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Walker Cup: Saturday Foursomes Recap
09 Sep 2017
by Yianni Gogonas of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for The Walker Cup, Royal Liverpool Golf Club

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Connor Syme accepts congratulations from Doc Redman following the GB&I win
Connor Syme accepts congratulations from Doc Redman following the GB&I win
LOS ANGELES, California (Sept. 9, 2017) -- AmateurGolf.com has our biggest-ever coverage team at Los Angeles Country Club for the Walker Cup. And what a spectacle it is, with the largest and most spirited gallery we've experienced for opening ceremonies and the first day of play. Here is a recap of morning foursomes play:

COLLIN MORIKAWA/NORMAN XIONG (USA) def. HARRY ELLIS/ALFIE PLANT (GB&I) 8&7

The first match to leave the first tee at the 46th playing of the Walker Cup went about as well at the United States team could have hoped for. Especially against a team that looked so good on paper.

After winning the first hole with a birdie on the 539-yard par-5, a team of Collin Morikawa and Norman Xiong found a groove, carding winning birdies on the next three holes, and a par that would be good enough to go 5-up on the fifth against a GB&I team made up of 2017 British Amateur Champion Harry Ellis and British Open Silver Medalist Alfie Plant.

The momentum didn’t stop there, and the end result was the largest winning margin in any 18 hole match in Walker Cup history. Said Ellis of his opponents, “they were just too good for us today.”

CONNOR SYME/PAUL MCBRIDE (GB&I) def. DOC REDMAN/WILL ZALATORIS (USA) 3&2

The GB&I team of Scotsman Connor Syme and Irish golfer Paul McBride looked dominant this morning in their sixteen hole victory. The pair began their match steadily, halving the first three holes with the United States team that consisted of U.S. Amateur Champion, Doc Redman and ACC Player of the Year, Will Zalatoris.

The U.S. team dug themselves a hole, getting to the all-important (and nearly insurmountable) deficit of 4-down on the long par-3 11th when GB&I birdied against their bogey. A potential comeback started when they hit the green in two on the 606-yard 14th, converting their birdie for a win, but they failed to keep it going on No. 16 where the GB&I team was able to win the hole despite leaving their approach shot in the nasty fairway bunker on the left side of the fairway. With their ball butting up against that of Zalatoris and Redman, a bit of marking and replacing took place before both teams hit their shots, and GB&I converted a big 10-foot bogey put to win the match.

SCOTT GREGORY/JACK SINGH BRAR GB&I def. SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER/CAMERON CHAMP (USA) 3&2

This match saw two of the GB&I team’s top players— 2016 British Amateur champion Scott Gregory and 2017 Lytham trophy winner Jack Singh Brar — teamed up against the U.S. powerhouse team of Cameron Champ and Scottie Scheffler.

The match swung back and forth through early into the back nine before unexpected mistakes by Scheffler led to two key losses. First on the par-5 14th, where Scheffler hit his iron shot o.b. right after a huge drive by Champ (the longest statistically in the U.S. Open at 343 yards by the way). Then after another loss on the short par-3, No. 15, Champ again bombed a drive almost 400 yards on the 16th hole, leaving just a wedge to the green for Scheffler, who pulled the approach shot down to the 17th tee, leaving Champ a short-sided uphill pitch. When the pair three-putted for double, GB&I won the hole, and the match, with a bogey.

MAVERICK MCNEALY/DOUG GHIN (USA) DEF. DAVID BOOTE/JACK DAVIDSON (GB&I) 5&4The only USA player with Walker Cup experience, Maverick McNealy of Stanford, was paired up with U.S. Amateur runner-up Doug Ghim against his college teammate David Boote and Jack Davidson.

The USA team made four 3s on the first 7 holes (just one a par) and added a birdie on No. 1 to get to a dominating 5-up, then held off a brief challenge (two wins by GB&I) to get the margin back to 5-up after 14, this time good enough for a 5&4 victory and the USA team’s tying 2nd point.

For the part of the matches that GB&I has an “experience advantage” (foursomes) USA did very well indeed. And nobody should look forward to playing against either Collin Morikawa or Norman Xiong, flying on cloud nine after their record-breaking win.

Saturday Morning Foursomes Highlights

View results for The Walker Cup

ABOUT THE The Walker Cup

The Walker Cup Match is a biennial 10-man amateur team competition between the USA and a team composed of players from Great Britain and Ireland and selected by The R&A. It is played over two days with 18 singles matches and eight foursomes (alternate-shot) matches.

The first United States Walker Cup Team, which in 1922 defeated the GB&I side, 8-4, at the National Golf Links of America, is considered among the best teams ever and included Francis Ouimet, Bob Jones, Charles “Chick” Evans and Jess Sweetser. Many of the game’s greatest players have taken part in Walker Cup competition, including U.S. Open champions Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth for the USA and Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose for Great Britain and Ireland.

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