ABERDEEN, Scotland – Peter Uihlein will get two chances on the opening day of the 43rd Walker Cup to exact revenge on Tom Lewis for losing the silver medal to the Englishman in this year’s Open Championship.
Uihlein finished three strokes behind Lewis in the race to be low amateur at The Open, and will now meet him twice on the opening day here at Royal Aberdeen. Uihlein pairs with Harris English in the first match of the opening foursomes to face the GB&I pairing of Lewis and Scotland’s Michael Stewart, arguably the two strongest players on the GB&I team.
Uihlein and Lewis will then turn around and square up to each other in the first match of the afternoon singles.
Lewis stated a desire to go out first on the opening day and has been granted his wish. Moreover, he and Stewart asked GB&I captain Nigel Edwards for the chance to play with each other.
“They wanted to play with each other, which always helps,” Edwards said. “We tried it out in July, and they were certainly gelling very well and working well as a partnership. I just thought, and they thought, it was a very strong pairing.”
Edwards has gone with three other obvious pairings in the opening session. The all-English duo of Jack Senior and Andy Sullivan will take on Russell Henley and U.S. Amateur champion Kelly Kraft. Senior and Sullivan are a tried-and-tested pairing. They play foursomes golf together for England.
Irishmen Paul Cutler and Alan Dunbar take the third foursomes pairing against Nathan Smith and Blayne Barber. The latter pair is perhaps a surprise choice for U.S. captain Jim Holtgrieve because Smith partnered Uihlein to two straight foursomes wins at Merion two years ago.
“I had my foursomes matches together before I got here,” Holtgrieve said. “But after watching them play together and watching a number of scenarios, and then how the wind affected some of the players on Tuesday, I made some changes. I feel very strongly about what we’re putting out first with Peter and Harris English. Strong players and strong wind players.”
World No. 1 Patrick Cantlay and Chris Williams play in the anchor match against the English pair of Steven Brown and Stiggy Hodgson.
Though Lewis and Uihlein go out first in the singles, Stewart plays the anchor role against Cantlay in one of a number of intriguing matches of the opening day.
“Looking at single matches, I’m not sure I want to be captain,” Holtgrieve said. “I want to spectate. There’s going to be some awesome golf.”
43RD WALKER CUP DAY 1 DRAW
All times are local times
(GB&I players/teams listed first in pairings)
9 a.m.: Tom Lewis & Michael Stewart vs. Peter Uihlein & Harris English
9:10 a.m.: Jack Senior & Andy Sullivan vs. Russell Henley and Kelly Kraft
9:20 a.m.: Paul Cutler & Alan Dunbar vs. Nathan Smith & Blayne Barber
9:30 a.m.: Steven Brown & Stiggy Hodgson vs. Patrick Cantlay & Chris Williams
1:45 p.m.: Tom Lewis vs. Peter Uihlein
1:55 p.m.: Jack Senior vs. Jordan Spieth
2:05 p.m.: Andy Sullivan vs. Harris English
2:15 p.m.: Rhys Pugh vs. Patrick Rodgers
2:25 p.m.: Steven Brown vs. Russell Henley
2:35 p.m.: James Byrne vs. Nathan Smith
2:45 p.m.: Paul Cutler vs. Kelly Kraft
2:55 p.m.: Michael Stewart vs. Patrick Cantlay