Looking Back: Silver King Tournament in England

The Silver King Tournament was, during its run from the 1930s into the 1950s, one of the big events on the British PGA circuit. Many of the top British golfers of the era claimed the trophy. It was played at Moor Park Golf Club in Hertfordshire, England.

First played: 1936

Last played: 1953

Alf Padgham won the first Silver King Tournament in 1936, and Flory Van Donck won the last in 1953. And those two golfers are the only ones with multiple wins in the tournament. Padgham, of England, has the tournament record with three wins, also taking the the title in 1939 and 1947. His 1939 victory came after a 36-hole playoff against Dick Burton.

The Belgian Van Donck, the only non-Brit to win the Silver King trophy, won in 1951 and 1953. He sent the tournament out with a bang, setting the event's 72-hole scoring record of 274 in the tournament's final year. Van Donck won by six strokes that year, but the tournament record for margin of victory was the seven shots by which Dai Rees won in 1946.

The tournament's sponsor was the Silvertown Company, which made the Silver King golf ball. In the same year the Silver King Tournament debuted, the Silvertown Company released a four-record set of LPs featuring Archie Compston's golf instruction.

The tournament ended when the bigger Spalding Tournament changed venues, moving, in 1954, from its previous home at Worthing Golf Club to Moor Park. The Spalding Tournament also took the Silver King Tournament's place in the schedule, typically as the season-opener.

Winners of the Silver King Tournament

1936 — Alf Padgham, 280
1937 — Henry Cotton, 279
1938 — Charles Whitcombe, 276
1939 — Alf Padgham, 285
1940–45 — Not played
1946 — Dai Rees, 288
1947 — Alf Padgham, 285
1948 — (tie) Jimmy Adams and Charlie Ward, 283 (no playoff)
1949 — Dick Burton, 281
1950 — John Panton, 276
1951 — Flory Van Donck, 285
1952 — Reg Horne, 276
1953 — Flory Van Donck, 274

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