Golf: McEvoy inspires troops to level best

IF GREAT BRITAIN & Ireland lose the Walker Cup to the United States at Nairn today, it won't be because of Peter McEvoy's captaincy. The team veteran Gary Wolstenholme called McEvoy's leadership "inspirational" before the 37th match started, and so it proved yesterday.

McEvoy's involvement in the morning's foursomes was evident for all to see. The former two-time British Amateur champion seemed to appear at just the right time in each match. For example, when Paul Casey hit a wedge shot through the back of the 10th green in the match featuring Casey and Luke Donald against Jonathan Byrd and Steve Scott, McEvoy was there to put a reassuring hand on the 22-year-old's shoulder. The GB & I pair promptly halved the hole to maintain their two-up advantage.

Not that this particular twosome need much encouragement. Donald attends North- western University in Chicago, while Casey plays golf for Arizona State. Donald is the reigning NCAA champion, and the highest-ranked amateur player in the US, while Casey won this year's English Amateur Championship and is the 16th best amateur golfer in America.

McEvoy made a wise choice in putting the two together in the morning foursomes, because the pair drew first blood for the home side by easily winning their match 5 and 3. They were five under par for the 14 holes they played.

Afterwards McEvoy only got one of his pairings wrong as the two sides battled to a 2-2 draw in foursomes play. Ireland's Paddy Gribben and Lorne Kelly of Scotland were no match for Tim Jackson and David Gossett, the present US Amateur champion. The home side lost 3 and 1, a scoreline that was not helped by Kelly missing a couple of short putts at the 4th and 7th to give the visitors those holes.

The pairing of Graeme Storm, the present British Amateur Champion, and Graham Rankin, playing his third Walker Cup, were two up after two holes against Hunter Haas and John "Spider" Miller. But the Americans fought back. When Rankin hit into the whins on the 18th hole, rendering the ball unplayable, the visitors had gained a point they didn't really deserve, winning one up.

Perhaps McEvoy's most astute pairing was putting the 39-year-old Wolstenholme alongside the 20-year-old Philip Rowe, the youngest member of the home side. The pair stormed out of the blocks to a three-hole lead over Bryce Moulder and the 1997 US Amateur champion Matt Kuchar by the ninth. Again the Americans fought back, to all square by the 17th, but Rowe clinched the match when he holed a 15ft birdie putt to ensure that GB & I levelled the morning session.

For McEvoy it was an important psychological blow. "Strangely enough, even though we're level I think the way it's happened leaves us upbeat," he said. If he continues to inspire his side today as he did yesterday, then he should be lifting the Walker Cup by the close of play today.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...