1991 – Portmarnock GC

GB&I 10 – 14 USA

September 5-6, 1991
Portmarnock Golf Club, Portmarnock, County Dublin, Ireland
7,133 yards / Par 72

Captains: George MacGregor (GB&I) and Jim Gabrielsen (USA)

Day 1 Foursomes (GB&I players first)
Jim Milligan / Garry Hay lost to Phil Mickelson / Bob May 5&3
Jim Payne / Gary Evans lost to David Duval / Michael Sposa 1 hole
Garth McGimpsey / Ricky Willison lost to Mitch Voges / David Eger 1 hole
Paul McGinley / Padraig Harrington lost to Jay Sigel / Allen Doyle 2&1
GB&I 0 – USA 4

Day 1 Singles
Andrew Coltart lost to Phil Mickelson 4&3
Jim Payne beat Franklin Langham 3&1
Gary Evans beat David Duval 2&1
Ricky Willison lost to Bob May 2&1
Garth McGimpsey beat Michael Sposa 1 hole
Paul McGinley lost to Allen Doyle 6&4
Garry Hay beat Tom Scherrer 1 hole
Liam White lost to Jay Sigel 4&3
GB&I 4 – USA 4 

Day 1: GB&I 4 – USA 8 

Day 2 Foursomes
Jim Milligan / Garth McGimpsey beat Mitch Voges / David Eger 2&1
Jim Payne / Ricky Willison lost to David Duval / Michael Sposa 1 hole
Gary Evans / Andrew Coltart beat Franklin Langham / Tom Scherrer 4&3
Liam White / Paul McGinley beat Phil Mickelson / Bob May 1 hole
GB&I 3 – USA 1

Day 2 Singles
Jim Milligan lost to Phil Mickelson 1 hole
Jim Payne beat Allen Doyle 2&1
Gary Evans lost to F. Langham 4&2
Andrew Coltart beat Jay Sigel 1 hole
Ricky Willison beat Tom Scherrer 3&2
Padraig Harrington lost to David Eger 3&2
Garth McGimpsey lost to Bob May 4&3
Garry Hay lost to Mitch Voges 3&1
GB&I 3 – USA 5

Match Result: GB&I 10 – USA 14

Series Results: USA 29 – GB&I 3 – Halved 1 (after Match 33)

BBC Highlights of the 1991 Walker Cup Match


Match Notes

The centenary of the Golfing Union of Ireland triggered the decision to play the Walker Cup match on the outskirts of Dublin in 1991. It was the first time Ireland had staged the contest.

The interest of the golf mad Irish saw The R&A charge an entrance fee for the first time – 10 Punt (c.£11). It proved to be a sensible decision as, despite the live TV coverage, the calm, sunny conditions proved to be spectator friendly.

It was also the first time a home GB&I match had been played in September. The Amateur Championship at Ganton and Scarborough North Cliff G.C.’s was moved and played the following week to accommodate the touring U.S.A. team. A future Walker Cup star, Gary Wolstenholme (1995-2005 inc.), was the champion but missed out on selection due to the sequencing of the two events. The Amateur was again played in early September in 1992 before returning the following year to early June where it has stayed ever since.

George Macgregor captained GB&I for the first time whilst USA brought back Jim Gabrielson who had successfully captained their team in 1981, 10 years earlier.

Portmarnock Media Badge (Photo: The Golf Auction)

Jim Stuart the reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion was not selected by the visitors. He would retain the title a few weeks later back in the U.S.A. as if to emphasise the oversight.

Well known professional golfers Andrew Coltart, David Duval, Gary Evans, Padraig Harrington, Phil Mickelson, and Paul McGinley all competed in this match.

Mickelson caused a minor diplomatic incident after a practice round. When asked about hitting a drive into the gallery on one of the holes he replied “That’s not a place I want to be. The Irish women are not that attractive.” His attempt at humour didn’t go down well with the locals and a hastily arranged filmed apology was required to calm matters down.

1991 Commemorative Walker Cup Stamp ( © Portmarnock GC)

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