Sport

U.S. retain Walker Cup with win at Royal Liverpool

U.S. retain Walker Cup with win at Royal Liverpool”

Craig Watson's side need six points from Sunday's foursomes and singles matches to win back the Walker Cup after losing to the U.S. two years ago at Los Angeles Country Club.

Team USA won the Walker Cup for the second straight time, and the first time overseas since winning at Royal County Down in 2007.

In the other foursomes, Salinda and John Park beat Sandy Scott and Euan Walker 2 and 1, and Americans Brandon Wu and Alex Smalley edged Thomas Sloman and Thomas Plumb 2 and 1.

Fitzpatrick had raised home hopes by moving two up on Salinda, only to lose the next three holes in succession, although Sloman had recovered from an early deficit to lead Fisk by two holes in the final match.

The Americans actually earned more points in foursomes this weekend, 4.5-3.5, and if they end up winning it all they will be the 11th team in the past 12 Walker Cups to win more foursomes points and capture the Cup. They were 4-up by the 7 and despite dropping one hole back at the 8, a birdie at the 14 followed by a concession by the Americans at the 15 gave Watson's side a point.

"It really doesn't matter who clinches it", said Augenstein, lost to Andy Ogeltree of Littlerock, Miss., 2 and 1, last month in the United States Amateur final at Pinehurst No. 2.

Great Britain and Ireland captain Craig Watson consoles Alex Fitzpatrick after he lost his singles match
Great Britain and Ireland captain Craig Watson consoles Alex Fitzpatrick after he lost his singles match

Cole Hammer produced the best result of the day as he beat Ireland's Connor Purcell 6&5, and just a couple of groups later John Augenstein clinched the crucial point with a 4&3 victory over Thomas Plumb.

Scott then claimed a notable scalp for GB&I, defeating US Amateur champion Ogletree by one hole in a match where the Nairn golfer fired in six birdies.

After being left out in the morning, world No 1 Cole Hammer was sent out first by Crosby against Fitzpatrick while there was also a first taste of action for Amateur champion James Sugrue against Pak.

Matt Fitzpatrick admitted he found it hard to watch - but he was all smiles at the end as his brother Alex won both his matches on a fine opening day for Britain and Ireland at the Walker Cup at Royal Liverpool.

United States of America captain Nathaniel Crosby, who played in the Walker Cup the last time it was held at Hoylake back in 1983, said:"I think we were a little slow getting started this morning". We were pretty lucky to be 5-3 down when it looked like we could be 6-2 or even 7-1-down. "I'm proud of all of them".

"This afternoon I just could not believe the amount of putts Great Britain and Ireland made in the first 45 minutes".

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