Mackenzie Shines as U.S. Fails to Regain Walker Cup
Sept. 8, 2003
Ganton, England - Washington senior men's golfer Brock Mackenzie won all three of his matches this weekend but it was not enough as the United States team failed to regain The Walker Cup, losing to Great Britain and Ireland by a score of 12 1/2 to 11 1/2.
The Americans led 7-5 after Saturday's play and 9-7 after Sunday's opening round of foursomes competition. GB&I won five of the final eight singles matches to rally for the victory.
Mackenzie won both of his singles matches over the weekend and teamed with Matt Hendrix for another point.
Mackenzie beat Colm Moriarty 3 and 1 yesterday, and defeated David Inglis 3 and 2 Saturday. Mackenzie and Hendrix overwhelmed Moriarty and Noel Fox 6 and 5.
Ryan Moore of Puyallup lost 4 and 3 to Inglis yesterday.
'The team is down,' said nonplaying U.S. captain Bob Lewis, who won the Walker Cup four times as a player. 'I've got great players on my team and they wanted to win badly.
'It will hurt for a while and they'll get over it.'
Britain-Ireland has won four of the last five tournaments, including previous events in Nairn, Scotland, in 1999 and Ocean Forest, Ga., two years ago.
This also was the third time in a row the Americans had lost after leading halfway through the event. Still, the Americans hold a 31-7 lead with one match tied. The victory margin was the smallest since Britain-Ireland won 12-1/2-11-1/2 in Atlanta in 1989.
First played in 1922, the biennial match is named after former USGA president George Herbert Walker. The next Walker Cup is at the Chicago Golf Club in 2005.
Gary Wolstenholme started the comeback at Ganton Golf Club and became the first Britain-Ireland player to win four Walker Cups.
'I was a shattered man yesterday and not in my wildest dreams did I think we could pull it off,' winning coach Garth McGimpsey said. 'They pulled everything out of the fire today.'
The Americans won Saturday's singles 6-2 but were beaten 5-1/2-2-1/2 yesterday, repeatedly finding the deep rough and pot bunkers.
Lewis paid tribute to his beaten players.
'It's just a game of golf,' he told them. 'I'd love to have any of you guys on my team. You just put your heart out there and that's what it's all about.'
After Wolstenholme had beaten 18-year-old American Casey Wittenberg 3 and 2, Oliver Wilson made a 7-foot putt at the last hole to edge Bill Haas by one hole and tie the score at 9-9.
Watching Haas from the crowd were father Jay Haas, who helped win the Walker Cup in 1975, and uncle Jerry Haas, who was on the winning American team in 1985.
Michael Skelton, the youngest player on the home team at 19, nudged Britain-Ireland ahead by beating Adam Rubinson 3 and 2, only for Hendrix to make it 10-10 when he beat Stuart Wilson 5 and 4.
Mackenzie's win was offset by Moore's loss, making the score 11-11.
Stuart Manley made sure the hosts retained the trophy by beating Trip Kuehne 3 and 2, and Nigel Edwards remained unbeaten in three matches by halving his match with Lee Williams.