Lewis stays on course for his fairytale ending

 

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club

Tom Lewis's final day as an amateur could be his most enjoyable. Great Britain and Ireland hold a 7-5 lead over the mighty Americans and the chance of a Walker Cup shock looks so tantalising.

In bleak conditions, the old links bared its teeth and took chunks out of the US challenge. The experts say this is one of the strongest teams ever to have crossed the pond, but Royal Aberdeen may be their Kryptonite. They limited Lewis – the 20-year-old who made such a splash at The Open with an opening 65 – to one point, but they could not contain his team-mates. In team golf the unpredictable is predictable.

It is fair to say the day did not begin as Lewis intended. Going out first, he pulled his drive into the gorse and the ball was never located. "It was a bit embarrassing having to send Mikey [Stewart] back to the tee," he said. "But we managed to come away with a win."

Their 2 & 1 victory over the Americans' crack pairing of Peter Uihlein and Harris English set the tone for a foursomes flourish which took them into a 3-1 lead. But just as the smiles were beaming at their brightest, so the mood was deflated. Working as an analyst for the BBC, Paul Eales, the former European Tour professional, recognised the caddie of the home team's Jack Senior as a certified PGA professional and so the controversy started. Eales' colleague Maureen Nidal pulled out a copy of the match regulations which state that players aren't allowed to use caddies who are pros.

Senior's bagman happened to be his elder brother, Joe, so obviously he knew his status. But he didn't know the rule, neither it must be presumed did the team's management. As Peter Dawson, the R&A chief executive pointed out, it was "amazing" nobody realised.

So how did Senior escape? Because the error was not spotted until the match had been finished and in matchplay that means the result stands. If it had come to light during play, the punishment would have been two holes. As Senior and Andy Sullivan beat Russell Henley and Kelly Kraft 2 & 1 it must be presumed the United States would have secured a half. Will that be costly?

To his credit, Jim Holtgrieve, the US captain, accepted the situation with good grace. "There was no argument from anyone whatsoever," reported a highly relieved Dawson. He vowed to repeal the rule which he called "a bit daft".

So much else about this match apes its professional equivalent. Momentum shifts like sweet wrappers in the wind and in the afternoon singles, the home team held it, lost it and regained it. Lewis, who will turn pro tomorrow, was soundly beaten 2 & 1 by Uihlein. "I just didn't play well," said Lewis. Fortunately, his pals at the bottom of the order managed to, especially the 17-year-old Rhys Pugh. The Welshman was three down through eight holes after Patrick Rodgers' six birdie burst. Pugh stood tall and came through 2 & 1. The huge hug from Nigel Edwards, his countryman and captain, said it all.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn