Yorkshire Evening News Tournament (Winners, History)

The Yorkshire Evening News Tournament was played in England from the 1920s into the 1960s. For many of those years, it was considered one of the biggest tournaments in Great Britain.

First played: 1923

Last played: 1963

When the Yorkshire Evening News newspaper launched the tournament, they did it with a bang, bringing in American superstars Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen. It was unusual at that time for American golfers to travel to Britain, even for the Open Championship. Hagen and Sarazen met in the semifinals, with Hagen the winner. In the championship match, though, Herbert Jolly defeated Hagen, 2-up, in 36 holes.

Jolly won once more, but also lost in the championship match three consecutive years, 1927-29. The only American who ever won it was Joe Turnesa, who beat Jolly in the 1929 final.

The tournament switched to a stroke play format in 1944. The only golfer to win it in both match and stroke play was Dai Rees. Rees won a total of five titles in this event, the tournament record.

The most lopsided finals victory in the match era was 9 and 8, a score recorded in back-to-back years by the brothers Charles Whitcombe (1926 over Moses O'Neill) and Ernest Whitcombe (1927 over Jolly).

The stroke play tournament record was 264 set by Peter Thomson in 1957. Thomson won by 15 strokes over runner-up Harry Bradshaw, also the tournament record.

In its stroke play years, the Yorkshire Evening News Tournament did not use a playoff to settle ties, resulting in several years in which the title was shared. Those instances are noted in the list of winners below.

Winners of the Yorkshire Evening News Tournament

From 1950 through the end in 1963, the tournament was played at stroke play. (In the years 1944-45, when World War II was still ongoing, it was only 36 holes.)

1963 — Tom Haliburton, 280
1962 — Peter Butler, 273
1961 — Peter Thomson, 282
1960 — Peter Thomson, 268
1959 — Norman Drew, 281
1958 — (tie) Eric Brown, Harold Henning, 280
1957 — Peter Thomson, 264
1956 — (tie) Ken Bousfield, Dai Rees, 281
1955 — Antonio Cerda, 276
1954 — John Panton, 284
1953 — Flory Van Donck, 278
1952 — Dai Rees, 283
1951 — (tie) Dai Rees, Norman Von Nida, 281
1950 — Dai Rees, 276

The 1949 tournament was the last time match play was used:

1949 — Sam King def. Walter Lees, 6 and 5

From 1944-48, the format was stroke play:

1948 — Charlie Ward, 275
1947 — (tie) Norman Von Nida, Henry Cotton, 277
1946 — Bobby Locke, 283
1945 — Archie Compston, 148
1944 — Sam King, 133

Prior to 1944, the tournament was played at match play. Championship matches were scheduled for 36 holes.

1940-43 — Not played due to World War II
1939 — Dai Rees def. Jack Hargreaves, 1-up (37 holes)
1938 — Alf Perry def. Vernon Greenhalgh, 8 and 6
1937 — Arthur Lacey def. John Fallon, 2 and 1
1936 — Dick Burton def. A.G. Matthews, 3 and 2
1935 — Henry Cotton def. Percy Alliss, 3 and 2
1934 — Alf Padgham def. Sid Brews, 1-up (37 holes)
1933 — Arthur Lacey def. Alf Padham, 2 and 1
1932 — Bert Hodson def. Fred Robson, 1-up (39 holes)
1931 — Ernest Whitcombe def. Tom Barber, 1-up (39 holes)
1930 — Herbert Jolly def. Owen Sanderson, 3 and 1
1929 — Joe Turnesa def. Herbert Jolly, 1-up (37 holes)
1928 — Charles Whitcombe def. Herbert Jolly, 3 and 2
1927 — Ernest Whitcombe def. Herbert Jolly, 9 and 8
1926 — Charles Whitcombe def. Moses O'Neill, 9 and 8
1925 — Len Holland def. James Ockenden, 3 and 2
1924 — Fred Robson def. Archie Compston, 1-up (37 holes)
1923 — Herbert Jolly def. Walter Hagen, 2-up

Golf courses: The tournament was played on multiple courses over its history, all in the area of the county of Yorkshire in England. Moortown Golf Club neer Leeds was the most common site; for much of its stroke play history, the tournament alternated between Moortown and Sand Moor Golf Club. Other golf courses visited by the Yorkshire Evening News Tournament included Headingley Golf Club, Temple Newsam Golf Club, Leeds Golf Club and Roundhay Golf Club.

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