It is a two-day competition between the best 10 male US amateur golf players and the best 10 male amateur golf players from the UK and Ireland which kicked off at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton on September 7, 2013.
Same Venue as the 1992 Inaugural Match
The Walker Cup this year was a homecoming of some sort because the first match in 1992 was held at exactly the same venue – at the National. The American team led by William C. Fownes, Jr., the playing captain, won the inaugural match.
The UK/Ireland Teams Won in 2012
The lead in the series is currently taken by the Americans with 34-8-1 but United Kingdom/Ireland won last year, beating the US at 14-12, in Aberdeen, Scotland at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club. Before that, the Americans had won Walker Cup in 3 consecutive matches dating as far back as 2005.
Winners of 2013
The 44th annual Walker Cup Match (2013) saw the USA team with 17-9 winning score on Sunday (September 8) over the team of the United Kingdom and Ireland, in a match held at the original home club of the Walker Cup Match – the National Golf Links of America. This is the 35th win of the Walker Cup Match for the USA contingent securing them the series lead at 35-8-1. Instrumental on the American squad’s performance was the Alabama contingent.
The US team dominated the singles play for the second consecutive day leading to the defeat of UK/Ireland team. The US team captured 13 ½ of the possible18 points in the singles sessions over two days. The UK/Ireland team, however, won four of the last five matches and they haven’t been defeated on host soil since the USA’s loss in 2011.
The Walker Cup Match is a biennial event, and it alternates between the US and UK/Ireland courses. An event like this is where specially-designed trophies are awarded to the winning team. And this year, the US team bagged the award.
The US Team
This year the US team this year was made up mostly of young players in their early 20s, except for two –Todd White, a high school teacher at 45 years of age and Nathan Smith who is 35 years old. Both gentlemen have an impressive championship record. Other members of the team were Bobby Wyatt from University of Alabama’s NCAA Division, Michael Kim from the University of California-Berkeley, Justin Thomas from Alabama contingent, Michael Weaver, Cory Whitsett, Max Homa, Patrick Rodgers, and Neil Raymond.
The UK/Ireland Team
On the other hand, the United Kingdom/Ireland was represented by 10 carefully screened and selected players. The returning team captain UK/Ireland Nigel Edwards who guided the team to success in 2011. Nigel Edwards played in four Walker Cups consecutively from 2001 through 2007. For the second time, Nigel Edwards is leading the UK/Ireland team. Other members of the UK/Ireland team were Rhys Pugh of Wales, Garrick Porteous, the 2013 British Amateur champion, Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan, Matthew Fitzpatrick of England, Callum Shinkwin, and Kevin Phelan.
It’s just fitting that this year’s big event was held at the National Golf Links of America as it is the original home club of Walker Cup and the Americans won this year’s Walker Cup match.
What do you think?