Pierceson Coody (left) and John Pak left the 18th hole energized
after a par saving putt, but lost 1-down to a par on 18
The greens are changing color. The wind is blowing. In the words of 7-time Seminole club champion (and past Walker Cup captain and player) Buddy Marucci:
"They're getting a typical Seminole day. This is what the members get when they play their regular games."
One had to look no further than the 18th hole to see the difference in Seminole from Saturday to Sunday. With winds blowing sideways off the ocean on the left of No. 18, more than half of the downhill tee shots wound up on the range on the right. And the approach shot from there to a back-left pin on a sliver of the narrow green? Nearly impossible.
Three of the four Sunday morning foursomes matches went down to the last, as did all four matches yesterday.
That helped GB&I close out the key first point, as the all Irish GB&I team of Mark Power and John Murphy took down Pierceson Coody and John Pak of USA with a key par on 18, set up by a gorgeous shot from the fairway and deft first putt (one that could easily be putt off the green by the average golfer). After starting birdie-birdie-eagle for a 3-up lead, Power and Murphy looked like runaways until Coody and Pak narrowed the lead to just one hole after a big par on No. 11.
Coody and Pak scrapped and clawed for pars on the next five holes, but were always matched by their GB&I opponents. This was a match destined to go down the 18, and after GB&I bogeyed 18 and Coody holed a clutch par save from Pak's bunker shot on 17, the match was all square. Tying the match for the first time of the day showed that the USA team has plenty of grit, and despite giving up that first point Coody and Pak should come out fighting this afternoon against singles opponents Alex Fitzpatrick and Joe Long respectively.
It will be the second time Coody (the grandson of 1971 Masters Champion Charles Coody, in attendance) will face Fitzpatrick, the top ranked and only returning member of the GB&I team. Fitzpatrick, yet to earn a point but playing his heart out in three matches that went to the 18th hole, should prove a tough opponent again in the second match off at 2:26pm.
Speaking of Fitzpatrick, he partnered with Barclay Brown in the second foursomes match today, losing a tough 1-down battle with ":California Kids" Ricky Castillo and William Mouw. Castillo, remains undefeated for USA.
The third match to go No. 18 was Cole Hammer and Davis Thompson of USA sharing 1/2 point with Angus Flanagan and Ben Schmidt. Heading into the 18th one down, Flanagan and Schmidt won with a bogey. For most of us, that 5 would be a par -- if you watched on TV you know.
The final match didn't get to the 18th, or see very much of the back nine for that matter. 2020 U.S. Amateur champion Tyler Strafaci, playing the Walker Cup as his amateur golf swan song, was out for the first time after being hit hard by the stomach virus that has taken down 15 of the 20 golfers in the Walker Cup at one time or another this week. After more than one trip to the hospital, he struggled a bit with his ball striking and focus, as did partner Stewart Hagestad. They lost to Matty Lamb and Jack Dyer, 6&5.
But Strafaci will have his chance to leave a winner this afternoon, as he faces Jack Dyer in the singles. The only thing better would be if he had a chance to play his counterpart from the other side of the pond, 2020 British Amateur winner Joe Long. Long, the last sick player to return to action for GB&I, will have his hands full with John Pak.
Anchoring Team USA (but not anchoring his long putter) will be elder statesman Stewart Hagestad, playing his third Walker Cup, and if he has anything to do with it, not his last. Hagestad will play Ben Jones, who has only seen one game, losing 4-and-3 to William Mouw in Saturday singles. The Englishman has plenty of game -- just a week or so ago he took a 7th place finish at the prestigious Terra Cotta Invitational.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON SINGLES PAIRINGS (GB&I listed first)
2:15 PM Mark Power vs. Austin Eckroat
2:26 PM Alex Fitzpatrick vs. Pierceson Coody
2:37 PM Joe Long vs. John Pak
2:48 PM Mattty Lamb vs. Davis Thompson
2:59 PM Barclay Brown vs. Quade Cummins
3:10 PM Andgus Flanagan vs. William Mouw
3:21 PM John Murphy vs. Ricky Castillo
3:32 PM Jack Dyer vs. Tyler Strafaci
3:43 PM Ben Schmidt vs. Cole Hammer
3:54 PM Ben Jones vs. Stewart HagestadView results for The Walker Cup
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.
View Complete Tournament Information