Golf: Americans establish commanding Cup lead

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

JAY SIGEL, who yesterday extended his winning record when he picked up his 17th career point for the United States, said at the beginning of the week that this 1993 American Walker Cup team was the best he had ever seen. The Americans swept the foursomes yesterday morning, taking a 10 1/2 to 3 1/2 lead over the Great Britain and Ireland side.

The US went to the afternoon singles needing just one point to tie and retain the Cup, and two points for victory. It was the 10th time since the matches began in 1922 that a team has swept the foursomes, with Britain and Ireland winning just once in those 10 matches.

The US won the first hole in all four matches, and in the first three were never less than one up. Doyle and Leonard beat Pyman and Cage 4 and 3, Berganio and Demsey beat Stanford and Harrington 2 and 3, and Sigel and Mitchum defeated Dredge and Phillips by the same score.

The sad fact is that the matches were not as close as the scores indicate. The only match with any drama was the final one, as the Scots, Raymond Russell and Dean Robertson, became the only members of the visiting team to be ahead in a match, although they were one up for only one hole, but they did keep the match level for 10 holes. Their American opponents, John Harris and Tim Herron, both from the Minneapolis area, won it on the 18th, one up.

At the mid-point of Wednesday's singles matches, the two sides had been even, but the Americans rallied on the closing holes and finished with a 6-3 lead. The decisive hole was the 226-yard par three 17th, which the Americans won during three key matches, though yesterday just one foursomes match was still going by the 17th.

The British side had given themselves a difficult challenge for the second day's play; they needed nine points to win, which meant sweeping the foursomes and winning half of the singles. After the foursomes their task had shifted from challenging to impossible, with just the smallest margin for a miracle, as they now had to win nine of the 10 matches.

The first hole of the day was an unfortunate omen for the British side. Iain Pyman and Stuart Cage were 60 yards from the green in two on the par five hole; Cage's wedge shot flew over the green, hit a path, and spent a few seconds out of bounds before bouncing back in. Pyman's recovery attempt hit a tree. After six shots the two were still not on the green, and the US won with a birdie.

The Americans made 10 birdies and an eagle yesterday morning to the nine birdies scored by the visiting players. The real difference was in the bogeys. There were just six American bogeys in the four matches, compared to 13 for the British and Irish, plus a double bogey.

WALKER CUP: (Interlachen, Minn): Singles: (US names first): A Doyle bt I Pyman 1 hole; D Berganio lost to M Stanford 3 and 2; J Sigel lost to D Robertson 3 and 2; K Mitchum halved with S Cage; T Herron bt P Harrington 1 hole; D Yates bt P Page 2 and 1; T Demsey bt R Russell 2 and 1; J Leonard bt R Burns 4 and 3; B Gay lost to V Phillips 2 and 1; J Harris bt B Dredge 4 and 3. Singles result: United States 6 1/2 Great Britain and Ireland 3 1/2. Foursomes: (US names first): A Doyle and J Leonard bt I Pyman and S Cage 4 and 3; D Berganio Jnr and T Demsey bt M Stanford and P Harrington 3 and 2; J Sigel and K Mitchum bt B Dredge and V Phillips 3 and 2; J Harris and T Herron bt R Russell and D Robertson 1 hole. Foursomes result: United States 4 Great Britain and Ireland 0. Match position: United States 10 1/2 Great Britain and Ireland 3 1/2.