US takes 8-4 lead in Walker Cup

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Associated Press

Posted on September 7, 2013 at 5:36 PM

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — NCAA champion Max Homa beat Max Orrin 5 and 3 and the United States won the first six singles matches Saturday in the Walker Cup to take an 8-4 lead over Britain and Ireland at historic National Golf Links of America.

Homa, coming off his senior season at California, won the par-4 14th with a par and finished off the Englishman with a birdie win on the par-4 15th.

The biennial event, first played in 1922 at National Golf Links, will close Sunday with four morning foursomes matches and 10 afternoon singles matches.

Alabama teammates Bobby Wyatt and Cory Whitsett, California players Michael Kim and Michael Weaver and Oklahoma State's Jordan Niebrugge teamed with Homa to sweep the first six singles matches, and Alabama's Justin Thomas earned a halve in the seventh.

Wyatt beat England's Neil Raymond 2 up, Kim edged England's Callum Shinkwin 2 and 1, Whitsett topped England's Jordan Smith 1 up, Niebrugge beat England's Garrick Porteous 1 up, and Weaver topped U.S. Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick, also from England, 3 and 1.

Thomas halved with England's Nathan Kimsey, and Ireland's Gavin Moynihan beat Stanford's Patrick Rodgers 2 and 1 in the final match.

Britain and Ireland led 2½-1½ after the four morning foursomes matches.

Wyatt and Whitsett rallied to halve with Kimsey and Orrin, and Rodgers and Thomas earned a full point, beating Moynihan and Ireland's Phelan 2 and 1. Fitzpatrick and Raymond edged Niebrugge and Nathan Smith 1 up, and Porteous and Wales' Rhys Pugh topped Weaver and Todd White 3 and 1.

The matches are named in honor of former USGA President George Herbert Walker — President George H.W. Bush's grandfather and President George W. Bush's great-grandfather. George W. Bush attended the matches Saturday.

In the last matches, Britain and Ireland won 14-12 in 2011 at Royal Aberdeen in Scotland for the team's first victory since 2003. The U.S. leads the series 34-8-1.

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