Girish Mahajan (Editor)

1959 Ryder Cup

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Dates  November 6–7, 1959
Venue  Eldorado Country Club
1959 Ryder Cup
Location  Indian Wells, California
Captains  Sam Snead (USA) Dai Rees (Great Britain)

The 13th Ryder Cup Matches were held November 6–7, 1959 at the Eldorado Country Club in Indian Wells, California. The United States team won the competition by a score of 8½ to 3½ points.


The British were again led by Dai Rees, but were unable to repeat the heroics of two years earlier and were comprehensively beaten on American soil. The Americans took a 2½-1½ lead in the Foursomes before finishing off the British challenge in the singles by winning five matches with two matches finishing all square to win the cup back. The British won just one foursome match with Christy O'Connor and Peter Alliss beating Art Wall and Doug Ford by 3 & 2 and one singles match when Eric Brown beat Cary Middlecoff by 4 & 3 however by the time his match was won the United States had already won the competition.


The Ryder Cup is a match play event, with each match worth one point. Since the inaugural event in 1927, the format consisted of 4 foursome (alternate shot) matches on the first day and 8 singles matches on the second day, for a total of 12 points. Therefore, 6½ points were required to win the Cup, and all matches were played to a maximum of 36 holes. This was the last Ryder Cup played under this format.



Seven members of the British team were chosen using a Ryder Cup points system based on performances during the 1959 season. The first event was the PGA Close Championship starting on 8 April with the final event being the Irish Hospitals Tournament finishing on 12 July. The seven qualifiers were Hunt, Rees, Weetman, Mills, Alliss, Drew and O'Connor. The remaining three, Bousfield, Brown and Thomas, were selected by the P.G.A. tournament committee in late September, after the Dunlop Masters.

The British team sailed from Southampton on 15 October on the Queen Elizabeth. Mills had a back injury while the team was in Washington and was to be replaced by John Panton. However, he recovered enough to attend the event, although he was not chosen to play any matches, Hunt was also not in full health, suffering from some bronchial trouble. The British team had a rough trip on a short flight from Los Angeles to Palm Springs and nearly all the players were ill, with some taking several days to recover.

Friday's foursome matches

Two matches went to the last hole. Boros and Finsterwald were 1 up against Rees and Bousfield playing the last. The match ended when the British pair put their second shot in the water and took 4 to reach the green. Weetman and Thomas were 1 up against Snead and Middlecoff at the last. Snead put his second in the water but rather than playing short, Weetman also put his second in the water. Middlecoff then chipped to 8 feet and Snead holed the putt to win the hole and halve the match. Weetman received some criticism for his decision not to lay-up.

18 hole scores: Rosburg/Souchak: 6 up, Boros/Finsterwald: 1 up, O'Connor/Alliss: 2 up, Snead/Middlecoff: 1 up.

Saturday's singles matches

The Americans got off to a good start in many of the matches and had large leads in five of the matches at lunch. Eric Brown was the only British winner on the day.

18 hole scores: Ford: 1 up, Souchak: 4 up, Rosburg: 4 up, Snead: 4 up, Wall: 5 up, Finsterwald: 5 up, Alliss: 1 up, Brown: 3 up.

Individual player records

Each entry refers to the Win–Loss–Half record of the player.


United States

Jack Burke, Jr. did not play in any matches.

Great Britain

Peter Mills did not play in any matches.


1959 Ryder Cup Wikipedia