Walker Cup pairings, Day 1: GB&I has familiarity on its side

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Walker Cup pairings, Day 1: GB&I has familiarity on its side

Amateur

Walker Cup pairings, Day 1: GB&I has familiarity on its side

LOS ANGELES – Great Britain and Ireland is going with tried and tested pairings to try to defend the Walker Cup. The United States, on the other hand, is not.

Three of GB&I captain Andrews Ingram’s pairings have played foursomes together before. Just one of Spider Miller’s pairings have past team experience, but none in foursomes.

Ingram is hoping to get his visiting team off to a flying start by putting out his strongest pairing first Saturday morning at Los Angeles Country Club. Florida State’s Harry Ellis teams with British open low amateur Alfie Plant in the opening match against Collin Morikawa and Norman Xiong. Ellis and Plant have been England foursomes partners for many years. They won all three alternate-shot matches this summer to help England finish second in the European Team Championships.

“We’ve been together five or six years now,” Ellis said. “We know each other. So it’s kind of a natural pairing as such, and it just blends very well.”

Morikawa and the long-hitting Xiong were both on this year’s Arnold Palmer Cup team, but didn’t pair together.

There’s a good blend in GB&I’s second pairing, too, with Connor Syme and Paul McBride going up against Doc Redman and Will Zalatoris. Syme and McBride have teamed well in practice rounds together this week. (Also, McBride is a teammate of Zalatoris at Wake Forest.)

Redman won this year’s U.S. Amateur.

Ingram then goes with another all English pair in Scott Gregory and Jack Singh Brar against Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Champ. Singh Brar and Gregory have also played foursomes golf for their country. Scheffler and Champ might be the closest pairing that Miller has. Both are good friends and although they haven’t paired together in a team event, they did represent the U.S. at both the 2012 Junior Ryder Cup and 2013 Toyota Junior World Cup.

Finally, the all-Welsh pairing of David Boote and Jack Davidson, another duo tested in competition, take on Maverick McNealy and Doug Ghim. McNealy and Ghim played a four-ball session together at this year’s Palmer Cup, and won.

GB&I won the opening foursomes session, 3-1, two years ago at Royal Lytham. A similar result followed on the second day after the sides had halved the first singles session. Winning the foursomes, 6-2, gave the GB&I side what proved to be an insurmountable lead going into the final 10 singles, which they won 6.6-3.5 for a 16.5-9.5 victory.

The visiting team will be hoping for a case of déjà vu at LACC. While the hosts will look to reverse the result.

• • •

Saturday

FOURSOMES

(Note: GB&I team listed first)

  • 7:15 a.m.: Harry Ellis/Alfie Plant vs. Norman Xiong/Collin Morikawa
  • 7:30 a.m.: Connor Syme/Paul McBride vs. Doc Redman/Will Zalatoris
  • 7:45 a.m.: Scott Gregory/Jack Singh Brar vs. Scottie Scheffler/Cameron Champ
  • 8 a.m.: David Boote/Jack Davidson vs. Maverick McNealy/Doug Ghim

SINGLES

(Note: GB&I team listed first)

  • 12:45 p.m.: Ellis vs. Braden Thornberry
  • 12:55 p.m.: Syme vs. Xiong
  • 1:05 p.m.: Singh Brar vs. Stewart Hagestad
  • 1:15 p.m.: McBride vs. Morikawa
  • 1:25 p.m.: Matthew Jordan vs. Zalatoris
  • 1:35 p.m.: Robert MacIntyre vs. Champ
  • 1:45 p.m.: Boote vs. Ghim
  • 1:55 p.m.: Gregory vs. McNealy

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