SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Ten Sunday singles matches will determine the next address of the Llandudno International Trophy. The United States and Great Britain & Ireland are tied, 8-8, through two days of partner play at the 27th PGA Cup.
After trailing by one point overnight, GB&I claimed 4½ of eight possible points on Saturday to pull into the PGA Cup's first two-day deadlock since 1996.
"Everybody keeps saying how balanced both teams are, how great both teams are; the shotmaking and the putts we've seen on both sides," said PGA Honorary President and U.S. Captain Allen Wronowski. "This is as equally as matched a game as you can have."
In the GB&I Team Room, Captain Jon Bevan knows the history his squad must overcome. Namely, that the U.S. has never lost in 13 previous PGA Cups contested on American soil.
"Never say never. It's got to change sometime," he said. "I've got the right personalities in place and the right characters on the golf course. However, I would never, ever underestimate the opposition."
Both teams posted a win, a loss and two halves in the afternoon foursomes.
Saturday afternoon's unlikeliest halve came from Bob Sowards and Jamie Broce, who were three holes down at the turn to GB&I's Jason Levermore and Gareth Wright. Four bogeys on the backside from the GB&I still undefeated duo left the door open.
Sowards and Broce, both of whom hail from Ohio, were happy to take advantage. Sowards knew "they gave us a couple of holes on the back, so it was like nobody wanted to win it. Being able to come back from three down, getting that half point, knowing this (PGA Cup) is going to be close, we hope this half-point means something by tomorrow."
Two matches later, the Empire State tandem of Matt Dobyns and Ben Polland halved their match against two Scots, David Dixon and Graham Fox. Polland's nine-foot birdie try on 18 burned the right edge and ensured a second straight half-point afternoon.
In between the two halved matches, Michael Block gave his team a vital point, while playing with Stuart Deane, in foursomes. He stuck a 9-iron approach from 150 yards to six inches, which sealed a 2 and 1 victory over England's duo of Lee Clarke and Alex Wrigley.
In the last match, which included plenty of scoring, GB&I's Niall Kearney and Cameron Clark staved off solid play from Sean Dougherty and Grant Sturgeon to win, 2 and 1. Both teams posted seven birdies, but the Americans' five bogeys proved to be their undoing.
Saturday Afternoon Foursomes
MATCH #1: Bob Sowards & Jamie Broce (USA) halved with Gareth Wright & Jason Levermore (GB&I)
MATCH #2: Michael Block & Stuart Deane (USA) def. Lee Clarke & Alex Wrigley (GB&I), 2 and 1
MATCH #3: Matt Dobyns & Ben Polland (USA) halved with Graham Fox & David Dixon (GB&I)
MATCH #4: Cameron Clark & Niall Kearney (GB&I) def. Sean Dougherty & Grant Sturgeon (USA), 2 and 1
Afternoon Session Total: USA 2, Great Britain & Ireland 2
Two-Day PGA Cup Total: USA 8, Great Britain & Ireland 8