Walker Cup: The Brits Bounce Back

U.K team snaps three-tournament Walker Cup skid
By: Alex Smolinski

Great Britain and Ireland defeated the United States 14-12 at the Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Aberdeen, Scotland, on September 11th, claiming victory in the two-day biennial tournament for the first time since 2003.
Paul Cutler, 22, of Northern Ireland, and Rhys Pugh, 17, and the youngest player for either team, of Wales, helped lead the European team to victory with undefeated records throughout the tournament. Cutler went 3-0-1, while Pugh finished 3-0. Pugh, who recently won the 2011 Irish Amateur Open, will attend East Tennessee State University in the fall.
After the first day of the tournament, The GB&I team led the U.S. 7-5, going 3-1 in the morning foursomes, and splitting even 4-4 with the U.S. in the afternoon singles play. In foursomes play, Tom Lewis and Michael Stewart (GB&I) defeated Peter Uihlein and Harris English, 2 and 1, Jack Senior and Andy Sullivan (GB&I) beat Russell Henley and Kelly Kraft, 2 and 1, and Paul Cutler and Alan Dunbar (GB&I) topped Nathan Smith and Blayne Barber, 5 and 4. The only U.S. duo to win Saturday morning was Patrick Cantlay and Chris Williams, who beat Steven Brown and Stiggy Hodgson (GB&I), 5 and 3.
Singles play in the afternoon was split evenly between the two teams 4-4. Peter Uihlein, Jordan Spieth, Harris English and Patrick Cantlay earned victories for the U.S., while Paul Cutler, Rhys Pugh, Steven Brown and James Byrne secured points for the GB&I squad.
The GB&I team was able to maintain their two-point advantage throughout the second day of the tournament to secure victory, splitting the day 7-7 with the U.S. Again, the Europeans were able to dominate in foursome play, winning three matches outright and halving the fourth (Jordan Spieth and Patrick Rodgers managed to tie Tom Lewis and Michael Stewart).
The Americans played significantly better in the Sunday singles match play, winning 6.5 to 3.5, but could not overcome the deficit. Russell Henley, Jordan Spieth, Peter Uihlein, Chris Williams and Harris English all won their matches for the U.S., while Nathan Smith, Blayne Barber and Patrick Cantlay all halved. Michael Stewart and Rhys Pugh were the only GB&I players to win their singles matches outright on the day.
“I said to the boys at lunchtime that we haven’t done it yet,” said GB&I captain Nigel Edwards. “We had to get on with it because the Americans are great players. I had a lot of faith in these boys as I’ve said all week. They are a great bunch. They want to win. They have a lot of passion and desire.”
The U.S. had won the previous three Walker Cup tournaments, but GB&I have now won four of the last five played on home soil, dating all the way back to the 1995 tournament at Royal Porthcawl in Wales. The United States leads the tournament overall 34-8-1. The next Walker Cup is set to take place Sept. 7-8, 2013, at The National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y.

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles