1930 – Royal St. George’s

GB&I 2 – 10 USA

May 15-16, 1930 (Thursday and Friday)
Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, Kent, England
6,751 yards / Bogey 78

Captains: Roger Wethered (GB&I) and Bobby Jones (USA)

Day 1 Foursomes(GB&I players first)
Cyril Tolley / Roger Wethered beat George Von Elm / George Voigt 2 holes
Rex Hartley / Tony Torrance lost to Bobby Jones Jr / Dr.Oscar Willing 8&7
Ernest Holderness / Bill Stout lost to Roland MacKenzie / Donald Moe 2&1
William Campbell / Nelson Smith lost to Jimmy Johnston / Francis Ouimet 2&1
GB&I 1 – USA 3

Day 2 Singles
Cyril Tolley lost to Jimmy Johnston 5&4
Roger Wethered lost to Bobby Jones Jr 9&8
Rex Hartley lost to George Von Elm 3&2
Ernest Holderness lost to George Voigt 10&8
Nelson Smith lost to Dr. Oscar Willing 2&1
Tony Torrance beat Francis Ouimet 7&6
Bill Stout lost to Donald Moe 1 hole
William Campbell lost to Roland MacKenzie 6&5
GB&I 1 – USA 7

Match Result: GB&I 2 – USA 10

Series Results: USA 6 – GB&I 0 (after Match 6)

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Match Notes

U.S. captain Bobby Jones Jr started his 1930 Grand Slam year by first helping his team secure the Walker Cup. Indeed the USGA’s funding of the trip probably played a critical part in his historic achievement. Whilst Jones’ amateur status has been questioned in some quarters no one can deny that of his four trips to Britain, in 1921, 1926, 1927 and 1930, three of them were primarily on USA team business and funded by the USGA and it’s supporters. Only his 1927 trip to St. Andrews for The Open was self-funded.

Jones’ subsequent post Grand Slam retirement later that year was no doubt a fillip to GB&I’s amateurs who had now lost the first six Walker Cups.

Roland MacKenzie was first reserve for the U.S. team but was promoted to the trip after Jess Sweetser withdrew due to business pressures, the match coming shortly after the Wall Street crash of September 1929 and the start of The Great Depression of the 1930’s. Maurice McCarthy was the USA’s second non-travelling reserve.

The R&A appointed a Selection Committee for the first time in January 1930. This 9-man team comprised Norman Boase, John Caven, Bernard Darwin, Robert Harris, J.L.C. Jenkins, Gordon Simpson, W. B. Torrance, Dr. W. Tweddell and Roger Wethered (Captain).

The first seven members of the GB&I team were announced in mid-March. Roger Wethered (captain), Rex Hartley, Sir Ernest Holderness, Nelson Smith, J.A. “Bill” Stout, Cyril Tolley and Tony Torrance were in this group. Dr. William Twedell and John Wilson had made themselves unavailable The R&A added at the time.

Three Scotsman William Campbell, Robert Harris and J.A. Lang were then added in April. However, Harris and Lang were subsequently not used in the match.

When Wethered was asked about the surprise omission of John Beck during the match he supposedly came out with the classic response “Oh, we thought of John but no one seemed to have his address.”

The 1930 match saw two main changes to the two previously played in Britain. Firstly it was not staged on the Old Course in St. Andrews and secondly it was played before, rather than after, the Amateur Championship. Perhaps The R&A hoped the USA players would be less acclimatised and that their GB&I selection would be easier, not clouded by freak results in the Championship.

The R&A charged an admission fee for the first time at Sandwich. Helped by sunny weather throughout around 8,000 spectators turned up on day 1 and 6,000 on day 2, numbers higher than had been seen previously in Kent for either The Open or Amateur Championships.  The Prince of Wales also flew down to watch all of the match.

Copyright © 2015-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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