Walker Cup report: What happened at Royal Liverpool?
For the first time since 2007 an away side won the Walker Cup as the United States produced a brilliant second day to overturn a two-point deficit.
Coming into Sunday Craig Watson’s side led 7-5, an advantage that might well have been more, but they ended up 15.5-10.5 losers after Nathaniel Crosby’s outfit captured eight of the 10 Sunday singles.
Twelve years ago the likes of future superstars Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson and Billy Horschel emerged triumphant at County Down. This time around John Augenstein, who lost the final of this year’s US Amateur, secured the winning point in the seventh match out.
— The Walker Cup (@WalkerCup) September 8, 2019
On Saturday all bar one match went as far as the 17th. The following day it was all more one-sided. The foursomes victors of the day before, Alex Fitzpatrick and Conor Purcell, in the opening pairing, and Conor Gough and Harry Hall both lost whereas the anchor pairing of the two Toms, Sloman and Plumb, crushed Cole Hammer and Steven Fisk 5&3.
The hope was that Sandy Scott and Euan Walker’s half, from three down after seven holes, might be the difference come the close of play.
But six of the Americans won the 1st hole and they never looked back. Scott beat Wu in the third match out but GB&I had to wait for Sloman to add another point from the anchor match – well after the result had been decided.
— The Walker Cup (@WalkerCup) September 8, 2019
The biggest margin of victory in the match came from Hammer, who took out Purcell 6&5 thanks to his four birdies, to get the World No. 1 amateur off the mark for the week. In the end only Fisk and the Amateur champion James Sugrue failed to trouble the scorers, while John Pak won all three of his matches. He was matched by Alex Smalley and Brandon Wu, who both contributed three points from their four outings.
For the home side Scott led the way with two and a half points.
Afterwards captain Crosby, who spoke on Saturday night about how he hoped that his team’s talent would pull them through, said: “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.
“These guys are inseparable and they’ve got a great memory now. This Walker Cup experience is going to be a memory and a winning memory at that. We were a crazy mix of personalities, but all blended well.
“It was almost too much fun, but after Saturday we sobered up and really focused and it was an amazing afternoon. I let them just go play. They are very talented guys who believe in themselves. Their talent came to the surface. I could not be more excited for them and me. I’ve not won anything in about 38 years.”
Walker Cup report: Talking points
Where was it? Unless you were lucky enough to be at Royal Liverpool you had to rely on some late-doors highlights from Sky Sports while the BBC’s coverage takes place, incredibly, on Monday at 11.15pm.
All most of us like to talk about is how much we all love to watch a bit of matchplay to get away from the monotony of 72-hole strokeplay, even better if it is in a team format.
So here we have 20 of the game’s hottest prospects, on one of the world’s greatest courses in an event that lasts just two days, and there is so little to watch of it.
No live coverage of Walker Cup apparently. Would've been a great afternoon to watch the singles for the Cup . #GB&I 👍🎯
— Gavin Moynihan (@GavinMoynihan) September 8, 2019
Back in the day this used to be a BBC staple of our golfing diets as a collection of big names were properly introduced to us. Now there is next to nothing and all at a time when most of us have pulled the shutters down on the day.
Will we revisit it later in the week when things have moved on and our generally rare interest in the amateur game has sadly subsided again? More than likely.
In the next few days a collection of these players will turn pro, in the next few years a collection of these players will win around the world. What a pity that we didn’t get to see them in one of the biggest weeks of their golfing lives.
Walker Cup results
Fitzpatrick & Purcell beat Augenstein & Ogletree 2&1
Scott & Walker lost to Pak & Salinda 2&1
Gough & Hall beat Bhatia & Hagestad 2&1
Plumb & Sloman lost to Smalley & Wu 2&1
Great Britain & Ireland 2 United States 2
Fitzpatrick beat Hammer Two holes
Walker beat Fisk Two holes
Scott beat Ogletree One hole
Purcell lost to Augenstein 2&1
Sugrue lost Pak One hole
Gough beat Salinda Two holes
Rafferty beat Smalley 2&1
Sloman lost to Wu 4&2
Great Britain & Ireland 7 United States 5
Fitzpatrick & Purcell lost to Smalley & Wu 2&1
Scott & Walker halved Augenstein & Ogletree
Gough & Hall lost to Bhatia & Hagestad 3&2
Plumb & Sloman beat Hammer & Fisk 5&3
Great Britain & Ireland 8.5 United States 7.5
Fitzpatrick lost to Salinda Two holes
Walker lost to Pak 2&1
Scott beat Wu 4&3
Rafferty lost to Smalley 2&1
Hall lost to Hagestad 5&3
Gough lost to Ogletree 2&1
Plumb lost to Augenstein 4&3
Sugrue lost to Bhatia 4&2
Purcell lost to Hammer 6&5
Sloman beat Fisk Two holes
Great Britain & Ireland 10.5 – United States 15.5
Could the golf ball be rolled back for everyone?