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Found: medal for Herald golf match that sparked start of the Ryder Cup

A MEDAL presented 93 years ago to a prominent English golfer who took part in a Herald-organised golf competition that sparked the Ryder Cup has come to light.

Josh Taylor was part of a professional British team that took on opponents from America over the Gleneagles course in June 1921.

The match, which Britain won 9-3, has come to be seen as a forerunner of the Ryder Cup.

In a speech in September 2012 at Medina golf course, Chicago, where that year's Ryder Cup was being held, First Minister Alex Salmond referred to the competition returning to Gleneagles this September. He said: "It was in 1921 that the first international match was played, which inspired the Ryder Cup."

The international match was the opening event of a 'golf tournament on a large scale' staged by the Herald - or Glasgow Herald, as it was known then - at Gleneagles.

The British team was captained by JH (John Henry) Taylor and featured such notables as James Braid, Harry Vardon, George Duncan, Abe Mitchell and Taylor's younger brother, Josh. Golf legend Walter Hagen was one of the American team.

Medals later presented to the golfers on both sides read: "America v Britain. First international professional golf match at 'The Glasgow Herald' tournament. Gleneagles 6 June 1921."

The medal awarded to Josh Taylor, a member of the Sudbury golf club in Wembley, Middlesex, at the time, has been unearthed by his nephew, Michael Wells.

Mr Wells said: "I read an article in the Herald Magazine about the 1921 event and remembered I had a medal that was linked to it.

"He and his brother JH were part of the Gleneagles team.

"Josh was the husband of my father's sister. He was born in Northam, in Devon, in 1880 and fought in the Boer War that broke out in 1899.

"Josh achieved quite a lot on his own account as a golfer - I have other medals. But the 1921 medal was the one that caught my eye.

"Obviously we want keep the medal in the family, but would be quite happy to loan it to Gleneagles during the Ryder Cup if there were any plans to display memorabilia from the earlier event."

Mr Taylor wrote at least two books on golf, The Art Of Golf, which had a chapter written by his brother, and The Lure Of The Links. He died, aged 76, in 1957.

"I don't remember him at all, sadly," Mr Wells said. "As far as I can remember, the family talk was always that he was slightly overshadowed by his rather more successful older brother when it come to golf."

JH Taylor won the Open Championship five times and captained the 1933 Great Britain Ryder Cup team to victory over America.

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