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.
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
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 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
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.
"Memo No. 2
to Seymour and Norty:
congratulations to you both, to Lewis, to Billy and to the team. It was a great
try. Well done, Aurora!