England Duo Help Steer GB & I To Two Point Walker Cup Lead At Hoylake

Trevor Peake at Royal Liverpool …
ENGLAND’S Alex Fitzpatrick and Conor Gough both claimed two points as Great Britain and Ireland took a 7-5 lead over the United States of America after the opening day of the 47th Walker Cup at the sun kissed Hoylake links of Royal Liverpool.​
Fitzpatrick won his morning foursomes with Conor Purcell while Gough won with Harry Hall then they both won their singles in the afternoon.​
Brandon Wu got two points for USA winning his foursomes with Alex Smalley and then his singles 4 & 2 against Tom Sloman. ​
Honours were even after the morning foursomes all four games finishing on the 17th with identical 2 & 1 results.​
Fitzpatrick and Purcell beat Andy Ogletree and John Augenstein after being four up on the front nine. They won the first two holes then the fifth and the eighth, and although they lost the tenth they won the 12th before a mini fight-back saw USA cut the defiocit in half with wins at 13 and 15.​

Conor Purcell and Alex Fitzpatrick secure point for GB & Ireland as Walker Cup morning foursomes finish two all ahead of GB & I storming their way to a 7 & 5 lead heading to the last day

The long 16th was halved in birdies and the 17th in pars for Fiztpatrick and Gough to claim a famous victoryagainst US amateur champion Ogletree and the man he beat in the final.​
In the second match between Sandy Scott and Euan Walker and John Pak and Isaiah Salinda the Scottish duo went one up with a birdie at the short fourth, lost the seventh before the Americans won the ninth to take the lead.​
The home pair levelled at the short tenth with a birdie then lost three in a row. They won the long 16th with an eagle to be dormie two down then the 17th was halved and US clinched it.​
Harry Hall and Conor Gough were never behind against Stewart Hagestad and Akshay Bhatia in match three. They went one up at the second when the hole was conceded, lost the long third to an eagle, then won the next two. The Americans pulled one back at the eighth, conceded the 14th to go back to two down, won the 16th with a birdie but lost the 17th to a par and the match.​
Match four was a similarly tight affair Wu and Smalley eventually prevailing over Sloman and Thomas Plumb.​
The Americans won the third when their opponents conceded, lost the fifth, regained the lead with a par at the seventh went two up with a birdie at the tenth lost the 12th but won the 15th to go two up again then shared the next two in par to take the spoils.​
Fitzpatrick got the first singles point on the board with a two hole victory over world number one Cole Hammer in an error strewn match in which Fitzpatrick got seven bogies and five birdies and Hammer six bogies and four birdies conceding on the 18th when he put his third shot over the green with his opponent 10ft away in two.​
The second match between Walker and Steve Fisk produced the same result, Walker winning by two holes.​
He was never behind after winning the first when Fisk conceded. He was dormie two up when he got in trouble and conceded 17 but then Fisk met a similar fate when he had to give up on the last.​
In match three Scott and Ogletree both reached the turn in three under to be all square. but by the time they reached the 16th the GB&I player was dormie two up. He lost the 17th to a par but halved the 18th to win one up.​
Augenstein claimed America’s first point when he beat Cnor Purcell 2 & 1 despite not getting a single birdie. When the match finished he had conceded once, had three bogies and 13 pars, Purcell getting the only birdie of the match at the 14th, but conceded once and had six bogies.​
Amateur champion James Sugrue was never headed in his match against Pak but from one up with two to play he lost the last two and the match by one hole.​
Gough was always ahead against Salinda after winning the first. He was three up at the turn went four up after birdieing the short 13th but then lost three of the next four holes to be one up going down the last which he won with a par to take the match two up. ​
In match seven American Smalley had two birdies and bogies at the other nine holes to be four down to Caolan Rafferty after 11 holes. Smalley won the 12th, 15th and 16th to take the match to the 17th which Rafferty won with a bogey to take the match 2 & 1.​
Wu played the best golf of the day in the final match against Sloman bagging an eagle and seven birdies and dropping just two shots to be seven under par when the match fuinished on the 16th.​

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