May 10th, 2021
Team USA wins the Walker Cup
US team edge out GB&I in a close match to claim a third consecutive win
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
It was a great performance by the Great Britain and Ireland team, who had been written off going into the forty-eighth staging of the event. But, unfortunately, history was also against them as the Americans have only lost twice on their soil in the event's history.
The match was plagued by non-COVID health issues, with players from both teams having stomach upsets.
In the singles, America's lead-out man Austin Eckroat thrashed Mark Power 7&6 and in match two, American Pierceson Coody beat Alex Fitzpatrick 3&1 to extend the US lead to three points.
Joe long, who had only been fit enough to play in the final singles, won his match on the final green, as did Matty Lamb behind him to give the GB&I team some hope. However, GB&I's Barclay Brown gifted the last hole and a halved match to Quade Cummins and Ricky Castillo and Cole Hammer then both won to hand the advantage to the US team.
The American's narrowly took the afternoon singles 5½-4½ for an overall victory by 14-12.
GB&I's team captain Stuart Wilson was gracious in defeat. "It's been a great weekend of golf," said Wilson.
"The guys came out fighting and tried to equip themselves as best as they could, unfortunately it just wasn't their weekend. We've let the Americans off with a few slack shots but credit to them."
American captain Nathaniel Crosby, who also led the American team to victory at Hoylake in 2019, agreed with the fixture's closeness.
"It was such an evenly matched contest. I thought the windy conditions with firm, fast greens might suit GB&I but we've got enormous talent. Many of these lads are turning professional next week so the PGA Tour is going to be well served."
Match card (US first)
Cole Hammer & Davis Thompson beat Alex Fitzpatrick & Barclay Brown 1UP
Quade Cummins & Austin Eckroat lost to Mark Power & John Murphy 1UP
Mac Meissner & Ricky Castillo beat Jack Dyer & Matty Lamb 2UP
Stewart Hagestad & William Mouw lost to Angus Flanagan & Jack Bolton 1UP
Match score: US 2-2 GB&I
Pierceson Coody beat Alex Fitzpatrick 2UP
Davis Thompson lost to Mark Power 3&2
Ricky Castillo beat Ben Schmidt 5&3
William Mouw beat Ben Jones 4&3
Quade Cummins lost to Matty Lamb 2&1
Austin Eckroat beat Angus Flanagan 1UP
John Pak lost to Barclay Brown 2&1
Cole Hammer beat John Murphy 3&1
Singles score: US 5-3 GB&I
Match score: US 7-5 GB&I
Pierceson Coody & John Pak lost to Mark Power & John Murphy 1UP
Ricky Castillo & William Mouw beat Alex Fitzpatrick & Barclay Brown 1UP
Davis Thompson & Cole Hammer tied with Angus Flanagan & Ben Schmidt
Stewart Hagestad & Tyler Strafaci lost to Matty Lamb & Jack Dyer 6&5
Foursomes score: US 1½-2½ GB&I
Match score: US 8½-7½ GB&I
Austin Eckroat beat Mark Power 7&6
Pierceson Coody beat Alex Fitzpatrick 3&1
John Pak lost to Joe Long 1UP
Davis Thompson lost to Matty Lamb 2UP
Quade Cummins tied with Barclay Brown
William Mouw lost to Angus Flanagan 1UP
Ricky Castillo beat John Murphy 2&1
Tyler Strafaci lost to Jack Dyer 1UP
Cole Hammer beat Ben Schmidt 4&3
Stewart Hagestad beat Ben Jones 4&2
Singles score: US 5½-4½ GB&I
Final score: US 14-12 GB&I