Walker Cup: Great Britain and Ireland build huge lead after dominant opening day | Golf News

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Watch the Walker Cup live on Sky Sports from 5.30pm on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Golf

Last Updated: 02/09/23 9:10pm

John Gough of England won both his matches on Saturday

John Gough of England won both his matches on Saturday

John Gough of England won both his matches Saturday at St. Andrews and Great Britain & Ireland built a three-point lead over the Americans in the Walker Cup for its largest opening day margin in 34 years.

GB&I has not won the Walker Cup since 2015 but earned a 7.5-4.5 lead over the United States at St Andrews, its largest lead since the same score in 1989 at Peachtree Golf Club in Atlanta.

Gough and Matthew McClean held on for a 1-up victory in foursomes as GB&I set the tone by taking three of the four team matches. Gough then won five straight holes to start his singles match and beat US Amateur champion Nick Dunlap, 6-and-5, the shortest match of the day.

The USA drew first blood in the morning foursomes but the hosts rallied to build a 3-1 advantage into the afternoon singles, where Stuart Wilson’s team had the better of proceedings again as they added another 4.5 points.

The visitors came into the biennial contest for the top male amateur golfers as favourites to clam a fourth consecutive victory and they got the first points on the board when Gordon Sargent and Dylan Menante beat Mark Power and Barclay Brown 3&2.

However, Scottish duo Calum Scott and Connor Graham levelled things up with an identical victory over Caleb Surratt and Ben James, before John Gough and Matthew McClean put the home team ahead with victory on the 18th, taking advantage after Preston Summerhays missed his birdie opportunity.

Alex Maguire and James Ashfield also won on the final hole to give GB and Ireland a healthy advantage heading into the afternoon on the Old Course.

The afternoon singles came down to four tight matches in the middle of the lineup.

Gordon Sargent, the No 1 amateur in golf, made a three-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole at the Old Course for a 1-up victory over Jack Bigham. Sargent earlier won a foursomes match with Dylan Menante, the only US point in the morning.

That was the only singles match the Americans won that came down to the final hole.

Liam Nolan won the 18th with two putts from some 65 feet for birdie, while Austin Greaser took three putts from short of the green in the Valley of Sin. Then, Mark Power matched birdies with David Ford to hold on for a 1-up victory.

In the final match on the course, McClean hammered a putt from the Valley of Sin to about eight feet and holed that for birdie to earn a halve with Preston Summerhays.

After his match, McClean said on Sky Sports: “We both played great today and Preston came back at the end there really good. It probably deserved a half.

“It was a pretty good match, we were both making birdies, keeping it all square the whole way.”

The Americans have won the last three times in the Walker Cup, which dates to 1922, and have a 38-9-1 record in the amateur matches.

Watch the Walker Cup live on Sky Sports from 5.30pm on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Golf. Stream the DP World Tour, PGA Tour, Ryder Cup and more for £26 a month for 12 months with NOW.



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