by Jeff Skinner
Viewers that took a break from NFL football on Sunday afternoon and tuned in to The Golf Channel may have been looking for a bit more drama in the 44th Walker Cup. The USA had entered Sunday with an 8-4 lead over Great Britain & Ireland and by the time The Golf Channel coverage started it was all over except for the hat tips and the handshakes.
Team USA used its dominant singles play to pile on Team GB&I for a 17-9 victory and recapture the Walker Cup they had lost two years ago at Royal Aberdeen in Scotland. While GB&I held their own in Foursomes play (alternate shot) with a 4.5-3.5 advantage the Americans used the singles matches to overwhelm their opponents. On Saturday the Americans earned 6.5 points in singles to GB&I’s 1.5. And Sunday’s singles was just as bad for the UK as Team USA went 7-3 over the final matches.
USA Captain Jim Holtgrieve had his dream come true, “It’s something I have been wanting for a long, long time, particularly after we lost in 2011. I was hoping I would get a mulligan for ’13 and when I knew it was going to be at National Golf Links, which is where it all started, I wanted so bad to come here. Yes. I wanted to win, but I wanted to do something good for golf and this, to me, was truly good for golf.” Click here for Ryan Herrington’s game story.
But while there wasn’t much drama on the course the real drama could be seen in the course itself. C.B. Macdonald’s historic National Golf Links of America could be seen in all its links-style splendor. Bright sunshine and winds off Peconic Bay made National a beast on Sunday afternoon and both teams struggled to control their ball. The National in the wind is a different course and Team USA adjusted to the trying conditions better than their counterparts from across the pond.