America retained the Walker Cup at Royal County Down yesterday but were made to work unexpectedly hard for it.
After a 4-0 whitewash in the morning foursomes it looked a foregone conclusion at 10-6, but Britain and Ireland came out for the eight concluding singles with all guns blazing.
They took the first three points through Rory McIlroy, Rhys Davies and Lloyd Saltman and then Danny Willett, the English champion sank a 20-footer on the last for a half with Colt Knost, who won the US Amateur last month.
However, Jamie Lovemark had beaten Jamie Moul for the first of the two points the United States needed and after Ireland's Jonny Caldwell had got the better of Kyle Stanley to cut the gap to one again, Jonathan Moore beat the Welshman Nigel Edwards with a brilliant eagle on the 18th to settle the contest.
The United States take home the trophy they won by just one point in Chicago two years ago. "I wanted to go out this afternoon to get some revenge," said Willett, who had lost to Knost on the final green in the opening day's singles. "It was good."
John Parry, the other Yorkshireman in the team, could not repeat his first-day heroics after being restricted to the foursomes yet again. The 20-year-old from Harrogate was again paired with David Horsey but they lost out to Chris Kirk and Lovemark despite a strong start.
"Of course I'm disappointed not to play in either of the singles, but it's a team thing and you've got to put in what you think is your best team," Parry said.
At Crans-sur-Sierre, the Australian Brett Rumford chipped in for a birdie on the first extra hole to win the Omega European Masters in a play-off with Britain's Philip Archer yesterday. The pair finished a shot ahead of the defending champion Bradley Dredge, who missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the last to make the play-off.
"It's been a pretty tough year," said the relieved winner. "This has proved very emotional and I had to have five minutes in a back room when it all hit me. I've been grinding for not much but it's all come together."Reuse content