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Valhalla Golf Club

1959 Eldorado Country Club, Palm Desert, California

Captains: Sam Snead (US), Dai Rees (GB)
USA 8 ½ - GB 3 ½

Photos for1959

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Team USA

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The British team's ride to the 13th Ryder Cup Matches became an omen of the competition that would follow a week later in the desert. On Oct. 29, 1959, some 29 passengers boarded a plane from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, Calif. The plane encountered severe turbulence from a nearby storm and plunged from 13,000 to 9,000 feet before the pilot gained control. The pilot returned to Los Angeles, announced that a later flight would be arranged later that evening. British Captain Dai Rees canceled the flight and the team arrived in Palm Springs by bus. Once on the course, there was little the British could do to stop an American steamroller performance. Dow Finsterwald, PGA Champion Bob Rosburg and Mike Souchak each contributed two points in a runaway U.S. victory. The Americans were handed a halve in the final foursomes match of the opening day. Sam Snead and Cary Middlecoff faced Britain's Harry Weetman and Dave Thomas. Snead dumped his approach shot on the 470-yard 18th hole into the water. The best the U.S. could salvage was a 5. But Weetman made the matter elementary when instead of laying up safely hit a 5-iron that found the water. Snead finished by holing a 10-footer for a bogey and the halve. Weetman said later that he never intended to play safe. "I never do," he said. "It's not my game. I just didn't hit the right shot." This edition of the Matches resulted in several key changes. It was the last time a visiting British Ryder Cup Team (despite the near disastrous flight a week earlier) made a journey by sea. And, it marked the last time the matches were contested over 36 holes of foursomes and singles.

Flag IconGreat Britain Flag IconUnited States
J Fallon & J R M Jacobs (1 hole) 1 C Harper & J Barber 0
E C Brown & S S Scott 0 D Ford & T Kroll (5 & 4) 1
A Lees & H Weetman 0 J Burke & T Bolt (1 hole) 1
H Bradshaw & D J Rees 0 S Snead & C Middlecoff (3 & 2) 1
N V Drew (halved) ½ D Ford (halved) ½
K Bousfield 0 M Souchak (3 & 2) 1
H Weetman 0 R Rosburg (6 & 5) 1
D C Thomas 0 S Snead (6 & 5) 1
C O'Connor 0 A Wall (7 & 6) 1
D J Rees 0 D Finsterwald (1 hole) 1
P Alliss (halved) ½ J Herbert (halved) ½
E C Brown (4 & 3) 1 C Middlecoff 0