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SCHOOL OF HARD KNOX
Thomas H. Lineaweaver
September 14, 1959
The Knox brothers, Seymour and Norty, are polo, squash and tennis champions who owe much of their success to the unflagging zeal of a sportsman father
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September 14, 1959

School Of Hard Knox

The Knox brothers, Seymour and Norty, are polo, squash and tennis champions who owe much of their success to the unflagging zeal of a sportsman father

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Seymour and Norty with Trainer Lewis Smith and a Yale contemporary, Billy Ylvisaker of Clifton, N.J., entered the Open. Norty was in shape from farm work. Seymour was lardy, but by the time Aurora arrived at the Oak Brook Polo Club on August 24 for four practice matches he had shed 13 pounds.

The Oak Brook Polo Club is a 3,000-acre plot owned and developed by Paul Butler, paper manufacturer and president of Butler Aviation. It has 12 polo fields, stables for 300 ponies, a show ring, a course for hunter trials, kennels for foxhounds, beagles and gunning dogs, a pond for fall duck and goose shooting and an 18-hole golf course.

On Labor Day, Aurora, seasoned by five practice matches, went into its first Open match against Boca Raton. It won 11-6 and Seymour scored five goals. Next, Aurora took the measure of Mexico 10-8 and entered the finals against Brandywine.

The Aurora-Brandywine match was a cliff-hanger, a prime demonstration of why polo requires condition, courage and sang-froid. Two fouls were called against Aurora in its early minutes and both free shots were made good by Ray Harrington of Brandywine from 60 yards out. Norty, riding flat-out as usual, evened matters, and another man, Doc Williams of Brandywine, went down. Lewis Smith caught a divot of dirt in his eye. The period ended with Brandywine up 3-2.

The second period finished in a 5-5 tie. A fast third period closed with Aurora ahead 7-5. Aurora led 9-6 after the fourth. In the fifth Norty went down and for a few minutes out. Aurora went into a wild last period with a 10-8 edge. They couldn't hold it. The sixth period ran out on a 10-10 tie and the match went into sudden-death play.

The first sudden-death period was scoreless, but after six-odd minutes of the eighth period Ray Harrington poked a long ball downfield, jumped the boards and rode into the crowd. Billy Mayer picked up the ball and hit another long one. Doc Williams made a left-handed belly shot back toward the goal and Buddy Combs knocked the ball through the posts. Harrington was still scrambling among the spectators and never saw the shot which won the U.S. Open Championship for Brandywine 11-10.

Aurora lost, albeit gloriously. They may lose this week and they may win. In either case Seymour and Norty will be satisfied if they get another memo like the one Papa Knox penned after the 1956 Open.

"September 10, 1956

"Memo No. 2 to Seymour and Norty:

"Heartiest congratulations to you both, to Lewis, to Billy and to the team. It was a great try. Well done, Aurora!

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