Since 1989, the American team and Great Britain & Ireland team have each won six Walker Cups. That tie will be broken Sunday afternoon at the National Golf Links of America, and the USA group has a commanding lead starting the second day of competition. As always seems to be the case with these international cup events, the American team was bested in the two-man format, losing 2 1/2 of a possible 4 points in the Saturday morning Foursomes action. But they made the deficit up, and much more, in the eight afternoon Singles matches.
The American team dominated GB&I in singles, taking the first six matches, halving the seventh, and dropping the eighth. It was an impressive display from some of the top American college players, blitzing a decorated set of British and Irish amateurs right out of the gate in the afternoon session on Saturday. The romp pushed USA to an 8-to-4 lead after the first day.
On Day 2, there will be an additional two points, 14 total, on the line as each team goes for the magical 13 1/2 point number to win the cup. If there is a split at 13 points per side, Great Britain & Ireland will get the cup as they own the rights to retain based on their 2011 victory in Scotland. The four-point margin, however, will be difficult to make up on the Americans, who have always owned singles play and will have a full 10-on-10 singles match slate Sunday down the stretch.
Here's the full schedule of matches for the final day of competition (all times ET). British & Irish captain Nigel Edwards has not changed a thing in the morning alternate-shot format, trying to recreate the momentum from Saturday morning. Team USA, however, will put superstar Cal duo Michael Kim and Max Homa in play, opting for that pairing while breaking up two others and resting Nathan Smith and Justin Thomas in the morning. Kim and Homa will be towards the back-end of singles play as well, going out in a crucial stretch of matches where the American side could clinch it and take the pressure off the two anchor players.
Foursomes (Alternate Shot) -- 4 Points Available
Match 1 -- 7:15 a.m.
Nathan Kimsey & Max Orrin (GB&I) vs. Corey Whitsett & Bobby Wyatt (USA)
Match 2 -- 7:30 a.m.
Matthew Fitzpatrick & Neil Raymond Orrin (GB&I) vs. Michael Weaver & Todd White (USA)
Match 3 -- 7:45 a.m.
Garrick Porteous & Rhys Pugh (GB&I) vs. Michael Kim & Max Homa (USA)
Match 4 -- 8:00 a.m.
Gavin Moynihan & Kevin Phelan (GB&I) vs. Patrick Rodgers & Jordan Nierbrugge (USA)
Singles (GB&I team member listed first) -- 10 Points Available
Neil Raymond vs. Bobby Wyatt -- 12:30 p.m.
Max Orrin vs. Justin Thomas -- 12:42 p.m.
Matthew Fitzpatrick vs. Michael Weaver -- 12:54 p.m.
Rhys Pugh vs. Todd White -- 1:06 p.m.
Nathan Kimsey vs. Nathan Smith -- -- 1:18 p.m.
Callum Shinkwin vs. Cory Whitsett -- 1:30 p.m.
Garrick Porteous vs. Michael Kim -- 1:42 p.m.
Kevin Phelan vs. Max Homa -- 1:54 p.m.
Jordan Smith vs. Jordan Nierbrugge -- 2:06 p.m.
Gavin Moynihan vs. Patrick Rodgers -- 2:18 p.m.
Golf Channel will again provide the television coverage on Sunday afternoon, coming on the air at 4 p.m. ET and carrying the broadcast until the conclusion, likely around 6 p.m. It should be a good day of match play, with the US going for their fourth win in the last five Walker Cups. They'll need 5 1/2 more points on Sunday on Long Island to take it way from their opponents, who will desperately try to find some momentum, much like Europe in the Ryder Cup last year, to retain the cup.