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USA Surges Back to Win Walker Cup

By: | Mon 09 Sep 2019 | Comments

The United States came from behind to defeat Great Britain and Ireland 15.5-10.5 and win the Walker Cup at Royal Liverpool.

GB&I led 7-5 after day one at Royal Liverpool, but the visitors narrowed the gap after the morning foursomes to a single point and totally dominated the singles, winning eight of the 10 matches. And they secured their first win in Britain since 2007 when John Augenstein beat England's Thomas Plumb 4&3.

A battling half from Scottish duo Euan Walker and Sandy Scott in the foursomes had ensured GB&I took a slender advantage going into the singles, which featured all 10 players from both sides. But the tide soon turned against GB&I. Scott won his second singles of the weekend with a fine 4&3 victory over Brandon Wu, but there was not enough support.

Tom Sloman of England also won his match, by two holes over Steven Fisk in the last game out, but by the time he had finished, US celebrations were already well under way. 

The American team, led by captain Nathanial Crosby, had greater strength in depth that manifested itself, particularly on Hoylake's back nine. Had GB&I taken full advantage of the promising position they found themselves in on Saturday afternoon then things could have turned out very differently, but too many putts were missed and the USA were able to keep in touch before that decisive performance on Sunday. 

Crosby, son of the late Bing Crosby, said: ‘I can’t tell you how proud I am of the way my team played,’ said Crosby. ‘It was an amazing effort and has left each of us with a memory we’re going to cherish for the rest of our lives.’

Home captain Craig Watson wanted the wind to blow and instead got the sort of calm conditions over the weekend that happen so rarely each year at this fearsome links and it played into the hands of the Americans.

Typical of the final afternoon was the match between Isaiah Salinda and Alex Fitzpatrick, the younger brother of European Tour star Matthew. Two down with seven holes to play, it was looking like a point on the board for GB&I, but Salinda, a 22-year-old from San Francisco, had other ideas.

He won three holes in a row before coming up with perhaps the pivotal putt in the contest, holing from 12ft for a gutsy half at the 17th to preserve his one-hole lead. When he clinched that vital point at the 18th, what followed thereafter assumed an air of inevitability.

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