USA Completes Comeback Victory in Walker Cup at St Andrews
IN THE end it was an all too familiar story, with the USA beating Great Britain & Ireland 14.5-11.5 to comfortably retain the Walker Cup at St Andrews. They have now won it 39 times, with GB&I claiming it nine times, and one match tied.
It had all looked so different after the first day, with the home side leading 7.5-4.5. But it was a totally different story on Sunday.
Led by Gordon Sargent, the world’s best amateur who finished with four wins, the visitors rallied and were simply too strong.
The Americans won three of the four morning foursomes, and then claimed six of the 10 singles matches and halved two others to complete the comeback.
“They played hard to the bitter end,” U.S. captain Mike McCoy said. “This one is going to be a great ride home.”
Caleb Surratt never trailed in the lead match, a 3-and-2 victory over Calum Scott, and then U.S. Amateur champion Nick Dunlap picked up a key half-point at the time. Dunlap was 3 down with four to play against Barclay Brown when he won the next two holes and then halved the match with a birdie on the 18th.
Sargent and John Gough of England were all square going to the 17th when Gough sent his drive too far right, just over the ball near the Old Course Hotel and out-of-bounds. That gave Sargent a 1-up lead. Sargent, a junior at Vanderbilt, then drove the 18th green with a 3-wood and Gough conceded the match as Sargent’s eagle putt trickled to a stop near the hole.
The final blow for the Americans was Dylan Menante three-putting the 18th for a halve with Matthew McClean. That gave them 12.5 points, with two other matches dormie on the course, assuring them enough to win the cup that dates to 1922.
“All the momentum seemed to be on the U.S. side,” GB&I captain Stuart Wilson said. “Their players handled the conditions better than our guys.”
GB&I were looking to win for the first time since 2015 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes and had the momentum with a 7 1/2-4 1/2 lead after the two Saturday sessions.
McCoy said he was concerned because the morning foursomes is not the U.S. strength. But he put his best two players together - Sargent and Dunlap - and they scored a 1-up victory in the second match. Surratt, who went 3-1 for the week, and Ben James won the lead match and Preston Summerhays and Nick Gabrelcik also picked up a point.
“After the morning session, I felt a lot better, like we were back in the tournament and we had a chance to win this thing,” McCoy said.
What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)
comments powered by Disqus