Britain & Ireland takes 7-5 lead over US in Walker Cup

HOYLAKE, England (AP) — Alex Fitzpatrick and Conor Gough each won two matches to help Britain and Ireland take a 7-5 lead over the United States on Saturday in the Walker Cup at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

The biennial amateur event will conclude Sunday with four more foursomes matches and 10 singles matches.

Fitzpatrick teamed with Conor Purcell to beat John Augenstein and Andy Ogletree 2 and 1 in foursomes, then topped Cole Hammer 2 up in singles. Gough and Harry Hall edged Stewart Hagestad and Bhatia Akshay 2 and 1, and Gough beat Isaiah Salinda 2 up in singles.

“It was a pretty good day,” Britain and Ireland captain Craig Watson said. “It could have been better, but we knew the Americans were going to come back to us. We’re looking forward to tomorrow though.”

Britain and Ireland took five of the eight singles matches after splitting the four foursomes matches.

“This afternoon I just could not believe the amount of putts Great Britain and Ireland made in the first 45 minutes,” U.S. captain Nathaniel Crosby said. “An amazing amount of golf that was fantastic.”

In the other foursomes, Salinda and John Park beat Sandy Scott and Euan Walker 2 and 1, and Americans Brandon Wu and Alex Smalley edged Thomas Sloman and Thomas Plumb 2 and 1.

Walker, Scott and Caolan Rafferty also won singles matches for Britain and Ireland. Walker beat Steven Fisk 2 up, Scott was a 1-up winner over Ogletree, and Rafferty topped Smalley 2 and 1.

Augenstein, Pak and Wu won for the United States. Augenstein beat Purcell 2 and 1, Pak edged James Sugrue 1 up, and Wu beat Sloman 4 and 2.

The U.S. leads the series 36-9-1, winning two years ago at Los Angeles Country Club.

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