USA First Day Walker Cup Leader

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – The Americans dominated the afternoon singles matches at the 44th annual Walker Cup to take an 8-4 lead after the first day of play at the National Golf Links of America on Saturday. Alabama players in the competition performed very well.

Team USA won six and halved one in eight afternoon singles matches to bounce back from a morning deficit.

Alabama's Bobby Wyatt was the first match in the afternoon and overcame an early deficit to defeat Neil Raymond 2 up. The Tide's Cory Whitsett defeated Jordan Smith 1 up and Bama's Justin Thomas halved with Nathan Kimsey to give USA a half point.

"We have a great group of players on this team," Whitsett said when ask about the American's success in the afternoon singles. "Everyone is very accomplished and we all get along really well and that is a huge key. This team has great chemistry."

Crimson Tide incoming freshman and Great Britain and Ireland player Gavin Moynihan also made a splash on the international scene with a victory over USA's Patrick Rodgers 2 and 1 in the final match of the day. It was the only outright victory of the afternoon for GB&I.

In the morning foursomes, Alabama seniors Whistett and Wyatt teamed together in the first match of the day and halved their match with Kimey and Max Orrin for half of a point. Thomas and Rodgers defeated incoming freshman Moynihan and Kevin Phelan 2 and 1 for the American's only outright victory in the morning matches.

"It is no secret that we have struggled in foursomes in the Walker Cup," Whitsett said. "We felt like being down a point wasn't bad at all. It is primarily a singles tournament to be honest with 18 singles matches, so if you can have your way in most all of those you are going to be in good shape."

Wyatt overcame a penalty he called on himself on the 10th hole when he dropped his ball, which forced his ball marker to more. He then made the bogey putt and halved the hole in en route to a 2 up win.

It was also announced that Thomas would not play in the foursomes on Sunday morning due to an injured back. He is expected to play in the afternoon singles.

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