America bites back to claim PGA Cup for the ages

AUSTIN, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 29: U.S.A PGA Cup captain Derek Sprague and his team poses with the Llandudno trophy following victory during the final day of the PGA Cup at Barton Creek on September 29, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

A dramatic final day of the 2019 PGA Cup saw the United States produce the greatest comeback in the competition’s history as they came from four points down overnight to beat Great Britain & Ireland at Barton Creek Resort in Austin, Texas.

A sensational Saturday session put Great Britain & Ireland on course to claim a record third consecutive victory in the competition.

But the hosts produced a stunning fightback themselves and became the first team to overturn a deficit heading into day three and win the match. It is the first time the Americans have won outright in the competition since 2011.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Cameron Clark’s side that had put everything into all three days of action but came up just short in a thrilling contest in the Texas heat.

“The Americans got some points on the board early and it started to look like it was going their way,” said Clark. “We were struggling early on and we went down quite heavily in the back matches which puts pressure on the front matches.

“It was tough to take today. It was a real honour to captain your country and we’d done a great job up until today. I’m very proud of what the lads have achieved this week, they’ve worked really hard and maybe the end of the week just took its toll on them.”

Having experienced coming from behind himself to secure a draw in the competition in 2013 at Slaley Hall, Richard Wallis (pictured above) took to the task in hand and added to Great Britain & Ireland’s points tally early in the afternoon.

Wallis’ victory put the visitors 11-6 in front but there was trouble brewing with the singles leaderboard displaying more red than blue.

Wallis said: “2013 was similar in that I went out and got off to a great start so today was pretty much the same. My intentions were to get in his face really early. Every time I looked up at the scoreboard I was hoping I’d see more blue than red.

“We’re devastated. Half the job was done and maybe we were a little too relaxed. All credit to the Americans, they came out all guns blazing. It’s just a real shame because of the effort Cameron Clark and the whole PGA have been brilliant.”

A pivotal moment in the match came when American Bob Sowards produced a moment of brilliance when he dunked the ball home on 18 to beat Alastair Forsyth. Soon after Alex Beach produced an incredible up and down to claim a narrow win over Alex Wrigley as the American points kept coming.

Robert Coles recorded his third consecutive win of the weekend late on but the writing was on the wall after Wrigley’s loss and it was down to Marty Jertson to sink the winning putt among jubilant scenes as America celebrated an 18th PGA Cup victory.

“I can take away a huge amount of satisfaction,” Clark added. “To captain your country is always fantastic. I’m really proud of what the lads have achieved but it will be tough to go in the team room, but we’ve enjoyed everything we’ve done this week.”

The PGA Cup returns in 2021 to Foxhills Resort Club & Resort, Surrey, the site of the last Great Britain & Ireland victory in 2017.



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