Meadville Tribune

September 8, 2013

Nathan Smith leads US to Walker Cup victory

Associated Press
Associated Press

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Nathan Smith won the deciding point in the United States’ 17-9 victory over Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup on Sunday, beating England’s Nathan Kimsey 4 and 3 in the fifth singles match at historic National Golf Links of America.

The United States, ahead 8-4 entering the final day in the biennial amateur event, split the four morning foursomes matches and won seven of the 10 afternoon singles matches.

The event, first played in 1922 at National Golf Links, is named in honor of former USGA President George Herbert Walker — President George H.W. Bush’s grandfather and President George W. Bush’s great-grandfather. George W. Bush attended the matches.

The U.S. leads the series 35-8-1. In 2011, Britain and Ireland won 14-12 at Royal Aberdeen in Scotland.

The 35-year-old Smith, a four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion from Pittsburgh, won the par-3 13th and par-4 14th with pars and ended the match with a halve for bogey on the par-4 15th.

“This ranks at the top of the list,” said Smith, who has played in the Masters four times. “I never wanted a point so much in my life. This means the most. I’m happy for Jim. Nobody deserves it more than him and loves the game of golf and put more hard work into a team than him.”

Alabama teammates Bobby Wyatt and Justin Thomas, 45-year-old South Carolina high school teacher Todd White, California’s Michael Kim, Oklahoma State’s Jordan Niebrugge and Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers also won singles matches.

England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick and Callum Shinkwin and Ireland’s Kevin Phelan won their singles matches. Fitzpatrick, a freshman at Northwestern, won the U.S. Amateur last month.