ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — Gordon Sargent lived up to his billing as the No. 1 amateur in the world by winning all four of his matches at St. Andrews as the United States rallied to win the Walker Cup on Sunday for the fourth straight time.
Great Britain & Ireland had a three-point lead going into the final two sessions on the Old Course. The Americans won three of the four morning foursomes, and they poured it on during the 10 singles matches.
The Americans won six of the 10 matches and halved two others to complete a Sunday rally in which they outscored GB&I 10-4 over two sessions.
They won by a final score of 14 1/2 to 11 1/2.
“They played hard to the bitter end,” U.S. captain Mike McCoy said. “This one is going to be a great ride home.”
Caleb Surratt never trailed in the lead match, a 3-and-2 victory over Calum Scott, and then U.S. Amateur champion Nick Dunlap picked up a key half-point at the time. Dunlap was 3 down with four to play against Barclay Brown when he won the next two holes and then halved the match with a birdie on the 18th.
Sargent and John Gough of England were all square going to the 17th when Gough sent his drive too far right, just over the ball near the Old Course Hotel and out-of-bounds. That gave Sargent a 1-up lead. Sargent, a junior at Vanderbilt, then drove the 18th green with a 3-wood and Gough conceded the match as Sargent's eagle putt trickled to a stop near the hole.
The final blow for the Americans was Dylan Menante three-putting the 18th for a halve with Matthew McClean. That gave them 12 1/2 points, with two other matches dormie on the course, assuring them enough to win the cup that dates to 1922.
“All the momentum seemed to be on the U.S. side,” GB&I captain Stuart Wilson said. “Their players handled the conditions better than our guys.”
Sargent, who won the NCAA title as a freshman, went 4-0 for the week.
GB&I was looking to win for the first time since 2015 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes and had the momentum with a 7 1/2-4 1/2 lead after the two Saturday sessions. McCoy said he was concerned because the morning foursomes is not the U.S. strength.
But he put his best two players together — Sargent and Dunlap — and they scored a 1-up victory in the second match. Surratt, who went 3-1 for the week, and Ben James won the lead match and Preston Summerhays and Nick Gabrelcik also picked up a point.
“After the morning session, I felt a lot better, like we were back in the tournament and we had a chance to win this thing,” McCoy said. “Last night was pretty concerned. The morning was the thing that made the day.”
The United States now has a 39-9-1 lead in the series. The Walker Cup next goes to Cypress Point Club on the Monterey Peninsula in California for the 2025 matches.
AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf