Walker Cup win has Pugh in dreamland

The amateur Walker Cup is back alongside the Ryder Cup on this side of the Atlantic after a shock 14-12 victory for Britain and Ireland at Royal Aberdeen.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 12th September 2011, 3:18 pm

And whatever 17-year-old Rhys Pugh achieves in his golf career, he will never forget this weekend.

Easily the youngest member of the team captained by his fellow Welshman Nigel Edwards, Pugh beat world No. 3 Patrick Rodgers and current American champion Kelly Kraft in his two singles.

Not only that, he and Scot James Byrne combined to thrash world No. 1 Patrick Cantlay and Chris Williams in the foursomes.

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“He’s done a great job,” said Edwards, while Pugh himself commented: “I could not have dreamt of better – I’ve never felt anything like this before.”

Britain and Ireland managed to win even though their star man Tom Lewis – he of the record 65 in The Open in July – lost both of his singles and only halved from four up with six to play in one of his foursomes.

Irishman Paul Cutler would have joined Pugh with a 100 per cent record, if only he had not lost the final four holes for a half with Cantlay when overall success was already in the bag.

The United States had won the previous three matches and contained six of the world’s top-ten amateurs.

But they were behind from the time Lewis and Scot Michael Stewart won the opening game on Saturday morning.

Come the ten concluding singles Britain and Ireland needed to win only three of them. Stewart beat Rodgers, Jack Senior halved with Nathan Smith and Pugh’s victory meant English champion Steven Brown’s half against Blayne Barber could get the celebrations going.