6 things you didn't know about the Walker Cup

Walker Cup

The 46th staging of the Walker Cup is about to get underway at Los Angeles Country Club with USA and Great Britain & Ireland battling it out in the biennial match.

The Americans are huge favourites to win back the trophy after GB&I dished out a 16.5-9.5 drubbing at Royal Lytham & St Annes two years ago, with bookmakers Sky Bet giving odds of 2/7 on a US victory and 100/30 for GB&I.

So, as the action nears, here are six things you possibly didn’t know about the match.

1. It’s older than the Ryder Cup

The first Walker Cup match took place in 1922 and resulted in an 8-4 win for the USA, while the Ryder Cup didn’t begin until five years later in 1927.

2. It’s named after George W. Bush’s great-grandad

The cup is named in honour of George Herbert Walker, who was president of the USGA in 1920 when the match was initiated. Walker is the grandfather and namesake of George H.W. Bush and great-grandfather of George W. Bush.

3. It used to be very one-sided

In the first 31 stagings of the match, GB&I won just twice. They were in 1938 and 1971 and both were at the Old Course in St Andrews. Since 1987, the match is level at USA 7-7 GB&I.

George Wbush

4. Home comforts for GB&I

In 23 visits to the USA, GB&I have tasted victory just twice – 1989 and 2001. In the last trip stateside in 2013 (below), GB&I crashed to a 17-9 defeat.

5. Golf writer stepped in

At the first Walker Cup in 1922, the GB&I team fell a player short due to illness. Famous golf writer Bernard Darwin, covering the event for The Times newspaper, hastily joined the GB&I team and even won his singles match.

6. It started as USA v Canada

Two matches played between the USA and Canada in 1919 and 1920 served as the original inspiration for the Walker Cup. The USGA announced a competition in 1921 and invited all nations to send teams, but no other teams showed up.

2013 Walker Cup

The teams

In case you were wondering why the American team are such favourites, they boast seven of the top 12 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

That includes Maverick McNealy, the only survivor of the 2015 Walker Cup from either side, and US Amateur champion Doc Redman.

Low amateur at the Masters, Stewart Hagestad, is also in the team.

Team Usa

In the GB&I team, meanwhile, there are only three players in the top 20 of the rankings – No.7 Scott Gregory and Scottish duo Connor Syme (No.8) and Robert MacIntyre (No.14).

Low amateur at the Open, Alfie Plant, is the oldest player on the GB&I team at the age of 25.

Team Gbi

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