Bill Sutton

An oil worker from Birkenhead, and a member of West Cheshire Artisans, Bill Sutton won back-to-back county championships in 1926 and '27, and won again in 1936. He came to national prominence in 1929 by winning the English Amateur Championship at Gosforth, Northumberland. The semi-final, where he met the renowned Cyril Tolley, was played in a snow storm, resulting in a minor controversy on the final green as detailed in the reports below.  In the final he met E.B. Tipping of Ashdown Forset, who he defeated 3&2.

Cyril Tolley putts across the snow on the 18th green in his semi-final defeat to Bill Sutton (image courtesy of Northumberland G.C.)
Bill Sutton (right) with E.B.Tipping prior to the 1929 English Amateur final (image courtesy of Northumberland G.C.)

 

Sutton putts on the first green in the 1929 final (image courtesy of Northumberland .G.C.)

Having won the English Amateur, Sutton was clearly aggrieved at not being considered for the 1930 Walker Cup, and this perceived injustice reached the press. To make his point, Sutton, by now a member of Timperley GC, travelled to Ireland for the 1930 Irish Open Amateur Championship, which he won by beating Douglas Fiddian in the final. To add further to his point, he also beat Bill Tweddell 4&3 in the 6th round of the Amateur Championship at St Andrews in the same year. He was to lose to George Voigt of the USA in the quarter final of a championship which Bobby Jones won on his way to his legendary 1930 "Grand Slam".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sutton makes his England debut against Scotland, Royal St George's Sandwich, 1929.

Back row: J.B.Beddard, Bill Sutton, G. Illingworth, J.A. Stout, Eric Fiddian, Rex Hartley, Dr Bill Tweddell
Front row: Cyril Tolley, Roger Wethered (capt) T.P. Perkins

Sutton, by now playing from Timperley G.C, also made it to the final of the 1931 English Amateur at Hunstanton, where he lost by one hole to Leonard Crawley.

Bill Sutton with his opponent in the 1931 English Amateur semi-final, T.H.Bowman (Woodhall Spa)

Sutton in trouble on the 18th hole in the final with Leonard Crawley at Hunstanton

In the 1933 English Amateur, he beat the reigning Amateur champion, John de Forest 4&3 in the third round.

Having moved to the Timperley Golf Club, Sutton found himself on the move again, when the club's land was aquired for the planned Wythenshawe council estate. He made the move, along with a number of Timperley members, to the exclusive Mere Golf and Country Club near Knutsford.

Sutton putting at Saunton in the 1937 English Amateur Championship. The Saunton Sands Hotel can be seen in the background

Sutton (centre) at the 1937 English Amateur, Saunton

Sutton playing the 3rd at Royal Birkdale in the 1939 English Amateur Championship

Sutton at Birkdale, 1939

Sutton reached the final of the 1939 English Amateur, where he met Arnold Bentley of Hesketh in a final that he lost

  

 

Bill Sutton played an exhibition match at Mere involving Gene Sarazen, George Duncan and Bert Shaw in 1936.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sutton made 10 appearances for England.

Bill's brother Norman was also a fine player who won the 1928 county championship, thereby keeping the trophy in the family for 3 years. Norman was noted for carrying only woods, three iron clubs and a putter in his bag. He subsequently turned professional.

Researched and written by Jerry Dixon

Images and press articles, except where stated otherwise,  courtesy of British Newspaper Archive