1927 World Tournament
St. Petersburg, Fla. - Feb. 14-23, 1927

Permission granted by author, Gary T. Kline of
"The Official N.H.P.A. History of the World Tournament 1909-1980", Reflection Press, Dayton, Ohio
Gary T. Kline's book on past world tournament (before 1980) is recommended reading for any horseshoe pitching enthusiast. With his kind permission, we bring excerpts from his fabulous collection of data, to wit:

1927 World Tournament (Winter)

The 1927 winter meet was a typical field with veterans ranking No. 2 through No. 17 at the end of preliminary play. J. S. Butler and G. W. Gunkle, also veterans, finished farther down the list. The one exception of the contenders was 15-year-old superstar, Jimmy Risk, destined to be the crowd and media darling while turning the horseshoe world upside down in his initial appearance. Harold Falor, 1923 Winter Champion, was to enter but developed water blisters on his pitching hand and decided not to compete.

Florida, home of the early tournaments, proved so appealing that a number of enthusiasts were enticed to leave their native soil. In this event alone Fred Brundige formerly of Ohio, Butler from Ohio and Gunkle from Illinois took up new residence in the Sunshine State.

Rain in the morning forced opening ceremonies to be rescheduled for Tuesday morning. Mayor R. S. Pearce and M. R. Beaman, executive vice president of the Chamber of Commerce, treated the thousands present to a ringer demonstration at that time. However, the sun broke through Monday afternoon, so at 3:00 p.m. the tournament began. Frank Jackson served notice to the youngsters in his two games, slaughtering Robinson 50-0 and Gunkle 50-1, averaging 69.3 percent. Mossman romped over Butler and Starkweather, each getting but six points. Putt averaged 66.2 percent. Davis pummeled Gunkle, also 50-1, while going 2-0, averaging 68.2 percent. Duryee won both his games averaging 70.0 percent. Little Jimmy Risk, in his only game, pitched 79.4 percent in trouncing Routson 50-8. Other undefeated's were C. C. Brundige, Fred Brundige, D. T. Leonard and Nunamaker, all with two wins. To accommodate the huge crowd, 1500 additional bleacher seats were erected with the Chamber of Commerce and City Park Board supplying the manpower.

Tuesday belonged to Risk as he was called upon to run the gauntlet of champions and did so in a sensational manner. First Mossman went down 50-29, then Davis 50-15. In the afternoon young Jimmy downed Jackson 50-28. Risk finished the day 7-0 averaging 71.3. This left him tied with the unlikely duo of C. C. Brundige and D. T. Leonard, also 7O. In other big matches, Jackson took Duryee 50-44 and Mossman fought off choke fever, almost blowing a 16-point lead while at 42, before finally winning 50-46 over Nunamaker. Jackson (7-1), Mossman (6-1), and Nunamaker (6-1) were the next leading contenders. Duryee swamped Davis 50-21 leaving them, as well as Moore and Thompson, with two defeats each.

Wednesday was spent separating the grain from the chaff. Risk was merciless with Leonard, winning 50-6 for D.T.'s first loss. He then took C. C. Brundige 50-23 to sever their tie. In other big matches Nunamaker beat Jackson 50-45 and Davis 50-21. Duryee bested C. C. Brundige 50-27 and Leonard 50-17. Risk (12-0), Mossman (11-1), Nunamaker (11-1), plus Duryee (10-2) were the main contenders.

Thursday, Risk defeated Nunamaker 50-38 to go 17-0 for the tournament. Frank Jackson improved his lot in the pecking order by dumping Davis 50-45 and "Putt"ing away Mossman 50-44. There was an abbreviated schedule on Friday due to the Women's preliminaries. Jackson lost to C. C. Brundige 50-33. Risk went to 21-0 with Mossman at 20-2. Robinson (13-9), Moore (12-9), and Robison (11-11) were in a dogfight for the final two positions with only one day to go.

Saturday's big matches included Mossman losing to Davis 50-36. A three way tie for 11th was won by Robison, while Moore defeated Robinson for the 12th position. Jimmy Risk, although finishing 25-0 in the preliminaries, showed a sign of weakness in losing the first game before taking the next two in his three game exhibition with Mossman.

With no matches allowed on Sunday, the day was left open for much discussion by the experts as to who would win the tournament. Was Frank Jackson playing "possum"? The prior summer Putt Mossman defeated Risk six of eight in exhibition matches. Nunamaker had surprisingly closed for second place. Clyde C. Davis was considered outclassed in an era of the 70 percent pitchers because he won his championships with a lesser percentage. Many said he would never be champion again. Duryee was a dangerous dark horse. Monday, first day of the finals, saw "possums" Davis (68.7 percent) and Jackson (68.3 percent) leading the pack at 10-1. Davis' lone loss was to Mossman 50-34; Jackson's to Davis 50-47. Mossman lost to Nunamaker and to Jackson in a 100 shoe match. Nunamaker lost to Risk, Davis and Jackson. Although Risk bettered his preliminary percentage by tossing 66.8 for the day, he lost to Jackson in the morning and to Mossman 50-26 and Davis 50-34 in the afternoon.

Tuesday, Davis lost his only match to Risk, 50-39, before winning his next ten in impressive fashion. These included wins over Putt (50-36), Blair (50-22), Jackson (50-25) and Duryee (50-13). Risk lost only to Nunamaker, 50-39. Nunamaker's other loss was to Duryee. Jackson's other two losses were to Risk and Nunamaker. Mossman faltered with Davis, Nunamaker, Jackson and Risk. Davis stood 20-2 with a two game edge over Risk and Jackson.

On Wednesday, Feb. 23, with $3,000 in prize money going to the 12 finalists, last day tension was at its greatest. Davis, after losing to Risk (50-40) and Nunamaker (50-48), sneaked away with the World Championship due to Jackson's victory over Risk (50-34). Davis was now ready to lead the N.H.P.A. into the era of the 70 percent horseshoe pitcher. Young schoolboy Jimmy Risk was to be heard from later as he had launched the beginning of a beautiful career, one which would lead him into the Hall of Fame along with Davis, Nunamaker, Mossman and Jackson.

1927 World Tournament St. Petersburg, Fla. - Feb. 14-23, 1927
W.L.R.Sp. Pet.
1. Jimmy Risk Montpelier, Ind. 25 0 772 1184 .652
2. Blair Nunamaker Cleveland, Ohio 23 2 777 1296 .600
3. Frank Jackson Kellerton, Iowa 22 3 750 1224 .613
4. Putt Mossman Eldora, Iowa 22 3 822 1354 .607
5. C. C. Davis Columbus, Ohio 21 4 726 1162 .625
6. Bert Duryee Wichita, Kansas 19 6 687 1290 .533
7. Fred Brundige Lake Worth, Fla. 19 6 630 1300 .485
8. C. R. Thompson Tampa, Fla. 18 7 732 1336 .548
9. Charles C. Brundige Columbus, Ohio 18 7 605 1396 .433
10. David T. Leonard Adams Basin, N.Y. 17 8 579 1306 .443
11.Leslie Robison Peoria, Ill. 13 12 584 1404 .416
12. Parker Moore Chicago, Ill. 13 12 542 1406 .385
13. Harry H. Robinson St. Petersburg, Fla. 13 12 543 1448 .375
14. George Conklin St. Petersburg, Fla. 11 14 445 1378 .323
15. LeRoy C. Hill Columbus, Ohio 11 14 543 1402 .387
16. O. J. Hawkins Newark, Ohio 10 15 452 1370 .330
17. Charles Jarvis Marion, Ind. 9 16 440 1402 .314
18. Abner Whipple Connersville, Ind. 8 17 407 1518 .268
19. H. B. Kuder Medina, Ohio 7 18 397 1442 .275
20. Harry E, See Canton, Ohio 6 19 311 1346 .231
21. E. H. Bliss Rockport, Ill. 5 20 368 1376 .267
22. James S. Butler St. Petersburg, Fla. 4 21 388 1400 .277
23. O. Starkweather Lansing, Mich. 4 21 352 1414 .249
24. George B. Webb Wooster, Ohio 4 21 413 1438 .287
25. E. M. Routson Piqua, Ohio 3 22 345 1396 .247
26. George W. Gunkle St. Petersburg, Fla. 0 25 155 1180 .131
Totals325 3251376535168.391
Duryee, Jackson, Nunamaker and Risk each won one game from Davis in the preliminaries.
W.L.R.Sp. Pet.
1.C. C. DavisColumbus, Ohio29413831998.692
2. Jimmy RiskMontpelier, Ind.28513632030.6 7
3.Blair NunamakerCleveland, Ohio27612842056.625
4.Frank JacksonKellerton, Iowa25813572100.646
5.Putt MossmanEldora, Iowa231013182084.632
6. Bert DuryeeWichita, Kansas15 1811132022.550
7. C. R. ThompsonTampa, Fla.15 1811052036.543
8. Charles C. Brundige Columbus, Ohio11 229662046.472
9.David T. LeonardAdams Basin, N.Y.11229101950.467
10. Fred BrundigeLake Worth, Fla.8 259822020.486
11. Parker MooreChicago, Ill.4 297681818.422
12. Leslie RobisonPeoria, Ill.2 317881886.418
Totals198 1981333724046.554
Grand Totals, Prelims and Finals523 5232710259214.458
Mossman and Nunamaker each won one game and Risk two games from Davis in the finals.

The first week 26 men played each other one 50-point game. The second week the 12 highest pitched each other one 50-point game each day for three days. The man winning the most games the second week was declared World's Champion. WORLD'S RECORDS MADE - In the finals Davis made a total average ringer percentage of .692, which was the highest ever made in the finals before, Davis standing ahead of all competitors in all points in the game. This record has never been equaled in such a series of games.

Games were played on the clay courts of the Sunshine Pleasure Club