GB&I 8.5 – 15.5 USA
May 28-29, 1975
The Old Course, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland
6,914 yards / Par 72
Captains: David Marsh (GB&I) and Edgar Updegraff (USA)
Day 1 Foursomes (GB&I players first)
Mark James / Gordon Eyles beat Jerry Pate / Dick Siderowf 1 hole
John Davies / Martin Poxon lost to George Burns III / Craig Stadler 5&4
Charles Green / Hugh Stuart lost to Jay Haas / Curtis Strange 2&1
George Macgregor / Ian Hutcheon lost to Marvin Giles III / Gary Koch 5&4
GB&I 1 – USA 3
Day 1 Singles
Mark James beat Jerry Pate 2&1
John Davies halved with Curtis Strange
Pat Mulcare beat Dick Siderowf 1 hole
Hugh Stuart lost to Gary Koch 3&2
Martin Poxon lost to John Grace 3&1
Ian Hutcheon halved with William Campbell
Gordon Eyles lost to Jay Haas 2&1
George Macgregor lost to Marvin Giles III 3&2
GB&I 3 – USA 5
Day 1: GB&I 4 – USA 8
Day 2 Foursomes
Pat Mulcare / Ian Hutcheon beat Jerry Pate / Dick Siderowf 1 hole
Charles Green / Hugh Stuart lost to George Burns III / Craig Stadler 1 hole
Mark James / Gordon Eyles beat William Campbell / John Grace 5&3
Peter Hedges / John Davies lost to Jay Haas / Curtis Strange 3&2
GB&I 2 – USA 2
Day 2 Singles
Ian Hutcheon beat Jerry Pate 3&2
Pat Mulcare lost to Curtis Strange 4&3
Mark James lost to Gary Koch 5&4
John Davies beat George Burns III 2&1
Charles Green lost to John Grace 2&1
George Macgregor lost to Craig Stadler 3&2
Gordon Eyles lost to William Campbell 2&1
Peter Hedges halved with Marvin Giles III
GB&I 2.5 – USA 5.5
Match Result: GB&I 8.5 – USA 15.5
Series Results: USA 22 – GB&I 2 – Halved 1 (after Match 25)
GB&I Team – Back P. Hedges, H. Stuart, D. Marsh, C. Green, J. Davies, I. Hutcheon; Front M. Poxon, G. Macgregor, G. Eyles, M. James, P. Mulcare.
(Photo: Peter Grunwell)
The R&A had originally planned to stage this match at Royal County Down G.C. but following an escalation in IRA terrorism in 1974 it was switched back to St. Andrews on safety grounds.
In his autobiography GB&I Chairman of Selectors Sandy Sinclair states that the 1975 team was announced in London in October 1974, 7 months before the match took place.
The late May 1975 date meant Nick Faldo would miss out on playing in the Walker Cup for GB&I. He won a number of events that summer but his run came too late and soon after he would turn pro. He played in the 1977 Ryder Cup team.
The match was played at st. Andrews on a Wednesday and Thursday.
Peter Hedges was originally selected to play for GB&I on Day 1. However, on the Tuesday evening he fell over at the team hotel and gashed his head on a door. Three stitches were required and these were inserted by the captain, Dr. David Marsh. Mark James was put on notice and the following morning at 7.15am Marsh informed the future Ryder Cup player and captain that he would be playing. James would win his foursomes alongside Gordon Eyles and his top singles against Jerry Pate.
Ian Hutcheon reflecting on the match said many years later in an interview with journalist John Huggan “I don’t think we were nearly well enough prepared, certainly not when you compare it to today. There wasn’t much thought put into the partnerships or order in which we were sent out. There was no sitting down to a team talk, no discussion about what ball we should use.”
Pat Mulcaire, who won two of his three games in his only Walker Cup appearance in 1975, died in November 1996 aged 51 after a battle against cancer. Many commentators thought he was unlucky to miss out on the 1971 and 1973 teams.
The USA team was one of the strongest ever including Jay Haas, Jerry Pate, Craig Stadler and Curtis Strange who all went on to enjoy notable professional careers.
George Burns III was so surprised after learning he wasn’t playing in the Day 1 Singles that he threatened to withdraw from the team on the eve of the competition and wanted to fly home. Still upset he had to be raised from his bed in the Old Course Hotel by partner Craig Stadler just fifteen minutes before his 10.00am Foursomes tee time. The pairing would win both of their foursomes but Burns lost his Day 2 Singles somewhat vindicating Captain Updegraff’s original decision.
Jerry Pate, the 1974 U.S. Amateur champion and a member of the winning 1974 U.S.A. Eisenhower Trophy team, unusually for an American lost all four of his games. His first drive, in fact the opening shot of the match, went in the swilcan burn, and matters didn’t much better thereafter. Pate struggled on the large greens throughout the competition and suffered with his high ball flight in the windier British conditions.
Bill Campbell played his final match aged 52, his Walker Cup career spanning an impressive 24 years and 18 games (W11 / L4 / H3). Campbell went on to be a President of the USGA and a Captain of The R&A – a rare double.
Leading the resistance was Mark James and Ian Hutcheon who won three and 2.5 points respectively for GB&I.
On Day 2 James and his foursomes partner Gordon Eyles went 1Up without having to play a shot. As Grace drove off the 1st Campbell was still practicing his putting on the adjacent green; the latter immediately reporting himself to the match referee.
During the match a District Nurse somehow found her way on to the Old Course in her car and ended up driving into a bunker.
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