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.

Related Content

  • Event: Walker Cup

“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.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

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.

Getty Images

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.