Born: March 28, 1877
Died: August 26, 1943
Height: 6 ft
Birthplace: Jersey, United Kingdom
Turned Pro: 1895
Edward Rivers “Ted” Ray was a two-time Major Champion who contended often for Major titles during the second decade of the 21st century. The young Brit Ray idolized Harry Vardon, who was 7 years his senior.
Ray, like many players of that generation, honed his skills while working as a caddy. Ray turned professional after his 18th birthday and took a club professional job at Churston Golf Club. The club’s committee encouraged Ray to develop his game and granted him a week’s leave with wages so he could compete in the Open Championship during his time at the club.
Ray is perhaps best known for his central role in the 1913 U.S. Open which was dramatized into a book and movie called The Greatest Game Ever Played. That week, Ray and his hero Harry Vardon, were outdueled by a young American name Francis Ouimet. While much of the European attention at the time was place on Vardon, James Braid and John Henry Taylor, Ray was a tremendous player in his own right. At Muirfield in 1912, Ray won the Open Championship. Ray went on to record a dozen top tens at the Open Championship, a remarkable model of consistency.
Eight years later, Ray would capture the 1920 U.S. Open Championship as a 43-year old.
Ray was known for his prodigious length off the tee and his ability to extricate himself from all sorts of trouble he would find himself in when his big tee shots drifted wayward. With a smile on his face and a pipe tucked between his lips, Ray was a gallery favorite who thrilled crowds with his swashbuckling style of play.
Ray died at 66 years of age in London in 1943.