England–Scotland Professional Match

The England–Scotland Professional Match was an annual men's professional golf competition between teams representing England and Scotland. It was played from 1903 to the start of World War I and was then revived in 1932 and played until the start of World War II. The match was played on a single day, generally a few days before the Open Championship. Except on one occasion, there were 12 players in each team who played 12 singles matches and 6 foursomes. Scotland won the inaugural match in 1903 but didn't win another match, although three matches were tied. The event was organised by the PGA and only members of the PGA were eligible to play.

Professional Match
Tournament information
FormatTeam match play
Month playedJune/July
Final year1938
Final champion
England England

History edit

In 1902 an international match between English and Scottish amateur golfers was played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club prior to the Amateur Championship there. The match consisted of 10 singles matches played over 36 holes. The following year the Professional Golfers' Association decided to organise a similar match for professionals at Prestwick, before the 1903 Open Championship.[1] It was originally planned to play 36-hole singles but it was later decided to play both singles and foursomes.[2] Because only members of the PGA were eligible to play, a number of Scottish golfers were not available for selection, including William Auchterlonie, Andrew Kirkaldy and Archie Simpson.[3] Tom Williamson was originally selected for the England team but was replaced by Fred Collins.[1]

The 1908 match was abandoned because of bad weather. The England team was: Tom Ball, George Cawsey, Phil Gaudin, Ernest Gray, Rowland Jones, Charles Mayo, Ted Ray, James Sherlock, J.H. Taylor, Harry Vardon, Tom Vardon, Tom Williamson. The Scottish team was: James Braid, George Duncan, James Hepburn, Sandy Herd, John Hunter, Andrew Kirkaldy, Ben Sayers, Ben Sayers, Jr., Ralph Smith, Tom Watt, Robert Thomson, Jack White.

In 1909 there was a dispute about which team Fred Robson would represent. He was born in Wales but apparently had a Scottish father and English mother and was initially selected for both sides. Having learnt his golf in England he eventually chose to represent that country.[4][5] A meeting of the PGA on the following Monday accepted the principle that the player could choose in such situations.[6] However this account is contradicted by evidence from the 1891 census of Wales which records that his father was born in Birmingham and mother in Holywell, Wales.[7]

There was no match in 1911 because a "Coronation Match" had been organised between teams of amateurs and professionals on the Saturday before the Open Championship, 24 June. The match was in celebration of the coronation of George V on 22 June. The match consisted of 9 foursomes matches, each over 36 holes and resulted in an 8–1 win for the professionals.[8][9]

The PGA decided that the 1914 match would not be played at the same time as the Open Championship. The proprietors of Country Life agreed to provide a cup. It was planned to play the 1914 match at Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club on 22 October.[10] Even after the outbreak of World War I it was decided to still hold the event and to raise money for the Prince of Wales' War Fund but the match was eventually cancelled. A charity match was played at Fulwell Golf Course on 12 December 1914 between English and Scottish members of the Southern section of the PGA in aid of Princess Mary's Christmas Gifts Fund for soldiers and sailors. The match followed the same format as the full international. The English players won by 8 matches to 6 with 4 matches halved.[11]

England won all 7 matches played from 1932 to 1938. The closest match was in 1937 when Scotland led 4–0 after the foursomes but England won 9 of the 12 singles to win 9–7.[12] England and Scotland played two matches in 1938 since they also met in the Llandudno International Golf Trophy in September. Henry Cotton was selected for the England team in 1932 but declined the invitation and was replaced by George Oke.[13] Cotton never played in any of the matches.

The 1939 match was cancelled because of the expense and difficulty of collecting the entrance charges on the Old Course at St Andrews.[14] The PGA has already received permission from the Town Council to charge for entry.[15]

Format edit

Except in 1907 the teams had 12 players. There were 12 singles matches and 6 foursomes. Matches were over 18 holes. In the earlier period the singles were played in the morning and the foursomes in the afternoon but when the event was revived in 1932 the order was reversed. In 1907 there were 16 in each team who each played a 36-hole singles match. The result was decided by the number of matches won, halved matches were not included in the final score. In the matches before World War I the players went out in ranking order with the best players going out first. The same principle was applied to the foursomes with the two best players on each team playing each other in the first foursomes. Generally the same players contested the singles and the foursomes. However, in 1932 Sandy Herd and Peter Robertson played in the foursomes but were replaced by the reserves, Jock Ballantine and Jimmy Adams in the singles. In 1933 Robertson again missed the singles and Jack McMillan played instead.

Results edit

Year Date Venue Winners Score Ref
1903 8 June Prestwick Scotland 9–8 [16]
1904 4 June Royal St George's Tie 8–8 [17]
1905 3 June St Andrews Tie 7–7 [18]
1906 11 June Muirfield England 12–6 [19]
1907 15 June Royal Liverpool England 8–5 [20]
1908 13 June Prestwick Abandoned [21]
1909 5 June Royal Cinque Ports England 11–4 [22]
1910 18 June St Andrews England 11–5 [23]
1911 24 June Royal St George's Coronation Match
1912 18 June Muirfield Tie 8–8 [24]
1913 17 June Royal Liverpool England 13–4 [25]
1914 22 October Royal Mid-Surrey Cancelled
1915–1931: Not held
1932 4 June Prince's England 13–3 [26]
1933 1 July Barnton, Edinburgh England 10–5 [27]
1934 23 June Royal St George's England 11–3 [28]
1935 22 June Muirfield England 13–4 [29]
1936 20 June Royal Liverpool England 13–4 [30]
1937 3 July Carnoustie England 9–7 [12]
1938 2 July Royal St George's England 10–6 [31]
1939 1 July St Andrews Cancelled [14]

Appearances edit

The following are those who played in at least one of the 16 matches. Laurie Ayton, Snr, George Duncan, Tom Fernie and Sandy Herd played for Scotland in both the earlier period (1903–1913) and the later matches (1932–1938). No Englishman played in both periods.

England edit

A group photo of the 1903 England team
Standing: Sherlock, Collins, Rowe, Harry Vardon, Jones, Rainford
Seated: Walter Toogood, Renouf, Taylor, Tom Vardon, Ray, Tingey

1903–1913 edit

1932–1938 edit

Scotland edit

A group photo of the 1903 Scotland team
Standing: Smith, Coburn, Braid, Thomson, Park, Fernie
Seated: Kinnell, Kay, Herd, White, Sayers, Hepburn[32]

1903–1913 edit

1932–1938 edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Golf – Professionals' International Match". The Times. 24 January 1903. p. 13.
  2. ^ "Professionals' International Match". The Times. 1 June 1903. p. 10.
  3. ^ "International Professional Match". The Times. 8 June 1903. p. 11.
  4. ^ "The Professionals International Match". The Times. 4 June 1909. p. 18.
  5. ^ "Professional Golf – International Match at Deal". The Glasgow Herald. 5 June 1909. p. 14.
  6. ^ "Open Championship – Meeting of professionals". The Glasgow Herald. 8 June 1909. p. 11.
  7. ^ 1891 Wales census at www.ancestry.com
  8. ^ "Golf – Teams for Coronation match". The Glasgow Herald. 24 June 1911. p. 10.
  9. ^ "Golf at Sandwich – Coronation match – Rout of the amateurs". The Glasgow Herald. 26 June 1911. p. 9,10.
  10. ^ "The Professional International Match". The Times. 14 February 1914. p. 14.
  11. ^ "Golf – International Charity match – England beats Scotland". The Glasgow Herald. 14 December 1914. p. 12.
  12. ^ a b "Scots collapse in singles". The Glasgow Herald. 5 July 1937. p. 19.
  13. ^ "Henry Cotton not to play for England". The Glasgow Herald. 14 May 1932. p. 18.
  14. ^ a b "International Match Cancelled". The Glasgow Herald. 17 May 1939. p. 21.
  15. ^ "Golf – Events at St Andrews". The Times. 2 May 1939. p. 6.
  16. ^ "Golf – International Professional Match". The Times. 9 June 1903. p. 12.
  17. ^ "The Open Championship – Professional International Match". The Glasgow Herald. 6 June 1904. p. 12.
  18. ^ "Professionals at St Andrews – Scotland v England". The Glasgow Herald. 5 June 1905. p. 12.
  19. ^ "Golf – The Professionals at Muirfield – Scotland v England". The Glasgow Herald. 12 June 1906. p. 12.
  20. ^ "Golf – The Professionals at Hoylake – Scotland v England". The Glasgow Herald. 17 June 1907. p. 12.
  21. ^ "Golf – The Professionals at Prestwick – International Match Abandoned". The Glasgow Herald. 15 June 1908. p. 13.
  22. ^ "Professional Golf – International Match at Deal". The Glasgow Herald. 7 June 1909. p. 13.
  23. ^ "International Golf – Professionals at St Andrews". The Glasgow Herald. 20 June 1910. p. 9.
  24. ^ "International Golf – Professionals at Muirfield". The Glasgow Herald. 19 June 1912. p. 15.
  25. ^ "Professional Golf – International Contest". The Glasgow Herald. 18 June 1913. p. 12.
  26. ^ "Open Golf Championship – England defeats Scotland". The Glasgow Herald. 6 June 1932. p. 11.
  27. ^ "England beats Scotland – Professional match at Barnton". The Glasgow Herald. 3 July 1933. p. 6.
  28. ^ "England defeat Scotland – Professional meet at St George's". The Glasgow Herald. 25 June 1934. p. 20.
  29. ^ "Scots fail in golf international – Easy win for English professional". The Glasgow Herald. 24 June 1935. p. 7.
  30. ^ "Another defeat for Scots". The Glasgow Herald. 22 June 1936. p. 6.
  31. ^ "Scots fall fighting". The Glasgow Herald. 4 July 1938. p. 17.
  32. ^ 'Carry for you sir'- History of Golf at North Berwick