Historic 1929 Ryder Cup document found hidden in a drawer goes to auction

An extremely rare piece of Ryder Cup history, found under a newspaper at the bottom of a drawer in Florida, is for sale at Bonhams Sporting and Golf Memorabilia sale in Chester, UK, on October 20.

It's a programme for the 'Bon Voyage' dinner held for members of the US team on April 9, 1929 as they prepared to cross the Atlantic to play only the second Ryder Cup Match in the competition's history.

The programme (estimated at £2,000-4,000) was found in a 50 year old hand carved Chinese chest which was given to the vendor in 2006. The drawers had been lined with newspaper and the programme was found underneath one of the pages when the chest was being cleared out.

The 'Bon Voyage' dinner was held at the New York Athletic Club and the programme features autographed photographs of the entire US team including the captain, golf legend, Walter Hagen. 

The programme from the 1929 'Bon Voyage' dinner

The 1929 Ryder Cup match took place at the Moortown Golf Club, Leeds on 26 and 27 April. The US team was defending the title it had won two years earlier in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Hagen went into the contest unbeaten in match play for the year and confidently arranged to be paired with the British captain, George Duncan. His confidence was misplaced.  Duncan won and the UK side went on to square the series.

"This is an extraordinary find and is likely to be the only surviving example of the Bon Voyage dinner programme," said Bonhams golfing specialist, Kevin McGimpsey.

"The fact that it was autographed by the entire team makes it even more special.  The programme is in very good condition and I expect it to have wide appeal."



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