1995 – Royal Porthcawl GC

GB&I 14 – 10 USA

September 9-10, 1995
Royal Porthcawl Golf Club, Porthcawl, Wales
6,685 yards / Par 72

Captains: Clive Brown (GB&I) and A. Downing Gray (USA)

Day 1 Foursomes (GB&I players first)
Gordon Sherry / Stephen Gallacher lost to John Harris / Tiger Woods 4&3
Mark Foster / David Howell halved with Alan Bratton / Chris Riley
Graham Rankin / Barclay Howard lost to Notah Begay III / Tim Jackson 4&3
Padraig Harrington / Jody Fanagan beat Kris Cox / Trip Kuehne 5&3
GB&I 1.5 – USA 2.5

Day 1 Singles
Gordon Sherry beat Notah Begay III 3&2
Lee James lost to Kris Cox 1 hole
Mark Foster beat Buddy Marucci Jr 4&3
Stephen Gallacher beat Tim Jackson 4&3
Padraig Harrington beat Jerry Courville Jr 2 holes
Barclay Howard halved with Alan Bratton
Graham Rankin lost to John Harris 1 hole
Gary Wolstenholme beat Tiger Woods 1 hole
GB&I 5.5 – USA 2.5

Tiger Woods and Gary Wolstenholme 

Day 1: GB&I 7 – USA 5

Day 2 Foursomes
Gordon Sherry / Stephen Gallacher lost to Alan Bratton / Chris Riley 4&2
Mark Foster / David Howell beat Kris Cox / Trip Kuehne 3&2
Gary Wolstenholme / Lee James lost to B. Marucci Jr / J. Courville Jr 6&5
Padraig Harrington / Jody Fanagan beat John Harris / Tiger Woods 2&1
GB&I 2 – USA 2

Day 2 Singles
Gordon Sherry beat Chris Riley 2 holes
David Howell beat Notah Begay III 2&1
Stephen Gallacher beat Trip Kuehne 3&2
Jody Fanagan beat Jerry Courville Jr 3&2
Barclay Howard halved with Tim Jackson
Mark Foster halved with Buddy Marucci Jr
Padraig Harrington lost to John Harris 3&2
Gary Wolstenholme lost to Tiger Woods 4&3
GB&I 5 – USA 3

Match Result: GB&I 14 – USA 10

Series Results: USA 30 – GB&I 4 – Halved 1 (after Match 35)

Royal Porthcawl Staff Badge  (Photo: The Golf Auction)

Match Notes

A 20 man GB&I squad was selected in 1994 and, led by the diligent Captain Clive Brown, worked together in the year leading up to the match.

The GB&I selectors chose to pick eight players early for this match and leave two places until the last minute. When Englishman Gary Harris wasn’t picked in the first group he announced he was turning pro. Gary Wolstenholme, who won the British Mid-Amateur Championship, and Jody Fanagan ended up gaining the final two places. Nine of the team came from the initial squad with only Graham Rankin able to play his way on in the preceding months.

The greens were diseased and the weather was generally poor for most of the match; a cold wind blew and it rained almost non stop, i.e. perfect conditions for the GB&I team to spring an upset.

Rankin lost both of his games on Day 1 before injuring his wrist practicing in the evening and having to withdraw.

Tiger Woods and Gordon Sherry were the two ‘stars’ of this match. At the time they were respectively the golden boys of USA and GB&I amateur golf.

Unfortunately all of the stories suggest Woods simply didn’t want to be there. He contracted food poisoning early on and missed a practice day and the post match meal.

Nathan Griffiths, a 16 year old assistant professional at Royal Porthcawl, caddied for Woods that week. “He was pretty rough and I gave him a Trebor mint to help his stomach and I remember Tiger thinking it was a giant aspirin. It seemed to help his stomach cramps so that night I got my mother to go to the local supermarket to buy a five-pack of the mints and he ended up sucking on those for the rest of the week.”

Gary Wolstenholme beat Tiger Woods in the Day 1 Singles raising his profile immeasurably in the process. Woods famously hit his approach to the 18th out of bounds and on to the beach.

Click here to watch – Tiger Woods’ Approach To the 18th In The Day 1 Singles

Forgotten over time is that Woods exacted his revenge on Day 2 but not before GB&I had claimed a famous victory.

Perhaps unfairly as the following day’s team sheets are handed in on the prior evening USA captain Downing Gray was criticised for back loading his line up throughout the match and particularly on Day 2.

Padraig Harrington, by then 24, turned pro immediately following the match in Porthcawl having played in three successive Walker Cups.

USA’s Alan Bratton would return to his alma mater Oklahoma State in 2009-10, becoming the head coach of the men’s golf program in 2013-14. During this time he has caddied two of his college players, Peter Uihlein (2010) and Viktor Hovland (2018) to U.S. Amateur Championship victories.

Royal Porthcawl Pre-Match Dinner Menu (Photo: The Golf Auction)


Match Quotes

“There were a group of about 20 of us who played there twice before selection, then they picked eight of the team after the European Championships in Belgium. They then selected Gary Wolstenholme and myself three weeks before the matches. It was more thorough than before, they put a lot of effort in and have continued that since.” – Jody Fanagan, National Club Golfer, August 2019.

“That was the first year that we could bring our own caddies. It was the same with the other lads and that was very significant.” – Jody Fanagan, National Club Golfer, August 2019

“Clive (Brown) was a lovely guy, he gave us everything that we wanted and he managed us all pretty well and told us that we were all there on merit. The pairings kind of looked after themselves. They were all in place from the Home Internationals.” – Gordon Sherry, National Club Golfer, August 2019

“When I came down the last against Tiger there must have been 14,000 people. You are playing in front of TV cameras and being interviewed all week. It is fantastic. It was pretty much a case of let’s just do our own thing. Tiger used that to try and intimidate his opponents. He took one look at the course and though ‘what have I done ?’ It was a box he had to tick but he was doing it very begrudgingly. The course wasn’t in the best shape and they had disease on the greens. On the 1st tee you could see his wall was up. I still said good shot and tried to have a conversation, particularly on the second day, but he just wasn’t interested. People forget he beat me on the second day.” – Gary Wolstenholme, National Club Golfer, August 2019

“After the matches finished Tiger didn’t come down for dinner as he wasn’t very well with some food poisoning. He had never played links golf before and it took him a while to get his head around it. Thank God he wasn’t ready for it but he was a good lad.” – Jody Fanagan, National Club Golfer, August 2019

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