Saturday Singles Capsules September 6, 2013 By USGA

Max Homa (right), of Valencia, Calif., posted the first point in the singles session on Saturday with a 5-and-3 win over Max Orrin, of England. (USGA/John Mummert)

Match 1

Bobby Wyatt (USA) def. Neil Raymond (GB&I), 2 up

 Raymond took an early lead by sinking a 10-foot birdie putt on the second hole, then went 2 up on the fourth hole when Wyatt double-bogeyed. But Wyatt responded by winning the 7th, 8th and 9th holes for a 1-up lead at the turn.

That was my first lead of the day in both rounds, so that was really nice for me, said Wyatt, who won the 12th hole to go 2 up but bogeyed the 16th to fall back to 1 up. After both players made par on 17, Raymond struggled to get up and down out of a bunker behind the 18th green and conceded the hole, and the match, to Wyatt.

Match 2

Max Homa (USA) def. Max Orrin (GB&I), 5 and 3

Orrin won the first hole with a birdie, but would not hold the lead again. Homa sank a 45-foot eagle putt on the par-4 second hole to square the match, then recorded three more front-nine birdies to build a 4-up lead. I chipped in at the U.S. Open and that was the best moment of my life, said Homa, but I think this one kind of topped it. Orrin made a birdie on No. 12, but a bogey on the 14th made the 15th a must-win for him. After Homa hit his approach shot safely on, Orrin conceded the birdie putt that gave Homa the win.

Match 3

Michael Kim (USA) def. Callum Shinkwin (GB&I), 2 and 1

After sitting out the morning foursomes, Kim was eager to make his Walker Cup debut against 2013 English Amateur champion Shinkwin. Kim won three consecutive holes from No. 10 to forge a 3-up lead – a stretch that included an up-and-down par from a bunker behind the 12th green.

Max [Homa] and I were both super excited to get out here this afternoon and put up two points, said Kim of his University of California-Berkeley teammate. It means a lot.

The match ended on the 17th hole, where both Kim and Shinkwin found greenside bunkers. Kim was able to make par while Shinkwin made bogey.

Match 4

Cory Whitsett (USA) def. Jordan Smith (GB&I), 1 up

Despite an errant tee shot on the par-5 18th hole, Whitsett halved the hole with a par to secure the fourth consecutive singles victory for the USA.

In the tight match, which was all square through 14 holes, Whitsett salvaged a winning par at the 15th hole after hitting his tee shot into tall fescue. Meanwhile, Smith three-putted from 45 feet. The two golfers halved the final three holes.

It’s no secret that we struggle in the foursomes in the Walker Cup, said Whitsett. We felt like being down a point [after the morning session] was not bad at all. There are 18 singles matches [to just eight foursomes], so if you can have your way in almost all of those, you’re going to be in good shape.

Match 5

Jordan Niebrugge (USA) def. Garrick Porteous (GB&I), 1 up

Porteous won the 15th and 17th holes to tie Niebrugge but had a reversal of fortune on the 512-yard 18th hole. After Niebrugge hit his second shot to 20 feet, Porteous hit his second shot well right of the green, partway down a bluff above Great Peconic Bay. It took four minutes to find his ball in the knee-high rough before Porteous hacked out into a bunker behind the green and then missed a par putt.

Niebrugge’s conceded eagle putt gave him the victory in a match in which the players traded momentum shifts, with Niebrugge going 2 up on two occasions before Porteous responded by erasing the lead each time. The final salvo went to Niebrugge, the 2013 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion. I hit two really good shots on the 18th to put a little pressure on him, said Niebrugge. All day, he was hanging in there. But I had a really good wedge game today, so that really helped me.

Match 6

Michael Weaver (USA) def. Matthew Fitzpatrick (GB&I), 3 and 1

On the 306-yard first hole, Fitzpatrick hit a drive near the green, chipped to 3 feet and made the putt to take the lead, and his efficient birdie appeared to portend another match victory for the 2013 U.S. Amateur champion. But against Weaver, Fitzpatrick made just one additional birdie and six bogeys, displaying weaknesses that he didn’t demonstrate at The Country Club. The final hole, the 17th, summed up Fitzpatrick’s inconsistency. He hit a wedge over the green and failed to get up and down, conceding Weaver’s match-clinching birdie. Matt struggled a little bit, and I was able to take advantage, said Weaver. I thought my way around this course pretty well. Weaver also took advantage of his distance advantage over Fitzpatrick: I’m more comfortable when I’m playing with a guy I hit it past, because I can react to what he’s doing.

Match 7

Justin Thomas (USA) halved with Nathan Kimsey (GB&I)

An injured Thomas gritted out a half-point against Nathan Kimsey in the afternoon, winning No. 17 with a birdie – as he did in morning foursomes – to square the match, then dodging defeat when Kimsey missed a 4-footer for birdie on No. 18.

It seemed like when he was able to hit a full shot, he was OK, said Jim Holtgrieve, USA captain. It was the shorter shots he was having problems with. When he got done he was hurting. I think the adrenaline got him going, and I think that he was able to finish. But he's in some pain.

Thomas’ back was already bothering him before he tried to dig out an approach shot from an awkward lie on No. 11. He managed to get up and down for a par from 80 yards on that hole to keep the match even, then he twice followed up losing holes with bounce-back winning birdies – on Nos. 13 and 17 – to keep GB&I from winning both of the last two matches. Thomas will sit out Sunday’s morning session and will seek treatment for his back injury before he is scheduled to play in the afternoon’s second singles match against GB&I’s Max Orrin.

Match 8

Gavin Moynihan (GB&I) def. Patrick Rodgers (USA), 2 and 1

Gavin Moynihan salvaged the only full point of the afternoon for GB&I, holding off Patrick Rodgers for a 2-and-1 victory. Moynihan hit a beautiful 120-yard wedge from a fairway bunker on No. 14, the 404-yard Cape hole, to set up a 4-foot birdie putt and extend his lead to 2 up after he had birdied No. 13 to assume the lead.

The wind got up in the afternoon and I knew it would benefit me, said Moynihan, 18, of Dublin. You’re going to miss greens, and I have a pretty sharp short game.

After he lost No. 15 with a bogey to shave his lead to one hole, Moynihan managed a half on No. 16 and then knocked a wedge from 90 yards to 6 feet for a clinching birdie 3 on the 361-yard 17th.