SOUTHAMPTON, New York (AP) — U.S. college champion Max Homa beat Max Orrin 5 and 3 as the United States won the first six singles matches in the Walker Cup to take an 8-4 lead over Britain and Ireland on Saturday.
The biennial event, first played in 1922, will close on Sunday with four morning foursomes matches and 10 afternoon singles matches. Britain and Ireland led 2½-1½ after the four morning foursomes matches.
"I told them to believe in themselves," U.S. captain Jim Holtgrieve said. "I told them to enjoy the moment. They fought for each other and you could just feel it after we were down after the morning that GB&I (Great Britain and Ireland) played well. They fought back today and they fought back with really good courage."
Homa, coming off his senior season at California, won the par-4 14th with a par and finished off the Englishman with a birdie win on the par-4 15th. U.S. teammates Bobby Wyatt, Cory Whitsett, Michael Kim, Michael Weaver and Jordan Niebrugge teamed with Homa to sweep the first six singles matches, and Justin Thomas earned a halve in the seventh before Ireland's Gavin Moynihan finally earned a point for the visitors.
"America was in control most of the way," Britain and Ireland captain Nigel Edwards said. "We didn't hole putts, shaving the edges a lot. Having said that, 8-4 is not an insurmountable lead. We're good at foursomes. We're good players. We're good at singles. So, game on tomorrow."
Edwards was asked what he would tell his team. "Hole more putts," he responded. "They haven't played as well as they would have liked to have played. One afternoon doesn't make them bad players. They've been good players all year and they've been good players for a number of years. So we'll just refocus and perhaps this is what we need to kick up our back side to get us moving forward."