Britain and Ireland off to flying start

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Great Britain and Ireland got off to a flying start in the 43rd edition of the storied Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen on Saturday.

Great Britain and Ireland got off to a flying start against the USA in the 43rd edition of the storied Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen in Scotland on Saturday.

Led off by Tom Lewis and Michael Stewart, the home team raced into a 3-1 lead against the favoured Americans in Saturday morning’s foursomes, Lewis, who led the British Open in the first round and finished as the leading amateur, and Stewart setting the pace with a 2&1 victory over highly-rated Peter Uihlein and Harry English.

Jack Senior and Andy Sullivan next put GB&I two games up by edging Americans Russell Henley and Kelly Kraft by the same score before the Irish pairing of Paul Cutler and Alan Dunbar stepped up and whipped their luckless American rivals, Nathan Smith and Blayne Barner, 5&4.

A gray, damp and generally depressing day for the visiting United States was finally brightened up by Patrick Cantley, currently ranked the No 1 amateur in the world, and his US team-mate, Chris Williams, who turned the tables on GB&I’s Steve Brown and Stiggy Hodgson with a resounding 5&3 victory.

This sting in the US tail was a sharp reminder that the Americans, unbeaten in their last three Walker Cup battles, are not going to be a pushover and can be expected to come out with new resolve in Saturday afternoon’s singles matches.

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