The United States of America won the 47th Walker Cup match after defeating Great Britain and Ireland 15½-10½ at Royal Liverpool today.
Nearly 11,000 fans flocked to Hoylake over the two-day match which ended with the USA winning the Walker Cup away from home for the first time since 2007 at Royal County Down.
Nathaniel Crosby’s side were 7-5 down after the first day of play but responded magnificently on day two to clinch the morning foursomes 2½-1½ and the afternoon singles 8-2 to run out comfortable winners.
The USA retains the trophy after their 19-7 win at Los Angeles Country Club two years ago and now leads the overall series 37-9-1.
Sandy Scott claimed the first point of the afternoon singles for GB&I after an impressive 4&3 win over Brandon Wu, who was undefeated in his previous three matches this weekend.
The 21-year-old from Nairn found himself 5-up after eight holes, only to lose the next three holes to the American. Scott responded with birdies on the 12th and 14th to go 4-up and the match was closed out shortly afterwards when the 15th hole was halved in par.
The USA responded immediately with John Pak edging out Euan Walker by 2&1 to ensure that the Florida State University student finished undefeated in the match overall with three points from three matches.
After Isaiah Salinda triumphed by two holes against Alex Fitzpatrick, the two sides were level at 9½-9½, before Stewart Hagestad, who was a member of the winning American team two years ago, nudged his side in front after dominating against Harry Hall to win 5&3.
Alex Smalley extended his side’s lead with a 2&1 win over Caolan Rafferty which was immediately followed by Cole Hammer’s emphatic 6&5 victory over Conor Purcell to put the USA 12½-9½ up.
Any hopes of a fightback for GB&I were extinguished when John Augenstein defeated Thomas Plumb 4&3 to clinch the winning point and leave the USA in an unassailable position at 13½-9½.
US Amateur champion Andy Ogletree then notched up another win for the USA after defeating Conor Gough 2&1 to make the score 14½-9½ and Akshay Bhatia pressed home the advantage further for Crosby’s side after taking care of his match by 4&2 against the 2019 Amateur champion James Sugrue.
It was left to Tom Sloman to salvage some pride for the home side and he delivered GB&I’s second point of the singles by beating Steven Frisk by two holes to leave the final score at 15½-10½.
GB&I’s two-point overnight lead was reduced to a single point as the USA won the morning foursomes session 2½-1½.
The Americans claimed the first point of the session thanks to Smalley and Wu winning their match 2&1 against Fitzpatrick and Purcell.
Despite being behind for long periods of the encounter, they fought back to be all-square at the 14th and a birdie at the par 5 16th put the pair ahead in the contest for the first time. A concession on the 17th by GB&I secured a 2&1 win for the US duo.
Scott and Walker rescued a half point for GB&I after chasing Augenstein and Ogletree for much of their foursomes match. They found themselves 2-down with four holes to play but pars on the 15th and 17th were enough to return the match to all-square. The 18th was halved in par to give both sides a share of the spoils.
Hagestad and Bhatia put another point on the board for the USA after convincingly defeating Gough and Hall 3&2. The American pair were 3-up after five holes and never looked back as their opponents struggled to stay with them. A birdie at the 16th sealed the match.
Plumb and Sloman proved too much for Cole Hammer and Steven Fisk as they ran out 5&3 winners in the last foursomes match. They were 4-up by the 7th and despite dropping one hole back at the 8th, a birdie at the 14th followed by a concession by the Americans at the 15th gave Watson’s side a point.
Nathaniel Crosby, captain, United States of America, said, “I honestly thought that these guys would let their talent come to the surface. I liked the idea that the wind was laying down a little bit this afternoon but these guys have been over here for seven or eight days. The singles were amazing. The guys played great.
“These guys are inseparable and they’ve got a great memory now. This Walker Cup experience is going to be a memory and a winning memory at that.”
Craig Watson, captain, Great Britain and Ireland, said, “Obviously the boys are disappointed. It didn’t go quite to plan but they can be proud of their achievements to get in the team first of all and of their performance this weekend. I’m proud of all of them.”
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