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Bury to host Merit event in legend’s name

By David Birtill

THE Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit continues to attract the region’s top amateurs as it clocks up 31 years.

And Bury, a newcomer to the fold this season, did not hesitate when it suggested the Harry Vardon Trophy as an annual prize.

The great man, the club’s first professional in 1891 who popularised the grip bearing his name, won an astonishing record six Open Championships which still stand.

Gary Coope, in his 15th year as Bury professional, said: “He played here for five years prior to moving to Ganton. From there he won The Open in 1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911 and 1914. It was a fantastic achievement and it’s doubtful anyone will match it.

“Our members gave him a clock in recognition of his feat and received from him a graceful letter of thanks. We still have the letter, but the clock eventually went to America.”

Unfortunately, the golf course did not survive the years after the First World War when the land was needed for housing and a new road to Radcliffe.

Norman Duxbury, a paper maker, and Sam Roberts, a coal merchant, were instrumental in the decision to buy land to provide a new course which still remains.

Vardon is still commemorated at the club. The dining room is named after him and contains a picture of the great man himself playing at the original site.