Great Britain and Ireland defeated the United States of America, 16½ to 9½ to win the 45th Walker Cup Match at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, achieving their greatest winning margin in the match since it was first played in 1922. Leading seven to five going into the final day, GB&I secured the victory with a dominant final day performance that saw them win the final morning foursomes three to one, taking a four point lead going into the afternoon singles, where they won a further 6 ½ points.
Captain Nigel Edwards achieved his second win in his three matches in charge after leading the team to victory at Royal Aberdeen in 2011. England’s Jimmy Mullen, who was GB&I’s leading points-scorer with a perfect four out of four record, led the team’s afternoon domination of the singles in which they won five, halved three and lost just two matches. Mullen joins Paul Casey and Luke Donald among the small group of GB&I players who have achieved four out of four in a single match. England’s Ashley Chesters, at 26, the oldest GB&I player (3½), and Cormac Sharvin of Ireland (three) were the other leading GB&I performers.
College All-Americans Bryson DeChambeau, the 2015 US Amateur and NCAA Division I men’s individual champion, and Beau Hossler were the only American players to win their matches in the final singles. Hossler (three), DeChambeau (2½) and Robby Shelton (two) were the leading point-scorers for the USA.
GB&I has now won five of the last six matches played on home soil, dating back to 1999. The only American win in that stretch was in 2007 at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland. With the GB&I victory, the two teams now stand at seven each in the 14 matches since 1989. The USA leads the overall series 35-9-1.
Edwards stated, “I’m delighted with the victory. We had a very strong front and we have strength throughout the team. I said last night to the team that as long as the lads keep doing what they have been doing all week, playing their own games, their short games are fantastic, which is probably what has given us the edge. Some of the bunker shots have been exceptional but also the standard of play here has been fantastic.”