Royal Portrush has been presented with a trophy won by Fred Daly almost 75 years ago to add to a collection of special memorabilia which the club is putting on display in honour of the former Open Champion.
The News of the World match play cup which he won at Royal Birkdale in 1948 – the year after his historic victory at Royal Liverpool – was handed over to the men’s captain Ashley Moore.
The cup is one of a number of items which have been 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 of his blazers which he wore when he was captain of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) and as a member of four Britain and Ireland Ryder Cup teams between 1947 and 1953. They were recovered from a guest room wardrobe in a house in Co Fermanagh.
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 at Royal Dublin by the Links Golf Society a few years before died aged 79 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 earlier this year.
Royal Portrush entertained a team from Royal Liverpool last weekend in the latest of a series of matches between the two clubs. Next year’s Open Championship returns to Hoylake where it was won by Rory McIlroy – an honorary member of Portrush – in 2014.
Ashley Moore, the men’s captain at Royal Portrush, 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.
He said: “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.
“The blazers had been languishing unnoticed in that wardrobe for many years and we’re delighted to have them on public display. We are also especially pleased to get the 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 sculptured 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 (2011, Royal St George’s) in a cabinet 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.”