USA retain Walker Cup despite Fitzpatrick heroics

Matthew Fitzpatrick and his teammate, Neil Raymond, won 3 and 2 over Todd White and Michael Weaver. Picture: AP
Matthew Fitzpatrick and his teammate, Neil Raymond, won 3 and 2 over Todd White and Michael Weaver. Picture: AP
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THE United States regained the Walker Cup after comprehensively beating Great Britain and Ireland by a 14-7 margin on Long Island last night.

The hosts had resumed 8-4 ahead after dominating Saturday’s opening proceedings and fended off an attack by a refreshed GB & Ireland to share yesterday morning’s foursomes 2-2.

That left just three-and-a half points needed from the ten singles matches, and the American victory was secured when Nathan Smith held off Nathan 
Kimsey in match five.

It was the 35th US win since the event was first played in 1922, with eight for GB & Ireland and one tie in 1965.

It was important for the US not to cede any ground after their superb opening day and they remained in control of the destination of the trophy after the morning foursomes were shared.

Starting the closing day 8-4 ahead, the Americans went into the singles 10-6 up and closing in on a regaining of the trophy they surrendered at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club two years ago.

Bobby Wyatt and Cory Whitsett picked up a 2&1 win over Nathan Kimsey and Max Orrin in the opening match, before Matthew Fitzpatrick and Neil Raymond got the visitors up and running for the day with a 3&2 triumph over Michael Weaver and Todd White.

Fitzpatrick had been identified as the most recognisable threat to America’s ambitions of regaining the trophy.

The 19-year-old from Sheffield is currently the world’s leading amateur after winning the US Amateur Championship at Brookline last month.

He also won the Silver Medal as top amateur at the Open at Muirfield, and had backed his team-mates to turn the match around on Saturday night.

America responded, though, with a last-hole win for Max Homa and Michael Kim against Garrick Porteous and Rhys 

Great Britain and Ireland at least ensured they had a fighting chance going into the one-on-one tussles as Gavin Moynihan and Kevin Phelan edged Patrick Rodgers and Jordan Niebrugge.

But it was not to be.