In front of the red brick club-house of the Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake, a citadel which by its tower and clock commemorates the great achievements of Hoylake's famous son, John Ball, there was assembled late in the afternoon of Friday, the 21st of June 1907 (being the forty-seventh year of the Open Championship), a large gathering of golfing persons who by their speech and demeanour suggested some of the vivid unrealities of a stage crowd near the footlights. They had a self- conscious and somewhat artificial bearing towards each other. They muttered and beckoned. They gave the impression of being a little uneasy and nervous. Friends among them who essayed to conduct a conversation found themselves at a loss for appropriate comments upon what had happened and made remarks which had no clear or relevant meaning. Professor Paterson, wearing the red rosette, came from the house and stood before the little table bearing a silver cup which had been held by the line of champions all the way from the time of Morris, the younger, and a familiar friendly figure in chequered garments moved about in a manner of official preparation. What had happened had indeed been dramatic; but the drama had had the living circumstance of full reality. We could not discuss constructions and readings, and suggest other endings. Here was the one gross fact, that Arnaud Massy, a Basque, the professional attached to the leading club of Paris, a strong bonily built man with no British blood in his being, had just made himself the possessor for the year of that historic championship cup, which hitherto had never been taken out of the United Kingdom. This was something which the gathering did with difficulty absorb into their golfing minds. They were good sportsmen, and they cheered because they knew that this Massy was a fine fellow and a good champion; but it was all a little dream-like, and there was a spell that needed to be broken.
Massy, the victor, with a big smiling face came forward. The gold medal was delivered to him. There was a little silence, a few muttered incoherent words, and then this splendid Massy threw up his hands into the air and shouted out with a full blast from his lusty lungs, "Vive l'entente cordiale!" The tensity was broken; the people cheered easily, naturally, and whole heartedly; they accepted Massy as the true and proper successor to James Braid in the Open Championship, and wished him thoroughly well - even though he were a Frenchman or a Basque. He had done the right thing.
This foreign player (never forgetting that he was trained to the game at Biarritz, which in golf is mostly British, though it lies under the laws of France) was brought to England and Scotland by Sir Everard Hambro, and was improved in golf at North Berwick with Ben Savers assisting him. He well deserved to win that championship, and it should not be overlooked that, so to say, he has confirmed his victory by making a tie for the championship again since then. He is the only man outside the great triumvirate who has done so much as twice to reach the top of the list in modern times. He was well on his own very good game. There was a crispness about his play with his wooden clubs that indicated the man who for the time being had full confidence and could hit his hardest. And Massy's putting, especially in the case of the most difficult and fateful of all putts, those of from five to nine feet - putts for the missing of which there is the fullest excuse, for whose holing there is enormous gain - had been splendid for a long time before and was most excellent then. At those putts of the kind I remark upon I do not think that Massy in accuracy or confidence has his equal in the world. He strokes the ball into the hole as though it were the simplest thing to do; easily and gracefully he putts it in. In other ways he makes a fine figure of a golfer. Military training in France has given him a stiffer, straighter build than most great golfers have, for this game tends a little to a crouching gait and posture. Massy marches from the tee to the ball that has gone before with a quick, regular step of the right-left-right military way, and when he comes up with the ball he does a right wheel round, presents his club, and plays his second with a quickness and lack of hesitation in which he is second only to George Duncan. Particularly in putting is Massy a man of inspirations and quick impulse. And I must not now forget that there is in the world a charming little lady who is called Mlle. Hoylake Massy, which is her proper name. Providence is disposed often to be kind and generous to the strong and those who have well deserved, and that week Mme. Massy gave to the man who was even then making himself the champion a sweet little daughter. Having won the championship, the next question was one of christenings, and, said Massy to his wife, "Voila! Surely she shall be called our little Hoylake!" Which she was accordingly, Mme. Massy, rejoicing in her husband's success, like the good, happy little woman of Scotland that she is, having cordially agreed.
And in France there were rejoicings among the golfers. My friend, M. Pierre Deschamps, fine and keen sportsman (and the " father of golf in France," as we call him for the grand work he has done in establishing the game so well at La Boulie, where he is president of the Societe de Golf de Paris, and encouraging it with all his heart and energy elsewhere in his country), rose and made a remarkable declaration that golf was to be the " national game of France." The national game of France, our Scottish golf of English development, started, as some still will have it, in Holland, played in some sort of way as jeu de mail even in France, practised in Pekin, called the "national game" also, as I have heard it, in America - now it was to be naturalised and made the "national game of France!" Ubiquitous golf indeed! M. Deschamps, whose words are careful if they are quick, as befits one who is in the diplomatic service of his country, sat down and wrote an essay on golf in general, and Massy's success in particular, and, addressing the new champion as if he were before him, said: "Et maintenant a vous la parole, mon cher Massy; continuez votre brillante carriere, jouissez de votre belle gloire dont nous sommes tous fiers, comme Golfeurs et comme Francais; a cette heure, ou tant de links s'ouvrent chez nous, pour repondre aux besoins d'enthousiastes sportsmen, puissent d'autres pro-fessionnels de notre race suivre votre example, unique encore dans les fastes du 'Royal and Ancient Game,' et contribuer a faire de ce sport un jeu national dans notre beau pays de France!" That was written. In victory you may be magnanimous, and M. Deschamps at this time would graciously waive all questions of origins and growths; he must have felt that then it mattered little that a kind of golf called chole had been played ages back by the people of the north, and that it was possible the Scots had copied from them. It was enough that Arnaud Massy was "le Champion du monde."