Sep 9th, 2019
Walker Cup 2019
USA storm back to take victory
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
In near perfect conditions at Royal Liverpool, team USA showed their class in turning an overnight deficit of two points into a resounding victory by a score of 15½ to 10½. Having clinched the morning foursomes by 2½ to 1½, the American crushed the home side in the singles 8-2.
Although the overall record in the event is very much in the favour of the USA, with thirty-seven wins to GB&I’s nine, with one tied, this is only second US victory this side of the pond in the last 24 years.
The last team from the USA to win away, at Royal County Down in 2007, included future stars such as Dustin Johnson, Ricky Fowler and Webbs Simpson. It may not be long until we start seeing some of the names from the American team making headlines in the pro ranks.
Scotland's Sandy Scott picked up the first point of the afternoon singles with a fine victory over the previously unbeaten Brandon Wu however, after that it was pretty much one way traffic.
John Pak of the USA edged 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.
The match was then levelled when Isaiah Salinda triumphed by two holes against Alex Fitzpatrick. Stewart Hagestad, a member of the winning American team two years ago, then took his team into the lead with a resounding victory against Harry Hall by 5&3.
Alex Smalley extended the lead further 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.
A comeback by GB&I never looked on the cards and when John Augenstein defeated Thomas Plumb 4&3 the USA were in an unassailable position at 13½-9½.
Team USA notched up two further points when US Amateur champion Andy Ogletree defeated Conor Gough 2&1 and Akshay Bhatia beat Amateur champion James Sugrue by 4&2.
It was left to Tom Sloman to salvage some pride for the home side beating Steven Frisk in the final match by two holes to leave the final score at 15½-10½.
“I honestly thought that these guys would let their talent come to the surface.” said Nathaniel Crosby, captain of the US team. “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.”
Craig Watson, the GB&I captain reflected on the switch in momentum at the end of day one when it looked like GB&I would take a four point lead into the final day until John Pak of team USA managed to snatch the final two holes of his singles match against James Sugrue to grab victory and leave the score at 7-5.
“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.”
Great Britain and Ireland 7-5 United States of America
Alex Fitzpatrick and Conor Purcell vs. Alex Smalley and Brandon Wu (USA wins 2&1)
Sandy Scott and Euan Walker vs. John Augenstein and Andy Ogletree (Halved)
Conor Gough and Harry Hall vs. Akshay Bhatia and Stewart Hagestad (USA wins 3&2)
Thomas Plumb and Tom Sloman vs. Cole Hammer and Steven Fisk (GB&I wins 3&2)
Great Britain and Ireland 8½-7½ United States of America
Alex Fitzpatrick vs. Isaiah Salinda (USA win by two holes)
Euan Walker vs. John Pak (USA win 2&1)
Sandy Scott vs. Brandon Wu (GB&I win 4&3)
Caolan Rafferty vs. Alex Smalley (USA win 2&1)
Harry Hall vs. Stewart Hagestad (USA win 5&3)
Conor Gough vs. Andy Ogletree (USA win 2&1)
Thomas Plumb vs. John Augenstein (USA win 4&3)
James Sugrue vs. Akshay Bhatia (USA win 4&2)
Conor Purcell vs. Cole Hammer (USA win 6&5)
Tom Sloman vs. Steven Fisk (GB&I win by two holes)
Great Britain and Ireland 15½-10½ United States of America
And another thing...