Walker Cup glory as Americans humbled

Golf

TIM GLOVER

reports from Porthcawl

Great Britain and Ireland completed a resounding victory over the United States in the 35th Walker Cup match yesterday. It was made all the sweeter for its rarity value. This was only the fourth time, since the competition began in 1922, that GB and Ireland had beaten the Americans and they struck a great blow for that unfashionable concept, amateur sport.

It was the first time the match had been held in Wales and if it is an exaggeration to say they were singing in the valleys, they were certainly rejoicing on the links at Royal Porthcawl where not even driving rain that poured in mercilessly from the Bristol Channel could dampen the enthusiasm of a large crowd.

GB and Ireland, who were massacred 19-5 in Minnesota two years ago, went into the final session of singles yesterday afternoon needing three and a half points out of eight to secure victory and it was achieved with the minimum of fuss. Clive Brown, the captain and a Welshman, perhaps deserves as much credit as his team. Brown, the only captain never to have played in the Walker Cup, came up with the perfect batting order in the singles.

Gordon Sherry, David Howell, Stephen Gallacher and Jody Fanagan, who were making their debuts in the competition, went out in that order and all four won, thus making victory watertight. Downing Gray, the US captain, played two of his aces, John Harris and Tiger Woods, at seven and eight and although both won, the game, by then, was already up.

Sherry, the amateur champion who will turn professional following the Masters at Augusta next April, was involved in a high-class match with Chris Riley.

Riley made four birdies, won the 14th and 15th holes to make it all square but then the 6ft 8in Sherry overpowered him with a deadly finish. The Scotsman won the 17th with a birdie and after he had put his approach shot to within four feet of the flag at the 18th Riley was forced to acknowledge defeat.

Howell, the 20-year-old from Swindon, had a splendid day. A winner in the morning, he took the first four holes against the native American Notah Begay before emerging the winner by 2 and 1. Gallacher, the nephew of Europe's Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher, and Fanagan defeated Trip Kuehne and Jerry Courville respectively 3 and 2 and that was sufficient to give GB and Ireland an unassailable lead with 13 points. The final margin was 14-10. Howell, who secured victory with a birdie putt on the penultimate hole, said: "It was the biggest putt I have ever made, by far, by far. Brilliant. I can't believe it. The whole weekend has been marvellous... just incredible... the highlight of my life."

Fanagan, a 30-year-old Dubliner who works for the family funeral business, preserved a 100 per cent record: played three, won three. "I'm a rugby player really," Fanagan, who played stand-off and full- back for Irish Universities, said. "I should not be playing this stupid game. It's putting years on me."

GB and Ireland stymied the Americans in the morning's foursomes. Leading 7-5 after the first day, the home side protected their advantage by sharing the foursomes 2-2.

Brown was forced to change his original line-up when Graham Rankin, who would have partnered Lee James, withdrew on doctor's orders. Rankin tore a tendon in his left wrist while practising on Saturday evening and his place was taken by Saturday's hero Gary Wolstenholme. Wolstenholme and James were soundly beaten but the status quo was maintained by Howell and Mark Foster, who defeated Kris Cox and Kuehne 3 and 2, and by the inspired Irish partnership of Fanagan and Padraig Harrington, who gained a hugely impressive 2 and 1 victory over America's top pair, Woods and Harris.

At the 15th, 16th and 17th holes the Americans scored 5 (bogey), 5 (bogey), 6 (bogey). It was a dismal finish and Woods, one of the longest hitters in golf, amateur or professional, did not have much of an appetite for lunch. He has been suffering from an upset stomach and during the course of his re-match with Wolstenholme yesterday afternoon he was compelled to consult a doctor.

A few days ago Porthcawl received spot-on intelligence from the European Centre for medium range weather forecasts in Reading. Martin Miller, the man responsible, happens to be a member at Porthcawl and his forecast for yesterday was simple: "a wet Sunday." The rain was torrential and relentless but, despite the conditions, a crowd of 9,500 came out in their wet suits to witness an historic occasion. Like Max Boyce, they would be able to say: "I was there."

SCORES FROM ROYAL PORTHCAWL

(GB and Irl names first)

Saturday

Foursomes

G Sherry and S Gallacher lost to J Harris and T Woods 4 and 3

M Foster and D Howell halved with A Bratton and C Riley

G Rankin and B Howard lost to N Begay and T Jackson 4 and 3

P Harrington and J Fanagan bt K Cox and T Kuehne 5 and 3

Foursomes result: Great Britain and Ireland 11/2 United States 21/2

Singles

Sherry bt Begay 3 and 2

L James lost to Cox 1 hole

Foster bt B Marucci 4 and 3

Gallacher bt Jackson 4 and 3

Harrington bt J Courville 2 holes

Howard halved with Bratton

Rankin lost to Harris 1 hole

G Wolstenholme bt Woods 1 hole

Singles result: Great Britain and Ireland 51/2 United States 21/2.

(GB and Ireland led 7-5 after first day)

Yesterday

Foursomes

G Sherry and S Gallacher lost to A Bratton and C Riley 4 and 2

D Howell and M Foster bt K Cox and T Kuehne 3 and 2

G Wolstenholme and L James lost to B Marucci and J Courville 6 and 5

P Harrington and J Fanagan bt J Harris and T Woods 2 and 1

Foursomes result: Great Britain and Ireland 2 United States 2.

Singles

Sherry bt Riley 2 holes

Howell bt N Begay 2 and 1

Gallacher bt Kuehne 3 and 2

Fanagan bt Courville 3 and 2

B Howard halved with T Jackson

Foster halved with Marucci

Harrington lost to Harris 3 and 2

Wolstenholme lost to Woods 4 and 3

Singles result: Great Britain and Ireland 5 United States 3.

Match result: Great Britain and Ireland 14 United States 10.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Floyd Mayweather will relinquish his five world titles after beating Manny Pacquiao
boxing
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
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

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living