Golf: Britain and Ireland overwhelmed by Americans

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The Independent Online
IT WAS hard to determine which was more embarrassing in Great Britain and Ireland's record defeat to the United States in the Walker Cup here - the golf the losers played yesterday or the way the team was overmatched from the beginning.

The untried youngsters on the Great Britain and Ireland side, eight of whom will be amateurs for just one more week, were overwhelmed by the Americans yesterday, losing more points than any previous Walker Cup team in the 71-year history of the event, and taking the worst trouncing since the 11-1 scoreline in 1961. With their overwhelming 19-5 win the amateurs of the United States have now won 10 times as many Walker Cup matches as their opponents, the series record standing at 30-3-1.

The loss was set up on the first day. The two sides were headed for a 5-5 tie until the US team rallied on the closing holes, performing especially well on the difficult 17th, and finished three points ahead, 6 1/2 to 3 1/2.

Great Britain and Ireland had 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 been swept by the Americans in the foursomes, their task had shifted from challenging to impossible, with just the smallest margin for a miracle, as they required nine of the 10 matches.

By the time the last pair had reached the fifth hole, the visitors were down in nine of the matches, and in all but one of those nine the US were leading by at least two holes.

Three hours and 10 minutes into the afternoon singles matches, the US had taken the two points they needed for victory, rendering the other eight contests meaningless.

The main difference between the two teams, aside from the contrast between the experience on the US side and the youth of the GB and Ireland team, was that the home side made fewer mistakes. One telling number for the week came from the opening hole; in the 24 matches played, GB and Ireland won the first hole just twice, while the US won the hole 13 times.

In yesterday's singles, Ireland's Padraig Harrington and Scotland's Raymond Burns were the only players to gain any ground on the Americans, Harrington halving his match with Brian Gaye while Burns won on the last hole of the last match.

WALKER CUP: (Interlachen, Minn): 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.

Singles: (US names first): Doyle bt Robertson 4 and 3; Harris bt Pyman 3 and 2; D Yates bt Cage 2 and 1; Sigel bt P Page 5 and 4; B Gay halved Harrington; Herron bt Phillips 3 and 2; Leonard bt Stanford 5 and 4; Mitchum bt Russell 4 and 2; Demsey bt Dredge 3 and 2; Berganio Jnr lost to Burns 1 hole.

Singles result: United States 8 1/2 Great Britain and Ireland 1 1/2 .

MATCH RESULT: United States 19, Great Britain and Ireland 5.