Zenisky & Bertherman victorious in Stone Cup

For Immediate Release: May 2, 2018

WORCESTER, Massachusetts – Earlier this week, representatives from Mass Golf were invited to Worcester Country Club for a special unveiling of replica trophies for the 1925 U.S. Open and the 1960 U.S. Women’s Open events, which were also held at the club.

Steve Ayres

 

Local, USGA and Massachusetts golf dignitaries have been invited to speak at Saturday night’s trophy unveiling. Worcester CC historian Steve Ayers will serve as master of ceremonies.

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Worcester CC prepares to bid for 2025 Solheim Cup

Worcester Country Club already has a replica trophy for the inaugural Ryder Cup that the club hosted in 1927, and on Saturday night, the club plans to unveil replica trophies for the 1925 U.S. Open and the 1960 U.S. Women’s Open events, which were also held at the club.

There’s also a chance that Worcester CC will have to find room for yet another replica trophy — of the 2025 Solheim Cup. The club is interested in hosting that event, which is the women’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup. The U.S. takes on the top golfers from Europe in both biennial competitions.

Worcester CC president Tim McDonnell, general manager Bill Shaw and club treasurer Karyn Branscombe were invited to meet with LPGA Tour officials at the Solheim Cup last August in Des Moines, Iowa. Solheim Cup tournament director Chris Garrett toured WCC for a couple of days last fall.

“He’s basically gave us a thumb’s up that we would be included in the bid process,” McDonnell said.

McDonnell said the club would receive a bid package in early 2019 and have eight or nine months to prepare before making a presentation at the LPGA Tour headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida. McDonnell figures five or six clubs will be invited to make presentations, and the LPGA Tour should choose the 2025 site by the spring of 2020. Host sites have been selected through 2021.

McDonnell said the LPGA Tour prefers holding the Solheim Cup in smaller cities such as Worcester. The 2021 Cup will be held at Inverness Club in Toldeo, Ohio, for instance.

“If it comes to Worcester,” McDonnell said, “it will not be a story, it will be the story. They don’t want to go to Boston and be on the back page somewhere. This is the LPGA Tour’s biggest event, this is their biggest money raiser. This is their prom. So they want it to be well received in the community.”

In the meantime, Worcester CC will work on securing sponsors. Some have already expressed interest, Shaw said.

Within half an hour into his visit, Garrett rerouted Worcester CC for the Solheim Cup. No. 18 is a great spectator hole, playing back up to the clubhouse patio, but the Solheim Cup is a match-play event, and not every match reaches the 18th hole. So Garrett decided to have the Solheim Cup golfers begin on No. 9 and play 9-16, 8, 17, 18 and 1-7. So No. 18 would become the 11th hole for the Solheim Cup golfers.

If Worcester CC were awarded the 2025 Solheim Cup, the club would host the event 100 years after it hosted the 1925 U.S. Open. Willie MacFarlane defeated Bobby Jones in a 36-hole playoff in the 1925 U.S. Open.

In 1927, Walter Hagen captained the U.S. Ryder Cup team that defeated Great Britain, 9½-2½, at Worcester CC.

In 1960 at Worcester CC, Betsy Rawls won the U.S. Women’s Open for a record fourth time. Four years later, Mickey Wright tied Rawls by also earning her fourth U.S. Women’s Open title.

Worcester CC was the only club to host the Ryder Cup, U.S. Open and U.S Women’s Open until Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, North Carolina, completed the trifecta in 2014. Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, Minnesota, became the third club to do so in 2016 when it hosted the Ryder Cup. It’s still a very select group.

“We ought to be proud of that,” McDonnell said, “and we want to show that off to people that come into our house. I think a lot of people know that we hosted the first Ryder Cup, but I don’t think a lot of people know that we hosted the men’s and women’s U.S. Open.”

Worcester CC would be the first club to host the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup.

“That would be pretty special,” McDonnell said. “We wouldn’t have any company. We’d be by ourselves to be able to say that. It’s something hopefully we get, but even if we don’t get it, the fact that we’re in the running, the fact that we’re in discussions and we’re being considered with the Baltusrols and the Sciotos of the world shows that Worcester Country Club is relevant.”

The Solheim Cup debuted in 1990 and is named after Karsten Solheim, founder of Ping golf clubs.

The club had newspaper articles and photos from the 1925 U.S. Open and 1960 U.S. Women’s Open, including one of MacFarlane and Jones shaking hands before their playoff, but no trophies.

Shaw learned that a couple of other clubs had purchased replica U.S. Open trophies, so he contacted the United States Golf Association, which put him in touch with its silversmith in Cheshire, England. About 20 weeks later, the replica trophies, which are 90 percent of the size of the original trophies, arrived in the final week of February.

“Obviously, they’re fairly expensive,” Shaw said, “but to me, it’s something that very few clubs are able to do. To walk into the club and see the Ryder Cup and the two U.S. Open trophies, it’s going to have an impact.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if Brittany Altomare could earn a spot on the U.S. Solheim Cup team in 2025 and play at the club close to her parents’ home in Shrewsbury?

Local, USGA and Massachusetts golf dignitaries have been invited to speak at Saturday night’s trophy unveiling. Worcester CC historian Steve Ayers will serve as master of ceremonies.

Worcester CC has been informed by Katherine Thigpen, manager of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open championship in July, that the club will soon receive a commemorative print from the USGA “that will serve as a reminder of the place your club has within the history of the USGA.”