Saturday, September 07, 2013
SOUTHHAMPTON, N.Y. – ETSU junior golfer Rhys Pugh did his part for the Great Britain and Ireland team, but when play concluded on the opening day of the 44th annual Walker Cup, the Americans were left holding a dominating lead at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y.
Pugh, who is making his second career appearance in the Walker Cup, played with 23-year-old Garrick Porteous in his foursome match against Michael Weaver and Todd White.
Pugh and Porteous defeated Weaver and White, 3 and 1, to give GB&I a 2½ to 1½ lead following the morning foursomes session. Following the win on Saturday morning, Pugh moved his overall record to 4-0 in his Walker Cup career.
Pugh, the second ETSU golfer to play in two Walker Cups, was a member of the 2011 GB&I team that defeated Team USA, and won all three of his matches to help secure the dramatic win at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland. Pugh didn't play in the afternoon session where the Americans defeated GB&I, 6½-1½, in the eight singles matches. Overall, the U.S. leads GB&I, 8-4.
The Walker Cup concludes Sunday with Pugh and Porteous taking on Max Homa and Michael Kim at 7:45 a.m. Pugh then plays in Sunday’s singles competition as the Buccaneer faces White at 1:06 p.m.
About Pugh’s Match – Courtesy of the USGA
Garrick Porteous and Rhys Pugh def. Michael Weaver and Todd White, 3 and 1
How They Won: Porteous and Pugh were the equivalent of six under par for the 17 holes, with the usual match-play concessions. They had three conceded birdies, including a 35-footer at the par-4 15th hole when the Americans made a double-bogey 6.
First Blood: Porteous, of England, nearly holed a 20-yard pitch shot from behind the green at the 309-yard second hole. The 2-foot birdie putt was conceded by the Americans, and Weaver missed an 18-foot birdie try.
Turning Point: GB&I holed clutch par putts on Nos. 6 and 12 to keep its momentum going. Porteous drained an 8-footer on No. 12. Earlier on the par-3 sixth, Porteous blasted out from a greenside bunker to 10 feet and Pugh made the comebacker for par. White had a chance to win the hole, but missed a 7-foot birdie putt and GB&I remained 1-up in the match.
Clinching Moment: At the 372-yard, 17th hole, Pugh, of Wales, stuffed his wedge approach shot to 4 feet. Weaver also hit a fine wedge approach to 7 feet, but White missed the birdie attempt. Porteous’ birdie was conceded and GB&I claimed a 3-and-1 victory. Best Shot: Despite coming up short in the match, Weaver knocked his approach to the par-4 11th hole to 4 feet to set up a birdie for White that trimmed GB&I’s lead to 2 up.
Best Team Effort: The 165-yard 13th hole produced two great tee shots and two solid putts. After Pugh made a 17-foot birdie putt for a 2, Weaver answered by making a 15-footer for birdie.
Winning words: “It gets my [competitive] juices flowing playing for Great Britain and Ireland. It’s an honor and brings the best out of me.” – Pugh on improving his overall Walker Cup record to 4-0.