Maverick McNealy, Collin Morikawa and Doug Ghim posted 4-0 records as the United States captured the 46th Walker Cup with a 19-7 rout of Great Britain and Ireland on the North Course at Los Angeles Country Club.
Previously, only five players in Walker Cup history finished with perfect records, but Americans were dominant in regaining the trophy they lost two years ago and took a 36-9-1 lead in the series that dates to 1922, although the Americans hold only a 8-7 lead since 1989.
Stewart Hagestad, the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion from Newport Beach and USC, provided the winning point with a 2-and-1 victory over Jack Singh Brar of England after Norman Xiong of Canyon Lake and the University of Oregon, who went 3-0-1, put the U.S. on the brink when he clinched a halve against Scott Gregory of England.
“I can’t explain it, but I’m sure it will eventually sink in,” said U.S. Captain John “Spider” Miller, who also led the U.S. team that lost two years ago at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in England. “I knew Stu’s match was going to be important and he gave us exactly what we were looking for against one of their best players.
“I’m so proud of all the players on this team. They have done everything I asked all week. They will remember this for the rest of their lives.”
Morikawa, who teamed with Xiong for a 2-up victory over Connor Syme of Scotland and Paul McBride of Ireland in morning foursomes, finished off his perfect record with a 2-and-1 victory over Harry Ellis of England.
“It’s definitely an honor, something I’ll always remember,” said Morikawa, the 2017 Northeast Amateur champion from La Canada Flintridge and Cal. “It’s an awesome day. I didn’t play my best, but I was able to minimize my mistakes. I got behind, but I came back and then held on to win.”
McNealy, the Stanford All-American from Portola Valley, teamed with Ghim, from Arlington Heights, Ill., to beat Matthew Jordan of England and Robert MacIntyre of Scotland, 3-and-2, in foursomes before winning their singles matches.
Ghim, the reigning Pacific Coast Amateur champion, defeated Jordan, 3 and 1, while McNealy downed Alfie Plant of England, 4 and 2.
“The most important thing is the U.S. team wanted the trophy and we got it,” said McNealy, who went 0-2-1 in the Walker Cup two years ago. “I’m proud to be a part of the 2017 U.S. Walker Cup team.
“This was the end of my amateur career and it means so much to me. I know those guys out there (in professional golf), are good, but hopefully I can keep going, to play good golf and win some tournaments.”
For complete results, visit http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/championships/2017/walker-cup/scoring.html.