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Byron's Boys beat the British cup team
Alfred Wright
October 18, 1965
The partisan galleries clinging to the dunes and dotting the skyline at Royal Birkdale saw some splendid golf, but their cause was a losing one as Byron Nelson captained the U.S. Ryder Cup team to a solid victory
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October 18, 1965

Byron's Boys Beat The British Cup Team

The partisan galleries clinging to the dunes and dotting the skyline at Royal Birkdale saw some splendid golf, but their cause was a losing one as Byron Nelson captained the U.S. Ryder Cup team to a solid victory

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Just as it had been the afternoon before, the Palmer-Marr team was sharp. Against Christy O'Connor and Peter Alliss, the only British team to win both its matches on Thursday, the Americans fired a best-ball 33 on the first nine, and won 6 and 4. Elsewhere, however, things were not looking so good. After playing the first nine even against Neil Coles and Bernard Hunt, each team going out in three-under-par 32, Lema-Boros lost the 10th hole to go 1 down and seemed unable to regain the ground. January and Jacobs went 4 down to Thomas and Will through the first 10 holes. Casper-Littler, who had been cruising along at even par, found themselves 4 down to Platts-Butler by the time they reached the 11th hole. Then came some extraordinary American heroics that cast a hush over the justifiably partisan gallery. Starting at the 12th hole, January-Jacobs began to whittle away at their opponents' big lead. January won three holes, and then Jacobs came up with two birdies that meant a U.S. win. Right behind this thriller came Casper-Littler, who arrived at the 15th still 4 down to Platts-Butler. Their position apparently was hopeless. But both Littler and Casper birdied 15 to stay alive, and Littler then reeled off three more birdies on the final three holes to gain a tie. Finally, in came Lema and Boros, finishing almost as strongly, but this time the British held on to win.

The results in the afternoon were exactly the same, two matches for the U.S. and one for Britain with one halved, but the formula was entirely different. Instead of the early leads and fast finishes of the morning, all the afternoon matches were close from start to end, and the exuberant gallery was treated to the unique experience of seeing every one of them wind up on the 18th green. Only Palmer-Marr lost, and the U.S. was ahead 9-7, with Saturday's singles matches ahead. The U.S. always does well in the singles—that individuality again—and this year was no exception as it won 10 of the 16 matches and the Ryder Cup 19�-12�.

Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who had followed Palmer most of the day, awarded the cup to the Americans with a graceful little speech full of golfing savvy. Lord Derby, the president of the British PGA, thanked the greenkeepers and the club members and everyone else, and then a lot of other speakers, including the two captains, thanked everybody for everything. The band played God Save the Queen and The Star-Spangled Banner, the U.S. and British flags came down, and everyone brushed away a tear. It was, they all said, the finest Ryder Cup ever.

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