United States of America retain Walker Cup with win at Royal Liverpool

Ross Houston
September 10, 2019

The previous American victory away from home came in 2007 with a team which included future major champions Dustin Johnson and Webb Simpson and PGA Tour winners Rickie Fowler, Billy Horschel, Kyle Stanley and Chris Kirk.

GB&I led 7-5 after day one at Royal Liverpool, but the visitors narrowed the gap after the morning foursomes to a single point.

The U.S. improved to 37-9-1 overall in the Walker Cup.

Hammer provided the first of those with a 6&5 thrashing of Purcell and Augenstein made certain of retaining the trophy with a 4&3 win against Thomas Plumb.

The United States, who trailed by two after Saturday's four fourball and eight singles matches, won two of Sunday's fourball matches and eight of the 10 singles matches to beat the GB&I side by 15.5 points to 10.5 - earning them the most decisive winning margin for a visiting US team since a 16 ½ - 7 ½ victory in 1987 at Sunningdale. John Pak completed a ideal week. Scott responded with birdies on the 12 and 14 to go 4-up and the match was closed out shortly afterwards when the 15 hole was halved in par.

Alex Smalley extended the lead further with a 2&1 win over Caolan Rafferty which was immediately followed by Cole Hammer's emphatic 6&5 victory over Conor Purcell to put the US 12½-9½ up. He earned his spot on the team after winning the U.S. Amateur Championship in August.

Fitzpatrick had raised home hopes by moving two up on Salinda, only to lose the next three holes in succession, although Sloman had recovered from an early deficit to lead Fisk by two holes in the final match.

But the loss of three holes in a row from the 11 proved to be pivotal as the Americans claimed their first point of the match. A concession on the 17 by GB&I secured a 2&1 win for the United States duo.

Hagestad and Bhatia put another point on the board for the U.S. after convincingly defeating Gough and Hall 3&2.

"It really doesn't matter who clinches it", said Augenstein, lost to Andy Ogeltree of Littlerock, Miss., 2 and 1, last month in the United States Amateur final at Pinehurst No. 2. They found themselves 2-down with four holes to play but pars on the 15 and 17 were enough to return the match to all-square. The American pair were 3-up after five holes and never looked back as their opponents struggled to stay with them. A birdie at the 16 sealed the match.

Great Britain and Ireland won just one of the foursomes courtesy of Plumb and Tom Sloman, who beat world No 1 Cole Hammer and Steven Fisk 4&3.

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