US Holds Slight Advantage at Walker Cup

By Golf Channel NewsroomAugust 13, 2005, 4:00 pm
WHEATON, Ill. - The United States Walker Cup team won two of the four foursomes matches Saturday morning en route to a 6 1/2 - 5 1/2 lead over the Great Britain & Ireland squad after the first day of the 40th Walker Cup Matches.
 
'Welcome to the Walker Cup,' said American captain Bob Lewis. 'It's just the way it is. It was a very emotional day, typical of the Walker Cup. There is so many ebbs and flows.'
 
The U.S. duo of Lee Williams and Matthew Every teamed for a 1-up win over Gary Lockerbie and Robert Dinwiddie in the morning foursomes. Jeff Overton and Michael Putnam won the 13th and 14th holes to go 2-up before hanging on for a 2 and 1 victory over the GB&I duo of Oliver Fisher and Matthew Richardson.
 
GB&I's lone win Saturday morning came thanks to Richie Ramsay and Lloyd Saltman. That pair rolled to a 4 and 3 win over Kyle Reifers and Billy Hurley.
 
The final morning foursomes match was halved between the GB&I pair of Nigel Edwards and Rhys Davies and the U.S. duo of Anthony Kim and Brian Harman. The GB&I tandem had taken a 3-up lead through 10 holes at Chicago Golf Club, but the U.S. pair birdied four of the next six holes to get back to even. The teams halved the final two holes to tie the match.
 
In the afternoon singles matches, each team had two easy wins and two close ones. Davies captured the opening match for the GB&I team. He downed Every 4 and 3.
 
Kim, the medalist at the 2005 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, romped to a 6 and 5 win over Lockerbie to move the U.S. team one point ahead of their opponents.
 
Overton gave the U.S. squad a brief two-point cushion with a 5 and 4 win over Edwards. The GB&I team quickly evened the score as the fifth and fourth matches ended in their favor.
 
In match five, Richardson stormed to a 5 and 4 victory over Nick Thompson and Fisher squared the competition overall as he downed Putnam 2-up with birdies on two of the last three holes.
 
Saltman birdied the 17th to briefly give the GB&I squad the lead in the team competition. That birdie gave him a 1-up win over Hurley, an officer in the U.S. Navy. He is the first man from one of the service academies to play on the U.S. Walker Cup team.
 
The U.S. won the final two matches however to lead by one point after the first day. John Holmes claimed a 1-up win over Gary Wolstenholme, the most decorated player in this event. Wolstenholme, a two-time British Amateur champion, is playing this event for the sixth straight time.
 
Williams led nearly the entire match against Brian McElhinney and claimed victory when McElhinney bogeyed the 17th.
 
Walker Cup morning matches are being added to the schedule Sunday. In addition to the scheduled afternoon matches (Sunday 4p-6p), TGC will air live morning matches of the Walker Cup - 11a.m. - 1p.m.
 
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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


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    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


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    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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    Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

    “They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

    “The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”