Ted Ray (golfer)
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|— Golfer —|
Ray (right) with Harry Vardon (left) and Francis Ouimet
|Full name||Edward R. G. Ray|
28 March 1877|
Jersey, United Kingdom
|Died||26 August 1943
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||220 lb (100 kg; 16 st)|
|Turned professional||c. 1895|
|Best results in Major Championships
|U.S. Open||Won: 1920|
|The Open Championship||Won: 1912|
Edward R. G. "Ted" Ray (28 March 1877 – 26 August 1943) was a British professional golfer. He won two major championships, The Open Championship in 1912 and the U.S. Open in 1920, and contended in many others during the early years of the 20th century.
Born on the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel, Ray grew up idolising fellow islander Harry Vardon, seven years older than Ray. Vardon became the world's top golfer in the early 1890s, while Ray was working as a caddy and developing his own golf skills at the same Jersey course where Vardon learned the game. Ray was a tall, heftily-built man who was known worldwide for his prodigious power off the tee and through the set, though his shots often landed in awful positions. He favoured an attacking style, and had to develop phenomenal recovery skills. Cartoonists usually depicted him with a niblick in hand, festooned with clumps of heather and saplings, with an inseparable pipe clamped between his teeth. Ray was beloved by fans for his daring play, friendly, genial manner and optimistic spirit.
Ray turned professional in his late teens, and took a position as a club professional at Churston Golf Club, Churston, Devon. He gradually developed his skill and reputation by participation in minor tournaments. During his time at Churston, he was encouraged by the club's committee to enter The Open Championships from 1900 to 1902, and was granted a week's leave of absence and five pounds for expenses each year. After leaving Churston he became the head professional at Oxhey Golf Club near Watford in Hertfordshire from 1912 to 1941, when he retired due to illness.
Ray was best known for participating in a playoff for the U.S. Open in 1913 with Vardon and Francis Ouimet, the winner. It was the subject of a 2005 Disney movie entitled, The Greatest Game Ever Played, based on author Mark Frost's 2002 book of the same name. Ray had joined Vardon on an extensive tour of North America, promoted and financed by English media baron Lord Northcliffe. The two stars travelled the continent for two months, partnering in exhibition matches against the top players in each area they visited. The tour was very successful, attracting large crowds who came out to watch the top British players challenge emerging local golf talent at a time when golf was entering a boom period of popularity, which was further stimulated by the tour. Vardon and Ray ended their tour at the 1913 U.S. Open.
Ray, while often overshadowed by Vardon, John Henry Taylor, and James Braid, the Great Triumvirate who dominated golf for 20 years, did have many professional successes of his own. He won The Open Championship at Muirfield in 1912, and had many more near-misses in that event, with 11 more finishes in the top-10. He won the U.S. Open at Inverness in 1920. That victory, at age 43, made Ray the oldest U.S. Open champion for 66 years, until Raymond Floyd, a few months older, won in 1986 (Julius Boros also won at age 43 in 1963; Floyd was passed by Hale Irwin in 1990 at age 45). Ray also finished runner-up three times, in 1903, 1911, and 1912, in the British PGA Matchplay Championship, a significant event.
Ray 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 the next year, the first official Ryder Cup. Ray played in The Open Championship as late as age 60 in 1937.
- Portrayed by English actor Stephen Marcus in director Bill Paxton's 2005 film The Greatest Game Ever Played.
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin||Runner(s)-up|
|1912||The Open Championship||5 shot lead||(71-73-76-75=295)||4 strokes||Harry Vardon|
|1920||U.S. Open||2 shot deficit||+7 (74-73-73-75=295)||1 stroke|| Jack Burke, Sr., Leo Diegel,
Jock Hutchison, Harry Vardon
|The Open Championship||T16||13||T12||9||23||T12||T11||T8||T5||3||6|
|The Open Championship||T5||T5||1||2||T10||NT||NT||NT||NT||NT|
|The Open Championship||3||T19||T46||T12||T32||T2||T30||T30||T33||T39|
|The Open Championship||T24||CUT||T56||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||CUT|
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10
- "1912 Ted Ray". The Open. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
- "Ted Ray, former British golf star, dies in London at 66". Reading Eagle. Associated Press. 29 August 1943. p. 11-sec 2. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- Frost, Mark (2002). The Greatest Game Ever Played. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-6920-8.