Sunday 24 September 2017

United States take control of Walker Cup

Harry Ellis, pictured, and Alfie Plant suffered at Los Angeles Country Club on Saturday
Harry Ellis, pictured, and Alfie Plant suffered at Los Angeles Country Club on Saturday

The United States will take an 8-4 lead into the final day of the Walker Cup after dominating the singles against Great Britain and Ireland.

The home team only need to take five and a half of the 14 available points on Sunday to wrestle the trophy back from Great Britain and Ireland.

It was all square after the morning foursomes at The Los Angeles Country Club, but the US took control in the afternoon.

It could have been a different story, however, as Great Britain and Ireland led five of the eight matches at one stage but the hosts recovered to win six points.

Robert MacIntyre impressed for the tourists as he raced into a three-hole lead after four against Cameron Champ and a birdie on the 14th saw him secure a 6&4 win.

Jack Singh Brar won Great Britain and Ireland's other point with a 3&2 win over Stewart Hagestad, while Norman Xiong and Dough Ghim secured narrow 2&1 wins over Connor Syme and David Boote respectively.

Braden Thornberry delivered a masterclass for the Americans, winning four of the last five holes to beat Harry Ellis - who led by two at one point - 2 up.

America's Maverick McNealy and Scott Gregory were all square at the 14th, but the American birdied the 15th and held par on the 16th and 17th, while Gregory bogeyed the 17th to lose 3&1.

Collin Morikawa beat Paul McBride 3&2, while Will Zalatoris overcame Matthew Jordan 2 up.

In the morning session, Americans Morikawa and Xiong beat Harry Ellis and Alfie Plant 8&7, the largest margin for an 18-hole match at the biennial amateur tournament, but the tourists were able to regroup.

Gregory and Singh Brar salvaged the split with a 3&2 win over Scottie Scheffler and Champ, after Syme and McBride had beaten Doc Redman and Zalatoris by the same margin.

The United States' other point came with McNealy and Ghim's 5&4 defeat of Boote and Jack Davidson.

Great Britain are bidding to make a successful defence of the trophy they won at Royal Lytham in 2015 - but their last win on American soil came in 2001 and home teams have won 10 of the last 12 contests.

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