US wins third consecutive Walker Cup

By Associated PressSeptember 14, 2009, 1:17 am

USGAARDMORE, Pa. – After three straight one-point decisions in the Walker Cup, United States captain Buddy Marucci wondered if the teams were again headed toward a final-hole showdown.

Boasting a six-point lead heading into the Sunday singles, members of the U.S. team struggled in the middle of their rounds, giving a glimmer of hope to a Great Britain and Ireland team desperate to end a two-match losing streak.

But the Americans steadied their games and won their third consecutive Walker Cup, claiming five singles matches and halving another for a 16 1/2 - 9 1/2 victory over GB&I at Merion Golf Club.

U.S. Walker Cup team
The U.S. team celebrates its third consecutive Walker Cup victory. (Getty Images)
“I felt quietly confident … but memories of Royal County Down weren’t that far away,” said Marucci, recalling the U.S. team’s dramatic final-hole 12 1/2 -11 1/2 victory in 2007.

“But I just thought there was too much talent not to win 2 1/2 points.”

When it was over, Marucci, a Merion member who grew up just off the eighth green, choked back tears at the closing ceremony.

“The true spirit of Merion came out this week, and it comes out every time there is a championship,” the 57-year-old said.

This weekend, on the same layout where Bobby Jones played his first and last U.S. Amateur and completed the Grand Slam in 1930, the U.S. team eased away for a dominating victory in the amateur equivalent of the Ryder Cup.

Americans Rickie Fowler and Peter Uihlein won all four of their weekend matches, and Cameron Tringale won in an 8-and-6 romp in the third-largest winning margin by a U.S. player in singles.

Fowler’s victory punctuated a solid amateur career. Tringale’s victory ensured the U.S. would retain the title, and Uihlein’s 3-and-1 victory over Stiggy Hodgson won it outright.

The U.S. team’s margin of victory was the largest since an 18-6 win in 1997, at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y. The Americans lead the series 34-7-1.

The U.S. team needed two points in the Sunday singles to retain the cup and 2 1/2 to win the championship after going 3-1 in the morning’s alternate-shot matches that provided an 11-5 advantage.

Bud Cauley halved his singles with Chris Paisley and finished 3-0-1 for the U.S., which also got individual wins from Morgan Hoffmann and Brendan Gielow.

Marucci won his second straight title as U.S. captain.

“They gave me more than I will ever be able to give back,” said Marucci, the 2008 U.S. Senior Amateur champion and two-time Walker Cup player.

Scotland’s Gavin Dear, in the first singles pairing, tried to kick-start a GB&I comeback, posting a 3-and-2 victory over Brian Harman.

“I like going out early. I feel as though I can go up,” Dear said. “If the guys see that score, maybe it could give them some kind of incentive or a bit of confidence.”

But the six-point deficit after the morning session proved too big an obstacle to overcome for the GB&I under captain Colin Dalgleish, who dropped his second in a row and was openly disappointed.

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“I kind of feel that the 10 players we had here are better players and played better than the result would suggest, which is very frustrating for everybody involved here,” Dalgleish said.

Sam Hutsby, Tommy Fleetwood and Niall Kearney supplied GB&sI’s other singles wins.

Fowler and Uihlein, teammates at Oklahoma State along with Hoffmann, starred for the U.S. squad.

Delaying turning pro until after his second straight Walker Cup, Fowler played the 18th hole just once, Sunday morning when he and Cauley prevailed 1-up.

The 20-year-old from Murrieta, Calif., closed out his amateur career on the 17th hole and got a hearty handshake and hug from Marucci.

“This is the reason I stayed an amateur,” said Fowler, whose first pro event will be on the Nationwide Tour next week in Idaho. “Being here, in Buddy’s backyard, and winning it tops it all off.”

He finished with a 7-1 Walker Cup record, unbeaten in four foursomes, and 3-1 in singles.

Uihlein was one of the last two picks to the 10-man team, and he justified his selection by going undefeated.

“I just tried to do the best I could,” the 20-year-old from Orlando said. “It was a pretty special week.”

Uihlein teamed with Nathan Smith, the oldest member of the American squad at 31, for a pair of alternate-shot victories and had wins of 2 and 1, and 3 and 1 in singles.

After three straight losses from 1999-2003, the Americans followed victories at Chicago Golf Club in Illinois and Royal County Down in Northern Ireland with a win at venerable Merion East, which was hosting a record 18th USGA championship.

The U.S. won three straight from 1983-87 as part of an eight-title run between 1973 and 1987. GB&I won three straight titles from 1999-2003, before the current U.S. run.

The Americans raced to a 3-1 lead after Saturday’s alternate-shot matches and held an 8-4 edge after the first day following three wins and four halves in afternoon singles.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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