Jack McDonald helps GB&I to 3-1 Walker Cup lead
The 22-year-old from Barassie joined forces with his former Stirling University room-mate Cormac Sharvin to win 5&4 - the biggest victory on a great morning for home captain Nigel Edwards.
McDonald, the sole Scot involved in the opening session after Ewen Ferguson and Grant Forrest were both left out until the afternoon singles, and Irishman Sharvin were never behind against Jordan Niebrugge - who tied for sixth in this year’s Open at St Andrews - and Robby Shelton.
Sharvin holed a six-foot par putt to win the first before McDonald hit a great approach at the next to salvage an important half.
As their opponents struggled with the pace of the greens following heavy overnight rain on the Lancashire coast, the home pair quickly went three up as pars proved good enough at both the third and fourth.
Despite a blip at the at the sixth, where they ran up a double-bogey, McDonald and Sharvin always looked in control and were level-par for 15 holes.
“We just kept going and building momentum and just did not really give them much,” said McDonald, who was being watched by his grandad Gordon Cosh 50 years after he played in the event in Baltimore. “It was great to be out there with Cormac and having great fun.”
The win put GB&I 2-0 up after English duo Ashley Chesters and Jimmy Mullen had put the first point on the board with a 3&2 triumph over Maverick McNealy and Hunter Stewart.
In a match that also saw the home pair get their noses in front with a par at the opening hole, world No 2 McNealy and fifth-ranked Stewart had a torrid time.
They were an approximate eight-over for 16 holes, with Stewart having an air shot at the back of a bunker at the ninth then fluffing a chip into a bush, having already taken a penalty drop from it.
The Americans hit back when Beau Hossler and Denny McCarthy delivered a welcome win for visiting captain John “Spider” Miller in the second match.
They triumphed 3&1 over Irish duo Paul Dunne and Gary Hurley, a pairing that had come into the event having taken eight-and-and-half points out of nine in both the European Team Championship and Home Internationals.
That was to be GB&I’s only disappointment, though, as their second all-Irish pairing of Gavin Moynihan and Jack Hume delivered a 3&2 triumph over the McCoy, Mike and Lee, in the anchor match.
It was the same scoreline from the opening session as the 2011 match at Royal Aberdeen, where GB&I went on to record a 14-10 victory over a team that included Jordan Spieth.