Heavy defeat for visitors as American fans are celebrating

Alfie Plant and Harry Ellis. Picture: USGA/Chris Keane
Alfie Plant and Harry Ellis. Picture: USGA/Chris Keane
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It was the heaviest defeat the visitors have ever experienced with the 19-7 scoreline matching that of 1993 when the weather at Interlachen resulted in a change of format.

It was also the biggest winning margin when Justin Rose was on the losing side at Quaker Ridge in 1997 – when he became both the youngest-ever player to appear in the competition founded back in 1922 – and the first from mainland Hampshire to be selected in the biennial event.

After the first day’s play captain Andy Ingram was left with a mountain to climb – given he had to name his order of play for the Sunday morning foursomes and then the singles at the close of play on Saturday night.

The R&A’s chairman of selectors – standing in for captain Craig Watson, who was forced to pull out of the Walker Cup when a family member was taken seriously ill late last month – dropped Ellis from the foursomes.

That was following his second defeat of the day in the second match out in the first set of singles.

Ellis lost the 18th to college champion Thornberry having been two up after 13.

But shots went at four of the last five holes as he saw his challenge falter.

The Meon Valley ace was left frustrated having seen Norman Xiong and California-based Collin Morikawa reel off four birdies in the first four holes in the morning foursomes to get the victory.

Overnight, Ingram was forced to load the top of the order with his most in-form players.

The pressure was on to try to get some blue on the board early in the day to prevent the dominant Americans from turning the afternoon singles into a Fourth of July American Independence Day parade.

But the large American crowd were quickly left in no doubt that the headlines would be reading Hurray for Hollywood by the close of play.

Picture courtesy of WWW.USGA.ORG