Golf: Rain prompts alteration as US seize lead

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The Independent Online
TORRENTIAL rain and lightning here in southern Minnesota yesterday caused an unprecedented change in the format of the Walker Cup between the amateur teams of the United States and Great Britain and Ireland.

With the first day's morning foursomes washed out - and the scheduling of matches for the rest of the event complicated by pre-booked expensive tee-times at Interlachen, a big society wedding, a shortage of rooms at the hotel and the desire of all the competitors to get on to Houston for the US Amateur - the United States captain, Vinny Giles, suggested a new format.

To preserve the competition's total of 24 points, and reach a conclusion by this afternoon, it was decided that all 20 competitors would play singles yesterday afternoon, a shift from the old system of sending out just eight singles matches. Foursomes will go out as planned today, with 10 singles matches again in the afternoon.

The format change was expected to favour the Americans and so it proved as the home team took the lead 6 1/2 to 3 1/2 after the first day.

When play finally got under way, the Great Britain and Ireland team took the first point when Matt Stanford beat David Berganio three and two when the American missed a five- footer to stay alive at the 16th.

The first match had provided the strongest pairing when Iain Pyman, the 20-year-old Amateur champion took on the 45-year-old American Allen Doyle. Pyman birdied the first but Doyle levelled when Pyman missed a 15-inch putt on the fourth.

Doyle then birdied the ninth and 10th holes to get to two-up, and despite an extraordinary shot from Pyman on the 12th when he saved par after hitting his second shot through almost 100 yards of forest, the American was in the driving seat winning by one hole. Dean Robertson then put Great Britain and Ireland 2-1 up when he defeated Jay Sigel three and two.

WALKER CUP: (Interlachen, Minn): United States 6 1/2 Great Britain and Ireland 3 1/2: 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.