1931 Ryder Cup: USA 9, Great Britain 3

Team Rosters, Match Scores and Player Records

Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Abe Mitchell, George Duncan
From left, Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Abe Mitchell and George Duncan (pictured in 1924) all played in the 1931 Ryder Cup. Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

The United States won nine of a possible 12 points in the 1931 Ryder Cup to beat Great Britain, including winning six of eight singles matches.

Dates: June 26-27
Final Score: USA 9, Great Britain 3
Where: Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio
Captains: Great Britain - Charles Whitcombe; USA - Walter Hagen

This was the third time the Ryder Cup was played, and after the American victory here Team USA held a 2-1 advantage over Team Great Britain.

1931 Ryder Cup Team Rosters

Great Britain
Archie Compston, England
William Davies, England
George Duncan, Scotland
Syd Easterbrook, England
Arthur Havers, England
Bert Hodson, Wales
Abe Mitchell, England
Fred Robson, England
Charles Whitcombe
Ernest Whitcombe

United States
Billy Burke
Wiffy Cox
Leo Diegel
Al Espinosa
Johnny Farrell
Walter Hagen
Gene Sarazen
Denny Shute
Horton Smith
Craig Wood

Notes on the 1931 Ryder Cup

The 1931 Ryder Cup was the third one played, and Team USA took an easy win over Team Great Britain. The Americans went ahead 3-1 in foursomes, then won six of the eight singles matches.

And some of those victories were large ones. Denny Shute teamed with player-captain Walter Hagen for a 10-and-9 foursomes victory, then won his singles match by an 8-and-7 score. Gene Sarazen partnered Johnny Farrell to an 8-and-7 foursomes win, then won his singles game, 7 and 6. (Matches were scheduled for 36 holes.)

Hagen was in the captain's role for the third straight time (he eventually captained Team USA in each of the first six Ryder Cups). For Great Britain, Charles Whitcombe was captain for the first of three times, and, like Hagen, was player-captain.

Whitcombe was joined by his brother Ernest for the second time in a Ryder Cup, and in 1935 a third Whitcombe brother, Reg, also played. (See Ryder Cup Relatives for more.)

Percy Alliss (father of Peter Alliss) was selected to the Great Britain team, but could not compete because a rule in place at the time required British golfers to be living in Great Britain in order to be eligible to play. Alliss was living in Germany at the time of his selection. Aubrey Boomer, another top British golfer of the time, was denied a spot on the team for the same reason. And Henry Cotton was also kept off the British team, although in his case it was over disputes about travel schedules

Match Results

Matches played over two days, foursomes on Day 1 and Singles on Day 1. All matches scheduled for 36 holes.


  • Gene Sarazen/Johnny Farrell, U.S., def. Archie Compston/William Davies, GB, 8 and 7
  • Walter Hagen/Denny Shute, U.S., def. George Duncan/Arthur Havers, GB, 10 and 9
  • Abe Mitchell/Fred Robson, GB, def. Leo Diegel/Al Espinosa, GB, 3 and 1
  • Billy Burke/Wilfred Cox, U.S., def. Syd Easterbrook/Ernest Whitcombe, GB, 3 and 2


  • Billy Burke, U.S., def. Archie Compston, GB, 7 and 6
  • Gene Sarazen, U.S., def. Fred Robson, GB, 7 and 6
  • William Davies, GB, def. Johnny Farrell, U.S., 4 and 3
  • Wilfred Cox, U.S., def. Abe Mitchell, GB, 3 and 1
  • Walter Hagen, U.S., def. Charles Whitcombe, GB, 4 and 3
  • Denny Shute, U.S., def. Bert Hodson, GB, 8 and 6
  • Al Espinosa, U.S., def. Ernest Whitcombe, GB, 2 and 1
  • Arthur Havers, GB, def. Craig Wood, U.S., 4 and 3

Player Records at the 1931 Ryder Cup

Each golfer's record, listed as wins-losses-halves:

Great Britain
Archie Compston, 0-2-0
William Davies, 1-1-0
George Duncan, 0-1-0
Syd Easterbrook, 0-1-0
Arthur Havers, 1-1-0
Bert Hodson, 0-1-0
Abe Mitchell, 1-1-0
Fred Robson, 1-1-0
Charles 0-1-0
Ernest Whitcombe, 0-2-0

United States
Billy Burke, 2-0-0
Wiffy Cox, 2-0-0
Leo Diegel, 0-1-0
Al Espinosa, 1-1-0
Johnny Farrell, 1-1-0
Walter Hagen, 2-0-0
Gene Sarazen, 2-0-0
Denny Shute, 2-0-0
Horton Smith, did not play
Craig Wood, 0-1-0

1929 Ryder Cup | 1933 Ryder Cup
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