Royal Portrush has been presented with a trophy won by Fred Daly almost 75 years ago to add to a collection of special memorabilia it is putting on display in honour of the former Open Champion.
The News of the World match play cup he won at Royal Birkdale in 1948 – the year after his historic victory at Hoylake – was handed over to men’s captain Ashley Moore.
The cup is one of a number of items obtained as part of a programme to develop a major archive, some of it dedicated to the man who was born and brought up in Causeway St., Portrush, not far from the Dunluce Links which he regarded as his spiritual home.
They include two blazers – recovered from a guest room wardrobe in a house in Co Fermanagh – which he wore when captain of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) and as a member of four Britain and Ireland Ryder Cup teams between 1947 and 1953.
Copies of the four score cards which he signed off when he won the Open at Royal Liverpool in 1947, as well as a Waterford Crystal pen and clock set presented to him by the Links Golf Society at Royal Dublin a few years before died in 1990, will also be on display.
The cup was donated by the Ulster Press Golf Society. Daly also won the News of the World Match Play championship in 1947 (Royal Lytham) and 1952 (Walton Heath).
The blazers were donated by the family of the late Walter Jordan of Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh who died this year.
Royal Portrush entertained a team from Royal Liverpool last weekend. Next year’s Open Championship returns to Hoylake where it was won by Rory McIlroy – an honorary member of Portrush – in 2014.
Men’s captain Moore, said in golfing terms, the acquisition of the solid silver 1948 match play trophy, the Open Championship cards as well as Daly’s two blazers were of significant historical importance.
“The club is extremely keen to develop its archive, and these priceless items will form a central part of the legacy left by the likes of Fred Daly and so many others associated with the club’s past,” he said. “We are also especially pleased to get Fred’s old cup which used to sit with two others on a sideboard at his home in Belfast.”
The cast of a life sized metal bust of the former Open Champion is also to go on show. His gold Open Championship medal is already on display alongside Darren Clarke’s in the club’s foyer.
Sir Richard McLaughlin, the club president, who is heavily involved in helping to establish the archive, said: “The club is very, very keen to secure as much memorabilia as possible, not just linked to Fred Daly. Maybe documents, old photographs and various objects which tell the story and history of Royal Portrush.
“We would encourage anyone who finds anything in an attic or around their house relating to the club’s history to get in touch so that we can continue to expand our archives.”