OTTERSHAW, Surrey, England (Sept. 15, 2017) – Shaken, but not stirred by a fiery United States morning performance, Great Britain & Ireland juggled its pairings in the Afternoon Foursomes to snatch a 4½ - 3½ lead Friday to open the 28th Cup.
The tale of two sessions at Foxhills Club & Resort’s Longcross Course was a study in momentum between partners with a hot hand in the premier international competition for PGA Club Professionals.
In the morning four-balls, Rod Perry of Port Orange, Florida and Jamie Broce of Indianapolis combined for 10 birdies to ignite the American side to wins in three of four matches.
By the afternoon foursomes as the air chilled, no matter what the U.S. did to rally, Great Britain & Ireland had an answer.
Perhaps no better case study was a 4-under-par, bogey-free effort through 17 holes for Rich Berberian Jr. and Adam Rainaud of Chester, Connecticut. They could not hold off England’s Phillip Archer and Scotland’s Christopher Currie, who collected seven birdies in a nine-hole stretch from Holes No. 7 through 15 for a 2 and 1 victory.
“Amazingly, this is a reversal of what had happened two years ago at CordeValle,” said Great Britain & Ireland Captain Albert MacKenzie of a historic 13½ - 12½ victory in California. “We were up in the morning then, and then rallied in the afternoon. It shows you the game of golf is unpredictable. The Americans were fantastic this morning.
MORE: Day 1 Photos
“We had a strategy in place with some fluid tactics and changed a few things this afternoon. I think we were absolutely spot on this afternoon. It feels that we are more than a point up. But, we know it’s going to be a very tight match, and we will show up with no complacency. The standard of golf has been a tribute to the 20 guys here this week.”
PGA of America President and U.S. Captain Paul Levy of Indian Wells, California, echoed MacKenzie’s assessment and was not about the second guess his pairings in the bid to reclaim the Llandudno International Trophy from GB&I.
“You look at two years ago, we were down in the morning and came back in the afternoon. This time we had a great morning and in the afternoon one of our teams lost and didn’t make a bogey,” said Levy. “Some of these guys ran into buzz saws, and they made putts in the afternoon and we made them in the morning.
You look at Matt (Dobyns) and Mark (Brown) in their match this morning, one team had 29 on the front and the other 29 on the back. It’s that kind of match and we anticipate another tough day tomorrow.”
MORE: Morning recap
PGA Cup rookies Dave McNabb and Josh Speight, who sat during the Morning Four-Balls, got their taste of what it will take to regain momentum.
“We came close but didn’t get there,” said McNabb, the PGA Head Professional at Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, Pennsylvania. “Speaking for myself, I am feeling comfortable out there. I think the golf course was quicker today than in the practice rounds.”
Said Speight, a PGA Assistant Professional at Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club , Virginia, “They played hard and they hit good shots at the right time.”
Finding an answer to prevent an afternoon shutout came down to two-time PGA Professional Champion Matt Dobyns of Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, New York and partner Omar Uresti, the reigning PGA Professional Champion from Austin, Texas.
They salvaged a halve before sunset against Ireland’s David Higgins and Damien McGrane.
“This afternoon halve was huge,” said Uresti. “It was a good battle today. Some good swings, some bad. I don’t know what it was to explain our overall play. A lot of us came from 90-degree weather, and we are a little sluggish. Hopefully, tomorrow we will pick it up.”
Dobyns, who teamed with Mark Brown of Oyster Bay, New York for a 2-up four-ball victory in the morning, recalled owning a 1-up lead in the afternoon before a wayward tee shot resulted in an unplayable lie on the 17th hole.
“It was back and forth and had its moments of being good golf and not so good golf,” said Dobyns. “To get a half-point, that’s meaningful and perhaps it will be important for us down the road. I put Omar in some bad spots and in the end it all evened up.”
Day 1 Results
Rod Perry, Port Orange, Fla. & Jamie Broce, Indianapolis, Ind. (USA) def. Greig Hutcheon, Banchory, Aberdeenshire, Scotland & Damien McGrane, County Meath, Ireland (GB&I), 3 and 2
Rich Berberian Jr., Hooksett, N.H. & Adam Rainaud, Chester, Conn. (USA) def. Robert Coles, Romford, Essex, England & Chris McDonnell, Chichester, England (GB&I), 2 and 1
Matt Dobyns, Glen Head, N.Y. & Mark Brown, Oyster Bay, N.Y. (USA) def. Phillip Archer, Warrington, England & Andrew Raitt, London, England (GB&I), 2 up
Chris Currie, Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, Scotland & David Higgins, Killarney, Count Kerry, Ireland (GB&I) def. Omar Uresti, Austin, Texas & Paul Claxton, Claxton, Ga. (USA), 3 and 2
USA 3, Great Britain & Ireland 1
Friday Afternoon Foursomes
Matthew Cort, Leicester, Leicestershire, England &
Garry Houston, Wrexham, Clwyd, Wales
Dave McNabb, Newark, Del. & Josh Speight, Locust Hill, Va., 2 up
Dave McNabb and Josh Speight made their respective debuts in the PGA Cup, building a 1-up lead through six holes. The solid start was short-lived after losing four holes in a seven-hole stretch to England’s Matthew Cort and Wales’ Garry Houston. McNabb and Speight bogeyed the par-5 seventh, and went down three holes when GB&I birdied 9, 12 and 13. McNabb and Speight rallied to trim the deficit to one hole after 16 holes. Both teams halved the 17th hole with pars, before Cort hit the par-5 18th green in two shots, while Speight and McNabb were unable to convert a seven-foot birdie putt.
Robert Coles, Romford, Essex, England &
Andrew Raitt, London, England
Rod Perry, Port Orange, Fla. &
Jamie Broce, Indianapolis, Ind., 3 and 2
Perry and Broce, who had teamed for 10 birdies in Morning Four-Balls, opened birdie-bogey and despite a birdie at No. 5 were all square with Robert Coles and Andrew Raitt. GB&I then sprinted ahead, winning the eighth and ninth holes with birdie for 2-hole margin and went 3 up after 13 holes after a Perry and McNabb bogey. Perry rolled home a birdie putt at 14, but Raitt and Coles closed out the match with a birdie at 16.
Phillip Archer, Warrington, Cheshire, England &
Christopher Currie, Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, Scotland
Rich Berberian Jr., Hooksett, N.H. &
Adam Rainaud, Chester, Conn., 2 and 1
Rich Berberian Jr. and Adam Rainaud were even par through nine holes and found themselves down three holes to Phillip Archer and Christopher Currie, who won Nos. 7, 8, and 9 with birdies. Berberian and Rainaud birdied No. 12 and eagled the par-5 14th hole, but could do nothing more as Archer and Currie rattled off birdies at 12, 13, 14 and 15 and closed out the match two holes later with a pair of pars.
Matt Dobyns, Glen Head, N.Y. & Omar Uresti, Austin, Texas
David Higgins, Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland &
Damien McGrane, Kells, County Meath, Ireland
Neither team held more than a one-hold advantage throughout the afternoon. There were three lead changes. University of Texas alumni Matt Dobyns and Omar Uresti were united for the first time in the PGA Cup. The duo battled to grab a one-hole advantage with a birdie at 13 and held the lead until McGrane drained a 20-foot birdie at 16.
Dobyns hit his drive out of bounds right into a hazard and the team was only able to make bogey, losing the hole to a GB&I par. Dobyns hit a second shot to the par-5 18 hole, and Uresti lagged a 60-foot eagle attempt to within four feet. After McGrane missed a 22-foot birdie putt, and Dobyns holed a four-footer for the halve.
Great Britain & Ireland 3 ½ United States 1/2
Day 1 Total: Great Britain & Ireland 4½ United States 3½
7:30 a.m. (2:30 a.m. EDT)
Rod Perry & Jamie Broce (USA) vs
Christopher Currie & David Higgins (GB&I)
7:45 a.m. (2:45 a.m. EDT)
Rich Berberian Jr. & Adam Rainaud (USA) vs.
Matthew Cort & Garry Houston (GBI)
8:00 a.m. (3:00 a.m. EDT)
Matt Dobyns & Mark Brown (USA) vs.
Chris McDonnell & Damien McGrane (GB&I)
8:15 a.m. . (3:15 a.m. EDT)
Josh Speight & Dave McNabb (USA) vs.
Robert Coles & Greig Hutcheon (GB&I)
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