THE iconic Leeds Cup, professional golf’s oldest trophy, returns to its spiritual home, Leeds (Cobble Hall), after an eight-year absence.
It is fantastic news for the club, which nearly went into administration in 2012.
Secretary Paul Mawman said: “We’re delighted that the cup is coming home and we’ve been endorsed by the PGA. We are also the only club that can use the Leeds crest.
“Staging the competition here (from May 15-17) also helps our marketing initiatives.”
PGA North secretary Jonathan Paine revealed: “The club were very keen to stage the Leeds Cup again based on the huge success they enjoyed the last time they hosted it.
“It’s great news for Yorkshire golf. The 36-hole tournament will be preceded by a pro-am and if everything goes to plan we expect it will continue at Cobble Hall on a regular basis.”
There has been plenty of drama over the years in the competition, including in 2008 when Waterton Park’s Scott Barber won a play-off on the final hole, an uphill par-3, at the 10th attempt.
The parkland course of Leeds, situated on the north side of the city and founded in 1896, staged the tournament for the first time 1902 when six-time Open champion Harry Vardon won.
Penrose Green, club president and subsequent Lord Mayor of the City, presented him with the magnificent trophy, which is showcased at the PGA Belfry headquarters because of its value.
Apart from Vardon, many other famous names have been inscribed on the cup including former Open champions, Ryder Cup players and well-known club professionals from both sides of the Pennines.
In the early years the competition was played alternately in Yorkshire and Lancashire.
Vardon’s winning score over two rounds was 149 followed by Alex Herd and JH Taylor, who were four off the pace.
It is recorded that in the 1911 tournament, the Leeds club had generously given £18 to provide £2 each for the first 14 players, who would qualify for a foursomes competition at Walton Heath.
The PGA had provided £20 in prize money for which £4 was voted as assistants’ prizes, divided into four prizes of £2, £1, 10s, and 10s.
Penrose Green also donated a prize of five guineas to go to any player breaking the course record of 72.
It was won by Horace Fulford, of Moortown, with an afternoon round of 71. The previous record of 72 was set by host professional Mr Caird, on November 3, 1901.