More than 50 years ago, one of golf's most famous competitions – known simply as 'The Match' – took place at Cypress Point Golf Club. Tuesday, four of the game's best will return to the California coast to re-create the legendary fourball match.
As a means of settling a wager between a pair of California businessmen, two legends of the game, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, teamed in 1956 to take on a pair of amateurs, Ken Venturi and Harvie Ward. The veterans barely held off the upstart youngsters, ultimately winning 1 up in what was later described as one of the greatest matches ever played.
Tuesday, a foursome of great players will again descend upon Cypress Point as reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson pairs with Rickie Fowler to take on Nick Watney and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III. The exhibition, whose galleries will be limited to club employees and a small number of invited guests, will be held this time around as a means of thanking some of the major donors to the First Tee.
The current players face a tall task to equal the level of golf on display in 1956. The first edition included 27 birdies and an eagle between the four players, as the amateur team of Venturi and Ward combined for a net score of 58 – only to be edged by Hogan and Nelson, who shot a net score of 57. During the match, Ben Hogan shot a 63, a mark that still stands today as the course record at Cypress Point.