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Golf: “An Almighty Shock” For Team USA

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

The Walker Cup has come and gone for another two years and time for Team USA to reflect on how was it possible their “unbeatable” team lost.

Scotsman John Huggan summing up his thoughts prior to the event wrote, ‘And the likely result? It has to be, barring an almighty shock and even allowing for the inherent vagaries of match play, a comfortable U.S. victory. By at least six clear points.’

GB & I won 14-12 in spite of a great comeback by the Americans in the final singles matches and Alistair Tait writes, ‘The home team survived a battering from the U.S. in the final singles, losing the session 6.5–3.5. However, the U.S. left themselves with too much of a mountain to climb after losing the morning foursomes 3.5–.5.

GB & I also won the first round of foursomes and provides yet another example of the strength of European teams, Ryder Cup and Walker Cup when it comes to foursomes matches. However as to why the “unbeatable” American team lost this time; the second straight loss when the matches were played on Scottish soil, Derek Lawrenson is of the opinion.

‘As good as the home side were, it has to be said they were helped by some clueless golf from a number of the visitors. They might be great players with the sun on their backs and the requirement is to hit high shots to dartboard greens. But some of their attempts to cope with the admittedly treacherous wind that fortified this sublime links all weekend were pitiful. It underlined the one-dimensional nature of so much American golf and how harmful it is to its leading players when they are asked to leave their comfort zone.’

Jim Holtgrieve, Captain of the USA team said prior to the event, “There is no doubt I want to win. But my goal is for the players to come away with an experience of life.” And ain’t life like that when it comes to the mano a mano of match play golf. Combined with typical rudely, rough Scottish links’ weather where anything is possible.

Commenting on the loss, Holtgrieve said, "I really think the difference was the conditions. Even though my guys have played in windy conditions, I'm just not sure that on the conditions like they were today, it does take some time to get used to those conditions…’

Get used to it, the young Americans who aspire to play Pro Tour events where hitting “high shots to dartboard greens” is unfamiliar territory.

Here’s the links to Derek and Alistair.  

Quote of the Day

“The match isn’t played on paper.” – GB & I captain Nigel Edwards commenting on how the high world rankings of the American team doesn’t guarantee they’ll win.

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