Hammer, Sugrue will sit for first Walker Cup foursomes session
Cole Hammer during the opening Walker Cup ceremony (USGA/John Mummert)
The Walker Cup matches at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England officially kick off on Saturday morning with four foursomes (or alternate-shot) matches. The U.S. and GB&I captains unveiled their opening lineups Friday afternoon in the opening ceremony.
Eight singles matches, yet to be announced, will follow on Saturday afternoon.
Related: Walker Cup blog: Final preparations on the eve of the matches
Related: Schedule of play and how to watch
One man who won’t
get to start the morning with his team is Cole Hammer. The Texas sophomore, along with recent Georgia Southern graduate Steven Fisk, will be the first to sit for the U.S. GB&I players Caolan Rafferty and James Sugrue, the reigning Amateur champion, have the honor for their side.
U.S. team captain Nathaniel Crosby has said that each of his 10 players will play three times, so expect Hammer and Fisk to play the rest of the weekend.
Hammer was among the men to come in for a Friday morning press conference. When asked the importance of getting off to a good start, he spoke of laying the proverbial hammer early.
“Just basically in every match it's really important to get off to a good start and keep the pedal down because that can put you up to a good advantage and get them behind the 8-ball pretty quickly,” he said. “It's going to be important for us to get off to a good start tomorrow morning and hopefully we'll keep that going.”
Expect the Americans to be a little more familiar with the foursomes format than they have been in years past. On Thursday, Crosby said his team has put increased focus on that format in U.S. team practice sessions
“It’s not something we grow up doing,” he said of the format, “but I think we’re prepared and we’ve kind of got our teams organized now. I think we’ve got the right players playing with the right players, a lot of chemistry, a lot of bickering, which makes it healthy. So I think we’re in good shape, and we’re optimistic about alternate shot this time.”
Here’s who’s playing whom, and when, to start the weekend:
Saturday morning foursomes draw (times local):
Match 1, 8:30 a.m.
John Augenstein/Andy Ogletree (U.S.)
vs. Alex Fitzpatrick/Conor Purcell (GBI)
Match 2, 8:40 a.m.
John Pak/Isaiah Salinda (U.S.)
vs. Sandy Scott/Euan Walker (GBI)
Match 3, 8:50 a.m.
Stewart Hagestad/Akshay Bhatia (U.S.)
vs. Harry Hall/Conor Gough (GBI)
Match 4, 9:00 a.m.
Brandon Wu/Alex Smalley (U.S.)
vs. Tom Sloman/Thomas Plumb (GBI)
ABOUT THE The Walker Cup
The Walker Cup Match is a biennial 10-man
team competition between the USA and a team
composed of players from Great Britain and
and selected by The R&A. It is played over two
with 18 singles matches and eight foursomes
The first United States Walker Cup Team, which
1922 defeated the GB&I side, 8-4, at the
Links of America, is considered among the best
ever and included Francis Ouimet, Bob Jones,
“Chick” Evans and Jess Sweetser. Many of the
greatest players have taken part in Walker Cup
competition, including U.S. Open champions
Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth for
and Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Justin
for Great Britain and Ireland.
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