursomes session by one point, but then won 5.5 of the 8 possible singles points.

Singles matches were played in a pouring rain, the British golfers looked well-suited to the slop early on. When Henry Cotton finished off a win over Tony Manero, the score stood all square at 4-4.

But then Team USA entered its finishing kick and reeled off four consecutive singles wins by Gene Sarazen, rookie Sam Snead, Ed Dudley, plus Henry Picard.

Sarazen's victory was a 1-up win over Percy Alliss, father of later Great Britain Ryder Cup stalwart Peter Alliss.

Charles Whitcombe was the player-captain for Great Britain. He played in the first six Ryder Cups, but this was his last appearance as a player. USA captain Walter Hagen was the captain in each of the first six Ryder Cups.

But this was Hagen's first in which he did not play. (It also was Hagen's last time as team captain.)

Byron Nelson was also a rookie for Team USA, while Dai Rees debuted for Great Britain. Rees went on to play in nine Ryder Cups total, and captained the Great Britain side five times.

The 1937 Ryder Cup was the last one for 10 years, due to World War II. The matches didn't resume until 1947.

Match Results

Matches played over two days, foursomes on Day 1 and singles on Day 2. All matches scheduled for 36 holes.

Foursomes

  • Ed Dudley/Byron Nelson, U.S., def. Alf Padgham/Henry Cotton, GB, 4 and 2
  • Ralph Guldahl/Tony Manero, U.S., def. Arthur Lacey/Bill Cox, GB, 2 and 1
  • Charles Whitcombe/Dai Rees, GB, halved with Gene Sarazen/Denny Shute, U.S.
  • Percy Alliss/Richard Burton, GB, def. Henry Picard/Johnny Revolta, U.S., 2 and 1

Singles

  • Ralph Guldahl, U.S., def. Alf Padgham, GB, 8 and 7
  • Sam King, GB, halved with Denny Shute, U.S.
  • Dai Rees, GB, def. Byron Nelson, U.S., 3 and 1
  • Henry Cotton, GB, def. Tony Manero, U.S., 5 and 3
  • Gene Sarazen, U.S., def. Percy Alliss, GB, 1-up
  • Sam Snead, U.S., def. Richard Burton, GB, 5 and 4
  • Ed Dudley, U.S., def. Alf Perry, GB, 2 and 1
  • Henry Picard, U.S., def. Arthur Lacey, GB, 2 and 1

    Player Records at the 1937 Ryder Cup

    Each golfer's record, listed as wins-losses-halves:

    United States
    Ed Dudley, 2-0-0
    Ralph Guldahl, 2-0-0
    Tony Manero, 1-1-0
    Byron Nelson, 1-1-0
    Henry Picard, 1-1-0
    Johnny Revolta, 0-1-0
    Gene Sarazen, 1-0-1
    Denny Shute, 0-0-2
    Horton Smith, did not play
    Sam Snead, 1-0-0
    Great Britain
    Percy Alliss, 1-1-0
    Dick Burton, 1-1-0
    Henry Cotton, 1-1-0
    Bill Cox, 0-1-0
    Sam King, 0-0-1
    Arthur Lacey, 0-2-0
    Alf Padgham, 0-2-0
    Alf Perry, 0-1-0
    Dai Rees, 1-0-1
    Charles Whitcombe, 0-0-1

    1935 Ryder Cup | 1947 Ryder Cup
    Ryder Cup Results