GB&I of to best PGA Cup start in 21 years

SAN MARTIN, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:   Graham Fox of the Great Britain & Ireland team hits a tee shot on the ninth hole during the Friday Four-Ball matches at the 27th PGA Cup at CordeValle on September 18, 2015 in San Martin, California.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
SAN MARTIN, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Graham Fox of the Great Britain & Ireland team hits a tee shot on the ninth hole during the Friday Four-Ball matches at the 27th PGA Cup at CordeValle on September 18, 2015 in San Martin, California. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Share this article
0
Have your say

TARTAN TOUR pair Graham Fox and Gareth Wright helped GB&I to their best start for more than 20 years in the PGA Cup in California.

They both won their matches as the visitors, bidding to claim a first victory in the biennial event on US soil, took the opening fourballs 3-1 at sun-kissed CordeValle.

Fox, the 2012 Scottish Professional champion, teamed up with Englishman David Dixon to record a 2&1 win over Bob Sowards and Jamie Broce.

The GB&I pair won five holes out of six around the turn - four of them with birdies - after being one down on the sixth tee.

Fox, who is attached to Clydeway Golf in Uddingston, sparked the purple patch by rolling in a 10-foot birdie putt at the seventh.

Somerset-based Dixon, a former Saint Omer Open winner on the European Tour, then holed for birdies at the 11th and 12th before shutting the door on the Americans with a 15-footer for another one at the 17th.

“I don’t think I’ve ever tried so hard with a putt for a long, long time,” admitted Dixon after helping GB&I to the same opening scoreline as the 1994 match at Palm Beach Gardens in Florida.

Fox, a member of the team that drew 13-13 at Slaley Hall in Northumberland two years ago, added: “Momentum is such an important thing. Two years ago, we were way behind from the start, really, so hopefully we can take heart from seeing a lot of blue on the board this morning.”

Wright, who was also on the 2013 team, was equally delighted after he joined forces with Jason Levermore to beat Alan Morin and Grant Sturgeon 2&1 in the anchor match.

Also down early on, the GB&I pair birdied the fourth, seventh, eighth and tenth to set up their victory.

“It’s brilliant to help the team get off to such a good start,” said Wright, the West Linton head professional. “We stuck at it after they got off to the better start then played steady following a good run in the middle.

“It was tough out there due to the heat, but we’ve got a great team here and hopefully we can keep it going.”

Cameron Clark, whose dad, Iain, is Scottish, and Michael Watson put the first GB&I point on the board with a 3&2 win over Matt Dobyns and Ben Polland in the top match.

The visitors also had a chance to snatch a half point in the other match but Paul Hendriksen was unable to get up and down from just off the back edge at the last.

It resulted in him and Lee Clarke going down to Omar Uresti, a two-times Nationwide Tour winner, and Sean Dougherty by one hole.

While delighted with the start, GB&I captain Jon Bevan was reluctant to get carried away.

“It’s part one of five,” he said in reference to the number of sessions that are played in the match over three days.

“It’s one down and four to go but the great thing is that I have a team of players here who all believe in each other.

“They are all reliable, solid individuals - it’s just me that’s struggling to stay calm!”

Fourballs (GB&I names first)

M Watson & C Clark bt M Dobyns & B Polland 3&2;

G Fox & D Dixon bt J Broce & B Sowards 2&1;

L Clark & P Hendriksen lost to O Uresti & S Dougherty 1 hole;

J Levermore & G Wright bt A Morin & G Sturgeon 3&2

GB&I 3 USA 1

Foursomes draw

G Fox & D Dixon v M Block & S Deane

J Levermore & G Wright v M Dobyns & B Polland

N Kearney & A Wrigley v O Uresti & S Dougherty

C Clark & L Clarke v B Sowards & J Broce