1999 – Nairn GC

GB&I 15 – 9 USA

September 11-12, 1999
The Nairn Golf Club, Nairn, Inverness-shire, Scotland
6,602 yards, Par 71

Captains: Peter McEvoy (GB&I) and Danny Yates (USA)

Day 1 Foursomes (GB&I players first)
Graham Rankin / Graeme Storm lost to Hunter Haas / “Spider” Miller 1 hole
Paul Casey / Luke Donald beat Jonathan Byrd / Steve Scott 5&3
Paddy Gribben / Lorne Kelly lost to David Gossett / Tim Jackson 3&1
Philip Rowe / Gary Wolstenholme beat Matt Kuchar / Bryce Molder 1 hole
GB&I 2 – USA 2

Day 1 Singles
Graham Rankin lost to Edward Loar 4&3
Luke Donald beat T. McKnight 4&3
Graeme Storm lost to Hunter Haas 4&3
Paul Casey beat Steve Scott 4&3
David Patrick lost to Jonathan Byrd 6&5
Simon Dyson halved with David Gossett
Paddy Gribben halved with Bryce Molder
Lorne Kelly lost to Tim Jackson 3/1
GB&I 3 – USA 5

Day 1: GB&I 5 – USA 7

Day 2 Foursomes
Graham Rankin / Graeme Storm beat Edward Loar / Tom McKnight 4/3
Simon Dyson / Paddy Gribben lost to Hunter Haas / “Spider” Miller 1 hole
Paul Casey / Luke Donald beat David Gossett / Tim Jackson 1 hole
Philip Rowe / Gary Wolstenholme beat M. Kuchar / B. Molder 4/3
GB&I 3 – USA 1

Day 2 Singles
Graham Rankin beat Steve Scott 1 hole
Simon Dyson lost to Edward Loar 5&4
Paul Casey beat “Spider” Miller 3&2
Graeme Storm beat Jonathan Byrd 1 hole
Luke Donald beat Bryce Molder 3&2
Philip Rowe beat Matt Kuchar 1 hole
Paddy Gribben beat Hunter Haas 3&2
Gary Wolstenholme beat David Gossett 1 hole
GB&I 7 – USA 1

Match Result: GB&I 15 – USA 9

Series Results: USA 31 – GB&I 5 – Halved 1 (after Match 37)


Match Notes

The R&A formally announced that Nairn would host the 1999 match on 23rd January 1995. Nairn joined Muirfield, St. Andrews and Turnberry as Scottish golf clubs afforded this honour.

The match was originally scheduled for 4th and 5th September but had to be put back by a week in June 1997 when the BBC advised The R&A that they couldn’t cover those dates.

Nairn G.C. commissioned 23 traditional wooden putters manufactured by Auchterlonie’s of St. Andrews which after personalised engraving were gifted to the players and captains. The Club retained one which is on display in the clubhouse.

Luke Donald, individual winner of the 1999 NCAA Division I Championship and arguably the world’s best amateur at the time, made his Walker Cup debut at Nairn in front of large crowds approaching 10,000.

GB&I had won the Eisenhower Trophy in 1998 and all four members of the successful team were selected in 1999. Paddy Gribben, Lorne Kelly and Gary Wolstenholme joining Donald as the bedrock of the home team.

GB&I were also fortunate to be able to call upon Paul Casey who even back then was destined to become one of the world’s leading pro golfers.

The GB&I team were permitted to bring their own caddies whilst the USA team were supplied caddies; low handicap golfers from local clubs who volunteered. The only exception to this being Gary Wolstenholme who requested a local man too.

Peter McEvoy had captained the winning GB&I Eisenhower Trophy team and made his Walker Cup debut in this match. His status in the amateur game and obvious confidence in his team’s ability rubbed off on all his players. McEvoy’s leadership and decision making – he dropped Lorne Kelly and David Patrick from his Day 2 line-up and stuck with Graham Rankin and Graeme Storm despite a disappointing opening day – should also not be underestimated and no doubt helped to turn around the 5-7 Day 1 deficit his team faced into a comprehensive victory.

McEvoy said afterwards “We had a great team and I think they proved that today. I’ve never known a match against the United States where we’ve had a day like today. They really are a special team.” This was no exaggeration – GB&I won an unprecedented 10 points out of a possible 12 on the Sunday, including seven out of eight in the Singles.

Matt Kucher, the 1997 US Amateur champion and low amateur at both The Masters and U.S. Open in 1998, featured for U.S.A.

Sir Michael Bonallack retired as Secretary of The R&A following the playing of the 1999 Walker Cup match, becoming it’s Captain shortly afterwards.

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