2001 – Ocean Forest GC

USA 9 – 15 GB&I

August 11-12, 2001
Ocean Forest Golf Club, Sea Island, Georgia
7,134 yards, Par 72

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

Day 1 Foursomes (USA players first)
Danny Green / D.J. Trahan lost to Steven O’Hara / Gary Wolstenholme 5&3
Nicholas Cassini / Lucas Glover beat Luke Donald / Nick Dougherty 4&3
David Eger / Bryce Molder halved with Jamie Elson / Richard McEvoy
James Driscoll / Jeff Quinney lost to Graeme McDowell / Michael Hoey 3&1
USA 1.5 – GB&I 2.5

Day 1 Singles
Erik Compton beat Gary Wolstenholme 3&2
D.J. Trahan beat Steven O’Hara 2&1
James Driscoll lost to N. Dougherty 2&1
Nicholas Cassini beat Nigel Edwards 5&4
John Harris lost to Mark Warren 5&4
Jeff Quinney lost to Luke Donald 4&2
Bryce Molder beat Graeme McDowell 2&1
Lucas Glover beat Michael Hoey 1 hole
USA 5 – GB&I 3

Day 1: USA 6.5 – GB&I 5.5

Gary Wolstenholme’s 2001 Golf Bag

Day 2 Foursomes
Erik Compton / John Harris lost to Luke Donald / Nick Dougherty 3&2
Nicholas Cassini / Lucas Glover lost to Graeme McDowell / Michael Hoey 2&1
David Eger / Bryce Molder beat Steven O’Hara / Mark Warren 7&6
Danny Green / D.J. Trahan lost to Jamie Elson / Richard McEvoy 1 hole
USA 1 – GB&I 3

Day 2 Singles
Lucas Glover lost to Luke Donald 3/2
D. J. Trahan lost to Nick Dougherty 1 hole
Bryce Molder beat Graeme McDowell 1 hole
John Harris lost to Steven O’Hara 4&3
James Driscoll lost to Mark Warren 2&1
Danny Green lost to Michael Hoey 1 hole
Erik Compton halved with Jamie Elson
Nicholas Cassini lost to Gary Wolstenholme 5/3
USA 1.5 – GB&I 6.5

Match Result: USA 9 – GB&I 15

Series Results: USA 31 – GB&I 6 – Halved 1 (after Match 38)


Match Notes

As Ocean Forest had only opened in 1995 the Sea Island Company and Jones family, who owned the Club, decided to stage a pre-Walker Cup tournament on 9th-11th February 2001 to test the course out. It would of course also prove to be a useful selection tool for the players, captains and selectors even though playing conditions were expected to be very different in August.

The Jones Cup was such a success it has continued to this day, now being played every January. It was played in alternate years until 2009 but since 2010 has become an annual fixture in the elite amateur golf calendar.

In total eight of the USA team and five of the GB&I line up played in that inaugural Jones Cup. This included Donald Junior ‘D.J.’ Trahan (-6), who won the event by 5-shots, and Steven O’Hara (-1), who finished second. USA captain Danny Yates was also amongst the 52-man field.

Ocean Forest staged the Walker Cup just six years after opening in 1995. It remains the youngest club to be afforded this honour, a record that is unlikely to be broken. The National Golf Links of America in New York was 13 years old when it staged the first match in 1922.

Danny Yates III (1999, ’01) was the fourth Georgian to captain USA following in the footsteps of Bobby Jones (1928, ’30), his uncle Charlie Yates (1953) and James Gabrielson (1981, ’91).

Coincidentally the two captains in 2001, Yates and Peter McEvoy, played each other in both of the Singles games at the 1989 Walker Cup match. McEvoy won the Day 1 contest by 2&1 before Yates achieved his revenge by 4&3 the following day.

The opening ceremony on the afternoon of 10th August was delayed by 90 minutes due to the threat of thunderstorms.

Michael Hoey, Graeme McDowell and Nick Dougherty were amongst the players introduced to the GB&I team with David Dixon (who finished tied 30th and won the Silver Medal at the 2001 Open), Barry Hume and Craig Watson considered unlucky to miss out based on their recent form. Northern Irish pair Hoey and McDowell contributed two points in a strong foursomes partnership.

Luke Donald (Northwestern), Jamie Elson (Augusta State), Hoey (Clemson) and McDowell (UAB, 22) all played in the U.S. college system in the year of the match.

2001 Walker Cup Ball Marker

The final Singles game on Day 1, and the only one still left on the course, between Lucas Glover and Michael Hoey reached the 17th tee with the American dormie 2Up. After Glover teed off the referee suspended play due to the risk of lightning. When the players returned just over an hour later at 6.45pm Hoey, helped by calmer conditions, found the green and two putted for par whilst Glover three putted from distance. In the end Glover parred the 18th for victory to give the home side a 1-point overnight advantage.

As he had done in 1999 Captain McEvoy chose to bench a player for both Day 2 formats. This time Nigel Edwards was the victim of McEvoy’s determination to win. Yates adopted a similar approach benching the reigning U.S. Amateur champion Jeff Quinney for both of Sunday’s sessions.

The honour of holing the winning putt fell to Scotland’s Marc Warren on the 17th green as GB&I would go on to record a 6-point victory. GB&I won 9.5 of the 12 points on offer on Sunday to match the 15.0-9.0 score they achieved in Nairn two years before.

GB&I won the Walker Cup for the sixth time in 38 matches and retained it for the first time in the competition’s 79 year history. Peter McEvoy, arguably GB&I’s best ever captain, said in the aftermath “I was very bullish before Nairn and I tried to play that down a bit this time because I thought it was inappropriate when we were playing away and probably not quite so true. But I think this team was better. But the challenge was much greater, and to win by the same margin that we won by in Nairn is a greater achievement.”

The home nations moved to entering their own teams into the World Amateur Team Championship from 2002 rather than a combined GB&I one as had been the case between 1958 and 2000. Whilst this was partly put down to disagreements over the 2001 Walker Cup selection it must also be said that the decision could only have a positive impact on future GB&I teams. Why send four players when twelve can gain the top level experience in this event ?

Luke Donald, Nick Dougherty, Steven O’Hara and Bryce Holder all turned pro following the conclusion of the Walker Cup foregoing the opportunity to play in the U.S. Amateur Championship which was played at East Lake G.C. in Atlanta, Georgia between 20th-26th August.

John Harris completed his Walker Cup journey for the USA in 2001. He played in four matches, 1993-95-97-01, and won 10 of the 14 games he was involved in. 2001 proved to be a match too far as he added three defeats to his resume in Georgia.

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