|Full name||David James Rees, CBE|
31 March 1913|
|Died||15 November 1983
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Former tour(s)||European Tour|
|Best results in major championships
|The Open Championship||T2: 1953, 1954, 1961|
|Achievements and awards|
|Commander of the Order
of the British Empire
|Harry Vardon Trophy||1955, 1959|
The winner of many prestigious tournaments in Britain, Europe and farther afield, Rees is best remembered as the captain of the Great Britain Ryder Cup team which defeated the United States at Lindrick Golf Club in Yorkshire, England, in 1957. It was the only defeat which the United States suffered in the competition between 1933 and 1985.
Rees was born in Fontegary, near Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. He was brought up around golf, with his father being the head professional and his mother a steward at The Leys Golf Club. His family moved to Aberdare, where his father had taken up the position of head professional at Aberdare Golf Club.
Rees began his career aged 16 as an assistant professional to his father at Aberdare Golf Club. Rees took over as the professional at South Herts Golf Club following the death of Harry Vardon in 1937. Like Vardon before him, he remained in the position until he died in 1983.
In important tournaments, Rees won 39 titles around the world including four News of the World Match Plays, two British Masters, the Irish, Belgian and Swiss Opens, and the South African PGA Championship.
Rees is considered to be one of the greatest British golfers never to win The Open Championship. He finished as runner-up three times, in 1953, 1954 and 1961, but perhaps his best chance of victory came in 1946, when he shot a final round 80 to slip into a tie for 4th place.
Rees continued to play at a competitive level long into what would now be considered "senior" years, and remained successful, especially in match play tournaments. He reached the final of the News of the World Match Play twice while in his fifties, in 1967 and again in 1969, on each occasion beating several players almost half his age over 18 holes. He also had some success in stroke play tournaments, including a runner-up finish in the Martini International in 1973 when aged 60. By the time the formal European Tour was established in 1972, Rees' best years had passed, but he still competed on the new tour for a number of seasons.
Rees played in nine Ryder Cups in total, and was selected for the aborted 1939 Cup. He had a 7-10-1 win-loss-draw record, which was well above average for a British player in an era when the British team suffered many heavy defeats.
Rees captained the Great Britain Ryder Cup team on five occasions, in 1955, 1957, 1959, 1961 and 1967. The most memorable was the 1957 event at Lindrick where Britain scored a decisive 7½–4½ victory to break the United States' stranglehold on the trophy they had held since 1933. Having regained the Ryder Cup in 1959, the United States would not relinquish it again until 1985, by which time the British team had been expanded to include the rest of Europe.
In 1957, following Britain's triumph in the Ryder Cup, Rees won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, perhaps Britain's best known sports award. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1958 New Year Honours.
this list may be incomplete
- 1935 Daily Mirror Assistants' Tournament
- 1936 News of the World Match Play, Daily Mirror Assistants' Tournament
- 1938 News of the World Match Play
- 1939 Yorkshire Evening News Tournament, Addington Foursomes (with Alfred Critchley)
- 1946 Silver King Tournament, Spalding Tournament
- 1947 Penfold Tournament (tie with Reg Whitcombe and Norman Von Nida), Daily Mail Tournament, News Chronicle Tournament
- 1948 Irish Open
- 1949 News of the World Match Play
- 1950 Yorkshire Evening News Tournament, News Chronicle Tournament, News of the World Match Play, British Masters
- 1951 Yorkshire Evening News Tournament (tie with Norman Von Nida)
- 1952 Yorkshire Evening News Tournament
- 1953 Daks Tournament
- 1954 Spalding Tournament, Belgian Open, Southern Professional Championship
- 1956 Swiss Open, Yorkshire Evening News Tournament (tie with Ken Bousfield)
- 1958 South African PGA Championship
- 1959 British PGA Championship, Swiss Open, Sherwood Forest Foursomes Tournament (with Dennis Smalldon)
- 1960 Gleneagles Hotel Foursomes Tournament (with W Glennie)
- 1962 British Masters, Daks Tournament (tie with Bob Charles)
- 1963 Swiss Open
- 1966 PGA Seniors Championship, Southern Professional Championship
Results in major championships
Rees only played in The Open Championship.
|The Open Championship||T31||11||T21||T13||12|
|The Open Championship||NT||NT||NT||NT||NT||NT||T4||T21||T15||CUT|
|The Open Championship||T3||T12||T27||T2||T2||T27||T13||T30||T14||T9|
|The Open Championship||T9||T2||CUT||T42||T38||CUT||36||CUT||DNP||CUT|
|The Open Championship||DNP||CUT||DNP||DNP||CUT|
NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut (3rd round cut in 1969 and 1971)
"T" = tied
Yellow background for top-10.
- Ryder Cup (representing Great Britain): 1937, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1955 (captain), 1957 (winners, captain), 1959 (captain), 1961 (captain), 1967 (non-playing captain)
- Canada Cup (representing Wales): 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964
- Coronation Match (representing the Ladies and Professionals): 1937
- Triangular Professional Tournament (representing Wales): 1937
- Llandudno International Golf Trophy (representing Wales): 1938
- Great Britain–Argentina Professional Match (representing Great Britain): 1939 (winners)
- Joy Cup (representing the British Isles): 1954 (winners), 1955 (winners), 1958 (winners, captain)
- Slazenger Trophy (representing Great Britain and Ireland): 1956 (winners)
- Amateurs–Professionals Match (representing the Professionals): 1956 (winners), 1957 (winners), 1958, 1959 (winners), 1960 (winners)
- R.T.V. International Trophy (representing Wales): 1967 (captain)
- Double Diamond International (representing Wales): 1971 (captain), 1972 (captain), 1973 (captain), 1975 (captain), 1976 (captain)
- "Dai Rees C.B.E". South Herts Golf Club. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
- "Mr Dai Rees - Major Welsh Golfer", The Times, 17 November 1983; pg. 14; Issue 61692.
- "Dai Rees (1913 - 1983)". Golf Europe. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
- "Joe's success mirrors Dai's big day". Cynon Valley Leader. 20 December 2007. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
- Hamilton, Nigel (1986). Monty: The Final Years of the Field Marshall 1944-1976. McGraw-Hill Book Company. p. 181.
- "Dai Rees, 70, Welsh Golfer; Who Led British Ryder Team". The New York Times. 17 November 1983. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
- Alliss, Peter (1983). The Who's Who of Golf. Orbis Publishing. p. 289. ISBN 0-85613-520-8.
- Corrigan, James (17 September 2006). "Team-room tantrum a forerunner to the Thomas Bjorn Affair". The Independent. London. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
- "Welsh Biography Online - Rees, David James". The National Library of Wales.