GB&I came close to staging a scintillating final-day comeback in the 2013 PGA Cup as the USA narrowly retained the trophy at De Vere Slaley Hall.
Things looked bleak for Russell Weir’s team in the biennial match – contested between PGA-qualified professionals from GB&I and the USA – after two days of play.
The USA team claimed the Friday afternoon fourballs 4-0 en route to a commanding 10.5 – 5.5 lead heading into the Sunday singles.
But GB&I – who had lost six of the last seven PGA Cups – had no intention of suffering yet another comprehensive defeat.
Benn Barham and Richard Wallis claimed victory in the first two matches, and a Greg Hutcheon loss in third was offset by 3.5 GB&I points from the next four matches to leave the dream alive.
Unfortunately, David Callaway lost 3&2 to Ryan Polzin to end any hope of a miraculous Medinah-esque comeback, but GB&I victories in the final two matches left the singles tally at 7.5-2.5 and the overall score at 13-13.
The USA retained the trophy as defending champions, with GB&I just half a point away from completing one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the history of matchplay golf.
“Today proved we’re as good, if not better than the Americans individually. We just need to figure out a way to get the team events and get some more points on the board,” said Nick Brennan.
“Eight from 10 was a big ask. Seven and a half was also a big ask, but we said let’s get at them and see what happens and see how they cope with the one-on-one thing under the cosh.
“This feels like a victory for us.”
PGA of America Honorary President and USA Team Captain Alan Wronowski was one of a number of people paying tribute to the excellent course conditions and all-round experience at Slaley Hall.
“Slaley Hall and the Hunting course will certainly be remembered as one of our finest host sites of the PGA Cup. The golf course conditions set up for a wonderful championship test, hard, but fair. The hotel and staff provided an incredible experience for all of the contestants, official parties and staff,” he said.