SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – The United States ran away with a 17-9 victory on Sunday over the Great Britain and Ireland team in the 44th annual Walker Cup Match at the National Golf Links of America.
The Alabama contingent on the American squad was instrumental in the USA’s 35th Walker Cup Match victory. The Americans now lead the series 35-8-1. Mobile’s Bobby Wyatt led all scorers with 3.5 of a possible four points while Justin Thomas (Goshen, Ky.) added three points and Cory Whitsett (Houston) scored 2.5 points.
Tide freshman and Dublin, Ireland, native Gavin Moynihan scored two of the GB&I team’s nine points. Moynihan lost 1 up on the final hole on Sunday to Patrick Rodgers.
Wyatt got the scoring started in Sunday’s singles matches with a 4 and 3 win over GB&I’s Neil Raymond. He won the third hole and never trailed extending to 2 up on the 13th hole and then winning the 14th and 15th holes to close out the match.
Thomas, who sat out the morning foursomes with a sore back, found his swing in the second match of the afternoon crushing Max Orrin 6 and 4 for the largest win of the entire 2013 Walker Cup Match. It was his final event as an amateur and a Crimson Tide player, as he plans to turn pro this week. Thomas won the first hole and never looked back, carding wins on the fourth, fifth, seventh, 12th, 13th and 14th holes for the win. He lost only one hole the entire match on the 11th.
Whitsett got down as many as five holes through nine holes but battled back on the backside. He won three straight holes on 10, 11 and 12 and then cut the deficit to 1 up on the 16th hole. Whitsett halved the 17th with par but made bogey on the 18th to lose the hole and the match 2 up. He entered the match undefeated in three previous Walker Cup matches.
Moynihan, a bright spot for Great Britain and Ireland, battled the world’s No. 5 amateur Rodgers even for 17 holes before losing on the 18th. He defeated Rodgers in Saturday’s singles matches.
In the morning foursomes, Wyatt and Whitsett teamed together once again to tally USA’s first point of the day. The Americans took a 1-up lead with a win on the 15th hole. On the 17th hole, Whitsett hit his approach shot out of the rough within birdie range. Wyatt then sank the birdie putt to close out GB&I 2 and 1.
“It’s a great feeling anytime you can add one on the board,” Wyatt said following the morning match. “The 15th hole was definitely a turning point; we won that hole with a bogey. That’s just a gift. Fortunately, we were able to take that and run with it.”
Moynihan and Kevin Phelan came from four down for GB&I to hold off the tandem of USA’s Patrick Rodgers and Jordan Niebrugge for a 2-up victory, winning the 17th and 18th holes. Moynihan leads all GB&I players with two points heading into Sunday afternoon singles.
“We were 4 down and we hadn’t played that badly,” Moynihan said. “Then Kevin started hitting them close; iron play is the strength of his game.”