Great Britain and Ireland defeated the United States of America, 16½-9½, Sunday in the 45th Walker Cup Match at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club.
“I’m delighted with the victory,” said GB&I captain Nigel Edwards. “We had a very strong front and we have strength throughout the team. I said last night to the team that as long as the lads keep doing what they have been doing all week, playing their own games, their short games are fantastic, which is probably what has given us the edge. Some of the bunker shots have been exceptional but also the standard of play here has been fantastic.”
Edwards, captain in 2011, 2013 and 2015, has two Match victories to his credit in addition to his play on two Match-winning teams in four appearances.
England’s Jimmy Mullen, who paced GB&I with a perfect 4-0 mark, led the team’s afternoon domination of singles matches in which they won five, halved three and lost just two. England’s Ashley Chesters, 26, the oldest GB&I player (3½) and Cormac Sharvin of Ireland (3) were the other GB&I point leaders.
“It doesn’t matter if I won all of my games as long as the team won was the main thing,” said Mullen, who made the cut at the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield and the Round of 16 at the 2014 U.S. Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club. “To win all of my games was just the icing on the cake.”
Paul Casey and Luke Donald are among the small group of GB&I players who have posted 4-0 records in a single Match.
College All-Americans Bryson DeChambeau, of Clovis, Calif., the 2015 U.S. Amateur and NCAA Division I men’s individual champion, and Beau Hossler, of Mission Viejo, Calif., were the only USA players to score victories in the Sunday singles matches.
Hossler (3), DeChambeau (2½) and Robby Shelton (2), of Wilmer, Ala., were the top point-scorers for the USA.
“I don’t think we handed them anything. I think they went out and played well, very well, and they won it,” said USA captain John “Spider” Miller. “I’d feel bad if we were three-putting and giving them holes. I think our guys played well. They just played very well. They outplayed us and earned it.”
In the morning foursomes, GB&I extended its overnight lead from 7-5 to 10-6 by winning three of the four matches for the second consecutive day.
GB&I has now won five of the last six Matches contested on its ‘home’ soil, dating back to 1999. The only U.S. win in that stretch was 2007 at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland. With the GB&I victory, the two teams have now split the 14 Matches since 1989, 7-7. Before 1987, the USA dominated the series with 28-2-1 mark.
The winning margin is the largest for GB&I since the Walker Cup began in 1922.
The Walker Cup Match is a biennial 10-man amateur team competition between a team composed of players from Great Britain and Ireland and the USA. It is played over two days with 18 singles matches and eight foursomes matches. The USA leads the overall series 35-9-1.
The 2017 Walker Cup Match will be played Sept. 9-10 at The Los Angeles (Calif.) Country Club.