1961 Ryder Cup Winner, Match Scores, Player Records

The 1961 Ryder Cup was the 14th time this tournament was played. Following the Team USA victory, the overall standings to this point were 11 wins for the USA, three wins for Great Britain. This Ryder Cup ushered in major changes to the format.

Final Score: United States 14.5, Great Britain 9.5

Dates Played: October 13-14, 1961

Golf Course: Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lytham St. Annes, England

Team Captains: Jerry Barber for the United States, Dai Rees for Great Britain

Team Rosters:

  • USA — Billy Casper, Bill Collins, Dow Finsterwald, Doug Ford, Jay Hebert, Gene Littler, Arnold Palmer, Mike Souchak, Art Wall, Jerry Barber (playing captain)
  • Great Britain — Peter Alliss, Ken Bousfield, Neil Coles, Tom Halliburton, Bernard Hunt, Ralph Moffitt, Christy O'Connor Sr., John Panton, Harry Weetman, Dai Rees (playing captain)
Match Notes: The United States comfortably won each of the first three sessions of play, and cruised to the five-point victory. The big news in the 1961 Ryder Cup were the changes in the competition format, the first changes in Ryder Cup history.

All previous Ryder Cups featured four foursomes games and eight singles games — 12 matches total, 12 points at stake, all matches scheduled for 36 holes.

For the 1961 Ryder Cup, the total matches and points at stake were doubled to 24, and all matches were scheduled for 18 holes instead of 36. On Day 1, there was a morning session of four foursomes, and an afternoon session of four foursomes. On Day 2, there were morning and afternoon sessions of singles, eight games each session.

This was also the last Ryder Cup that did not include the fourball format, which was introduced in the 1963 Ryder Cup.

There were some significant Ryder Cup debuts this year. Arnold Palmer played for the first of six times, going 3-0-1 here to lead Team USA with 3.5 points.

Billy Casper debuted for Team USA, going 3-0. Casper played in every Cup through 1975, eight times total. At the times of their final appearances, Palmer and Casper between them held most Ryder Cup records for matches played, match victories and points earned. Palmer still today holds the Team USA record for match wins (22), and Casper still holds the team record for points earned (23.5).

Two other debutantes of note: Gene Littler, who went on to play in seven Cups, for Team USA; and Neil Coles, who played in eight Cups for Great Britain.

Player-Captain Dai Rees led the Great Britain side with a 3-1-0 record in this Cup. It was his final playing appearance for Team GB. His first was in the 1937 Ryder Cup, and that 24-year-gap is the GB/GB&I/Europe team record for longest span between first and last playing appearances. Rees also shares the overall record with Raymond Floyd.

Rees was also the last playing-captain for the Great Britain side.

1961 Ryder Cup Results

Day 1

Morning Foursomes
  • Christy O'Connor/Peter Alliss, Great Britain, def. Doug Ford/Gene Littler, USA, 4 and 3
  • Art Wall/Jay Hebert, USA, def. John Panton/Bernard Hunt, Great Britain, 4 and 3
  • Billy Casper/Arnold Palmer, USA, def. Dai Rees/Ken Bousfield, Great Britain, 2 and 1
  • Bill Collins/Mike Souchak, USA, def. Tom Haliburton/Neil Coles, Great Britain, 1-up
Score after first session: USA 3, Great Britain 1

Afternoon Foursomes

  • Art Wall/Jay Hebert, USA, def. Christy O'Connor/Peter Alliss, Great Britain, 1-up
  • Billy Casper/Arnold Palmer, USA, def. John Panton/Bernard Hunt, Great Britain, 5 and 4
  • Dai Rees/Ken Bousfield, Great Britain, def. Bill Collins/Mike Souchak, USA, 4 and 2
  • Jerry Barber/Dow Finsterwald, USA, def. Tom Haliburton/Neil Coles, Great Britain, 1-up
Score of second session: USA 3, Great Britain 1
Cumulative score after two sessions: USA 6, Great Britain 2

Day 2

Morning Singles
  • Doug Ford, USA, def. Harry Weetman, Great Britain, 1-up
  • Mike Souchak, USA, def. Ralph Moffitt, Great Britain, 5 and 4
  • Arnold Palmer, USA, halved with Peter Alliss, Great Britain
  • Billy Casper, USA, def. Ken Bousfield, Great Britain, 5 and 3
  • Dai Rees, Great Britain, def. Jay Hebert, USA, 2 and 1
  • Neil Coles, Great Britain, halved with Gene Littler, USA
  • Bernard Hunt, Great Britain, def. Jerry Barber, USA, 5 and 4
  • Dow Finsterwald, USA, def. Christy O'Connor, Great Britain, 2 and 1
Score of third session: USA 5, Great Britain 3
Cumulative score after three sessions: USA 11, Great Britain 5

Afternoon Singles

  • Art Wall, USA, def. Harry Weetman, Great Britain, 1-up
  • Peter Alliss, Great Britain, def. Bill Collins, USA, 3 and 2
  • Mike Souchak, USA, def. Bernard Hunt, Great Britain, 2 and 1
  • Arnold Palmer, USA, def. Tom Haliburton, Great Britain, 2 and 1
  • Dai Rees, Great Britain, def. Doug Ford, USA, 4 and 3
  • Ken Bousfield, Great Britain, def. Jerry Barber, USA, 1-up
  • Neil Coles, Great Britain, def. Dow Finsterwald, USA, 1-up
  • Gene Littler, USA, halved with Christy O'Connor, Great Britain
Score of fourth session: Great Britain 4.5, USA 3.5
Overall and final score: USA 14.5, Great Britain 9.5

1961 Ryder Cup Player Records

(Records are listed as wins-losses-halves.)

United States
Jerry Barber, 1-2-0
Billy Casper, 3-0-0
Bill Collins, 1-2-0
Dow Finsterwald, 2-1-0
Doug Ford, 1-2-0
Jay Hebert, 2-1-0
Gene Littler, 0-1-2
Arnold Palmer, 3-0-1
Mike Souchak, 3-1-0
Art Wall, 3-0-0

Great Britain
Peter Alliss, 2-1-1
Ken Bousfield, 2-2-0
Neil Coles, 1-2-1
Tom Haliburton, 0-3-0
Bernard Hunt, 1-3-0
Ralph Moffitt, 0-1-0
Christy O'Connor, 1-2-1
John Panton, 0-2-0
Dai Rees, 3-1-0
Harry Weetman, 0-2-0

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1959 Ryder Cup | 1963 Ryder Cup

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