Walker Cup: USA storm back in first-day singles

AMERICA’S Walker Cup players emphatically regained the initiative in the afternoon singles on the first day of the 44th Walker Cup in Southampton, New York.

United States college champion Max Homa was the headliner as he beat Max Orrin 5&3, leading his team to a sweep of the first six singles matches.

With one halved and just a solitary win for the Great Britain & Ireland side, courtesy of Gavin Moynihan, the US grabbed an 8-4 lead going into the second day of the biennial event.

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The visitors had earlier taken a 2∫ to 1∫ lead following the foursomes at National Golf Links on Long Island, New York.

The first match of the day was halved with GB&I winning the next two before the US won the final foursome of the session.

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The first match saw home pair Cory Whitsett and Bobby Wyatt refuse to let the visiting duo of Nathan Kimsey and Orrin capitalise on the one-up lead they held on six occasions. Each time, Whitsett and Wyatt came back to tie, including on the 18th hole when Orrin hit his eagle putt 12 feet past the hole with Wyatt sinking a two-foot putt to win the hole and halve the match.

Next up was Sheffield’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, who this year became the first Englishman since 1911 to win the US Amateur Championship. He was partnered by Neil Raymond and they went one up against Jordan Niebrugge and Nathan Smith at the par-four fifth, a lead they held until the 15th.

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The GB&I duo won the par-five 18th when Raymond hit a putt for a three to three feet and Fitzpatrick calmly rolled the ball in. The visitors moved further ahead when Garrick Porteous and Rhys Ough defeated Michael Weaver and Todd White 3&1.

The US hit back in the final match, Patrick Rodgers and Justin Thomas defeating Gavin Moynihan and Kevin Phelan 2&1.

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The event concludes today with four morning foursomes matches and ten afternoon singles matches.