USA Romp To Five-Point Royal Liverpool Walker Cup Triumph


Report by Trevor Peake, Hoylake …

US win eight of the ten singles to run away with the Walker Cup​.

JOHN AUGENSTEIN claimed the winning point when he beat Great Britain and Ireland’s Thomas Plumb 4 & 3 to clinch the 47th Walker Cup for the United States of America over the Hoylake links at Royal Liverpool.

USA won eight of the ten afternoon singles and the match 15 1/2 – 10 1/2 to retain the famous old trophy they regained at Los Angeles Country Club two years ago having lost the last match over here at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2015.​

GB&I hopes were high after holding a two point lead over night, which was cut to one point after the morning foursomes, but USA proved far too strong in the singles.​

“Obviously the boys are disappointed,” said GB&I captain Craig Watson. “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.”

Sandy Scott and Tom Sloman got GB&I’s two points in the singles. Scott beat Brandon Wu 5 & 3 in the third match to keep home hopes alive briefly, while Sloman beat Steve Fisk by two holes in the final singles playing the best golf of the afternoon with eight birdies, three dropped shots and no less than nine threes. ​

In the opening match Alex Fitzpatrick had a ding-dong struggle with Isaiah Salinda. He was two down after three, fought back to be two up after 11, then lost the next three holes to go one behind. They shared the next three before Salinda won the 18th and the match by two holes.​

For a first time since 2007 and the United States team lift The Walker Cup as they celebrate victory following the singles matches during Day 2 of the Walker Cup at Royal Liverpool Golf Club. (Photo by Richard Martin-Roberts/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

John Pak was always in front against Euan Walker after winning the first with a par. In a tight struggle he went two up a couple of times only for Walker to hit back with birdies at 12 and 14.​

Walker also birdied the long 16th but Pak posted an eagle to go back to two up and closed out the match 2 & 1 with a par at the 17th.​

Scott claimed the scalp of the highly rated Wu. He romped into a five hole lead after eight holes with birdies at the first, third and seventh and winning pars at the fourth and eighth.​

Then he stalled dramatically losing the next three holes to an eagle and two pars before a birdie at the 12th got him back on track. He birdied 14 to go four up with four to play, sealing the match 4 & 3 with a half at the 15th.​

In the fourth match Caolan Rafferty kept himself in the hunt against Alex Smalley with birdies at the fifth, seventh and ninth to be just one behind at the turn despite dropping shots at the first, third, fourth, sixth and eighth.​

Smalley went two up with a par at the 12th only for Rafferty to win the 14th with a birdie. Smalley then won 15 with a par and Rafferty hit back with a winning birdie at 16 but a par was good enough to win the 17th for Smalley and the match 2 & 1.​

West Cornwall’s Harry Hall was never in front against Stewart Hagestad but was holding him to just one hole when he lost three on the bounce from the ninth.​

They parred the next three but then Hall conceded when he got in trouble at the 15th and the match was lost 5 & 3.​

After halving the first three holes US amateur champion Andy Ogletree went two up against Conor Gough with birdies at four and five before Gough hit back with a winning par at the eighth. They halved the next four holes then Gough got back to all square with a birdie two at the short 13th. But Ogletree posted birdies at 16 and 17 to win the match 2 & 1.​

One birdie and six pars saw Augenstein go four up after seven holes against Plumb before Plumb got two back at the eighth and ninth. He then lost the 12th and 14th to pars to go back to four down and a par at the 15th gave Augustein the match 4 & 3 and the point which got USA over the line.​

With two birdies and an eagle Akshay Bhatia went four up after five against James Sugrue before  Ireland’s amateur champion hit back winning the sixth with a par and the seventh with a birdie.​

He lost the eighth to a par won the ninth with a birdie, then lost 10 and 11 to pars to go back to four down and although he won the 15th with a birdie Bhatia took the match 4 & 2 when he birdied the 16th.​

World No. 1 Cole Hammer smarting from defeats in his first two matches, took it out on Ireland’s Conor Purcell. He was three up after six and although Purcell pulled one back with a winning par at the eight, Hammer bagged birdie threes at the next two to move to four up, then won 12 and 13 with pars to take the match 6 & 5.​

After losing the first to a par Sloman had five threes, including three birdies in the next six holes to go three up against Steve Fisk in the final match out.​

He lost the eighth to a birdie three but then got two more birdie threes at nine and ten to make it seven threes in ten holes and four up.​

Fisk won 11, 12 and 14 with two pars and a birdie to narrow the gap to one, while Sloman got his eighth three at the short 13th which they halved.​

They 15, 16 and 17 and then Sloman got his eight birdie at the final hole for a round of 66 to a rousing cheer from the long suffering home supporters. ​

In the morning foursomes Fitzpatrick and Purcell led from the start against Wu and

Smalley after birdieing the first two holes. But the wheels came off dramatically at the end when they conceded three times in four holes to lose the match 2 & 1.​

They were still one up after 13, conceded 14, to go all square but then picked up again at 16 and 17 for a shock defeat.​

Hagestad and Bhatia beat Hall and Gough 3 & 2 having led from the start. They won

the first with a par, the third with an eagle and the fifth with a bogie before GB & got back to one down with a winning pars at the sixth and the 12th.​

The teams then birdied all the next four holes, but the US pair got three of them at 13, 14 and 16, while Hall and Gough managed just one at the 15th.​

Walker and Scott shared the first halved match of the contest with Ogletree and Augenstein.​

In a match which yielded only one birdie, a winning two for the Scots at the 13th, the US pair went three up with winning pars at five, six and seven. They lost the eighth and the 13th, won the 14th to go two up but then Walker and Scott won the 15th and 17th with pars and they halved the 18th in par and the match.​

Sloman and Plumb dominated their match against world number one amateur Hammer and Fisk running out winners by 5 & 3,  the first game on the contest that had failed to get as far as the 16th.​

The West Country pair won the first with a birdie, the fourth and sixth when the US conceded and the sixth with a birdie to go four up. They conceded the fifth, the next four holes were halved before Sloman and Plumb won the 14th with a birdie to go dormie four up. Then the US got in trouble at the 15th and conceded the hole and the match.​









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