Sport Golf

Friday 22 August 2014

Moynihan and Phelan can be proud despite Walker defeat

Karl MacGinty

Published 10/09/2013 | 05:00

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Gavin Moynihan celebrates winning his singles match in a rare highlight for the Great Britain and Ireland team at the Walker Cup
Gavin Moynihan celebrates winning his singles match in a rare highlight for the Great Britain and Ireland team at the Walker Cup

IT'S been a while since the US has given anyone such a hammering outside of the Presidents Cup.

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No question, a sleeping giant awoke at The National Golf Links of America and gave Great Britain and Ireland a 17-9 hammering, the most one-sided result in the Walker Cup arena since the US won 18-6 in 1997 at Quaker Ridge.

Problems many of their visitors had playing into treacherous green complexes and tucking away their putts were cruelly exposed.

The old Walker Cup order was restored as the US won 13 of 18 singles matches and halved another.

To their credit, Kevin Phelan and Gavin Moynihan registered two of GB&I's paltry four wins at singles, the others achieved by world No 1 and US amateur champion Matt Fitzpatrick and fellow Englishman Callum Shinkwin.

As he turns professional to play this week's KLM Open in Holland, Waterford Castle's Phelan should draw confidence from a polished performance which yielded two points out of three at The National.

He and Moynihan were narrowly beaten in Saturday's foursomes and teamed up brilliantly again for sweet revenge on Sunday morning, before Phelan coolly dispatched Max Homa 2&1, even taking a hole-in-one by the American in his stride.

Moynihan probably was even more impressive as he took two points from four games.

The Island ace, at 18 the youngest player at The National, hit the shot of the Walker Cup during Saturday's outstanding 2&1 victory over Patrick Rodgers.

After landing in a bunker at 14, Moynihan faced a harrowing mid-iron to the green. Catch it fat and his ball would fall short in the lake. Hit it long and he might as well pick up and walk to the next tee.

Yet there was no fear in his swing or the strike and the Dubliner's ball flew to three feet for an unforgettable birdie. In one stroke Moynihan showed America why the University of Alabama were so keen to add him to their NCAA-winning squad.

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