Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ted Ray

Edward R. G. "Ted" Ray was a British professional golfer born on the Isle of Jersey.

Ray was best known for participating in a playoff for the 1913 U.S. Open Championship with Harry Vardon and the winner Francis Ouimet, which was the subject of a Disney movie entitled, "The Greatest Game Ever Played". However, Ray had many professional successes, including winning The Open Championship at Muirfield in 1912, and the U.S. Open at Inverness in 1920. He was player/captain for Great Britain during the "unofficial source event" for Ryder Cup competition at the East Course, Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey, Great Britain in 1926. He was again player/captain in the first official event in 1927.

Ray was known for his portly build and prodigious length off the tee, though his ball often landed in awful lies. His recovery powers were said to be phenomenal and cartoonists usually caricatured him with a niblick in hand, festooned with clumps of heather and saplings, with an inseparable pipe clamped between his teeth.

Ray's first position as a club professional was held at Churston Golf Club, Churston, Devon. During his time here he was encouraged by the committee to enter the British Open Championships in 1900, 1901 and 1902, granting him a week's leave of absence and £5 expenses for each meeting. After leaving Churston he was the head professional at Oxhey Golf Club near Watford in Hertfordshire from 1912 until 1941, when he retired due to illness.