Monday, September 9, 2013

The United States Wins the Walker Cup

Hat-tip to Mrs. GoHeath, who draws our attention to the fact that the United States won the Walker Cup (a competition for male amateur golfers) in decisive fashion over the weekend, thumping Great Britain & Ireland by the score of 17-9.  It was the biggest margin for either team in the Walker Cup since 1997, when the U.S. won 18-6.  The matches were played at the legendary National Golf Links of America, in Southampton, N.Y., which is one of the best courses most golf fans never see because it rarely hosts significant tournaments.  You can read more about the National Golf Links here.

We love the Walker Cup, but we didn't check on it this weekend because we assumed the Americans would get beaten.  This was a reasonable assumption, as the United States has lost every recent golfing competition with Europe.  Back in the summer of 2010, the United States held the Ryder Cup (for male pros), the Solheim Cup (for female pros), the Walker Cup (for male amateurs), and the Curtis Cup (for female amateurs).  Here's what's happened since:

Ryder Cup:
2010 (Celtic Manor Resort, Wales):  Europe 14 1/2, U.S.A. 13 1/2
2012 (Medinah C.C., Medinah, Ill.):  Europe 14 1/2, U.S.A. 13 1/2

Walker Cup:
2011 (Royal Aberdeen G.C., Scotland):  Great Britain & Ireland 14, U.S.A. 12

Solheim Cup:
2011 (Killeen Castle Golf Resort, Ireland):  Europe 15, U.S.A. 13
2013 (Colorado G.C., Parker, Colo.):  Europe 18, U.S.A. 10

Curtis Cup:
2012 (Nairn G.C., Scotland):  Great Britain & Ireland 10 1/2, U.S.A. 9 1/2

So if you're keeping track at home, this was our first win over a European side in any of these competitions since the 2010 Curtis Cup, and it ended a string of six consecutive losses.

There's a Kentucky angle here, as one of the players on the U.S. team was Justin Thomas of Goshen, who played for Louisville St. Xavier in high school and then spent two years at the University of Alabama (where he helped win a team NCAA title.  Thomas has said that the Walker Cup will be his last event as an amateur, as he intends to turn pro.  He went out with a bang, winning an alternate shot match with Patrick Rodgers as his teammate, and then going 1-0-1 in his two singles matches, including a 6 and 4 thumping of Max Orrin in his last match as an amateur on Sunday.  So he took 2 1/2 of the 3 points for which he competed, which is very good.  We wish him all the best in the pros.

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