Walker Cup 2013: USA Power Ahead of GB&I in Southampton

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Walker Cup 2013: USA Power Ahead of GB&I in Southampton
Michael Cohen/Getty Images

United States of America took an iron grip of the 44th Walker Cup with Great Britain and Ireland after a dominant display in the afternoon singles.

The opening foursomes saw GB&I secure a 2.5-1.5 lead, but it was pretty much one-way traffic in the singles at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, New York, as USA moved, 8-4, ahead.

The 44th iteration of the amateur event got underway with four foursomes and there was drama from the off.

USA pair Cory Whitsett and Bobby Wyatt conjured up a birdie on 18 to snatch a half against Nathan Kimsey and Max Orrin, who both had chances to win the match on the final hole, but left their putts above ground.

U.S. Amateur champion Matt Fitzpatrick and his partner, Neil Raymond, birdied 18 to snatch a one-up win for GB&I over Jordan Niebrugge and Nathan Smith.

Garrick Porteous and Rhys Pugh put another point on the board for GB&I with a 3-and-1 win over Michael Weaver and Todd White. Porteous never looked back after holing a pitch shot on the second, and they were comfortable winners.

But Patrick Rodgers and Justin Thomas kept their composure to bag a 2-and-1 win for USA over Gavin Moynihan and Kevin Phelan.

Raymond was first off in the singles for GB&I, and he had a two-hole lead at one stage, but Wyatt adapted better, as the wind picked up in the afternoon, and he kept his composure on 18 to see off Raymond, who paid the price for an errant tee shot on the final hole.

USA’s Max Homa sat out the morning foursomes, but showed no signs of being rusty, as he blitzed Max Orrin in a 5-and-3 win.

Orrin won the opening hole with a birdie, but was rocked when Homa holed his second on the second hole for an eagle. Three more birdies going out ensured Homa was four to the good at the turn and he remained strong on the back nine.

Michael Kim made it three from three in the singles for USA when taking out Callum Shinkwin, 2 and 1.

“I was really anxious on that first tee,” Kim said to NBC. “I got off to a good start. In the back nine I got into a rhythm and made some birdies and settled down.”

Whitsett beat Jordan Smith one up, and Weaver took the scalp of Fitzpatrick with a 3-and-1 victory.

Porteous had a chance to steady the ship when walking down the 18th all square, but he pushed his second into the deep rough, and it resulted in Niebrugge claiming a one-up success.

With their backs firmly against the wall, GB&I rallied in the final two matches. Kimsey scrambled a half against Thomas, and that was backed up by Moynihan who played some sparkling golf in the final match to beat Rodgers, 2 and 1, to cut the deficit to 8-4.

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