Jamie Lovemark of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and Jonathan Moore of Vancouver, Wash., each won a pair of matches Sunday to lead the USA amateur squad to a one-point victory over Great Britain and Ireland in the 41st Walker Cup Match played at Royal County Down Golf Club.
Moore, 22, sealed the Americans’ win over the 7,181-yard, par 71 championship layout when he hit a 4-iron from 252 yards to three feet on the final hole and holed his putt for an eagle 3 and a 1-up win over 39-year-old Nigel Edwards of Wales.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Moore of his team’s 12½-11½ win. “I never dreamed it would get that close. It came off perfect. This was the opportunity of a lifetime and I’m just really thankful.”
Lovemark, 19, was the only other American to win in Sunday singles. He took the lead on the fourth hole and slowly pulled away to a 4-and-2 win over Englishman Jamie Moul. Colt Knost of Dallas, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, got the other half point by tying his match against Danny Willett of England.
The Americans appeared headed for a easy afternoon after building sweeping the four morning foursomes to break a deadlock and give the USA a 10-6 lead. However, the GB&I team mounted a comeback, winning 4½ of the first 6 singles points to pull within a point with two matches still on the course. And Moore and teammate Webb Simpson were in close matches that could go either way.
Moore won his match on the last hole. Simpson lost his match on the last hole, 1 down.
Moore teamed with 35-year-old Trip Kuehne of Irving, Texas, to win their morning foursomes match over Moul and Danny Willett, 4 and 2. Lovemark and Chris Kirk of Woodstock, Ga., defeated the English duo of David Horsey and John Parry in foursomes, 2 up.
Knost also won in foursomes, with Dustin Johnson of Myrtle Beach, S.C., 1 up, over Welshmen Rhys Davies and Edwards.
Moore and Lovemark went a combined 3-0 over the two days. Knost was 2-0-2. Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, Calif., and Billy Horschel of Grant, Fla., led the team in the early stages, each winning their first three matches before dropping a point in Sunday afternoon singles.
In 2005, the USA also won the Walker Cup by a point at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill. Before that, the GB&I had a run of three consecutive victories. The USA leads 33-7-1 in the biennial series history that was begun in 1922.