NORMAN, Okla. University of Oklahoma junior Anthony Kim fared well during the Walker Cup at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill., dominating his singles match Saturday afternoon.
Kim dispatched of England’s Gary Lockerbie, 6-and-5, in the most lopsided match of the day on the 6,782-yard, par-70 course, adding one point to the United States’ 6.5-5.5 lead over Great Britain & Ireland.
“I thought it was pretty important to get some momentum going our way,” Kim said. “Once a couple birdies went in, it seemed like they started to pour. You make one birdie out there, and everyone is cheering you on. It makes it a little bit easier for you to make another birdie on top of that.”
The La Quinta, Calif., native took a 1-up advantage with a birdie on 5 and cruised to a win, couting birdies on 6, 8, 10 and 12. Lockerbie managed only par on only five of the final nine holes.
Earlier in the day, 20-year-old Kim and 18-year-old Brian Harman, the two youngest players on the U.S. team, halved their alternate-shot match with GB&I’s Nigel Edwards and Rhys Davies.
Down three after 10, Kim and Harman birdied 11, 12, 14 and 16 to square the match. Kim rolled in a 25-footer at 14, but Edwards matched with a 10-footer.
On 18, Kim faced a difficult shot from behind the green, but used a delicate pitch to place his ball within 3 feet of the pin. Harman followed sank the putt to halve the hole.
“I wanted to keep him on the top ridge,” Kim said. “I just tried to bump it into the fringe and it turned out perfect.”
The rally spawned by Kim and Harman gave the Americans a crucial half-point. The U.S. led GB&I 2.5-1.5 after the round of foursomes.
"It was a very key half-point," U.S. captain Bob Lewis said. "Any time you can get up on GB&I in alternate shot, it's an advantage."
“That was the most fun I’ve ever had on a golf course,” Harman, who will be a freshman at the University of Georgia this fall, said. “I can’t think of anything that was more thrilling than that. This was incredible; so much back and forth drama. I was more excited than he was when he made that putt on 14.”
“It’s crazy because we play against each other every week during the summer,” Kim added, “and now all of a sudden we are teammates and we are pulling as hard as we can for each other.”
Day two of the Walker Cup action begins Sunday at 7:30 a.m. CDT with the final round of foursomes, followed at 12:30 p.m. with the final round of singles matches. Kim will leadoff both rounds.
“I love it,” Kim said about starting the day’s action. “I'm a fast player. I feel like I can make some birdies if I play well. I know they will be tough matches. They're a really solid team, but all I can do is play my game and let the chips fall where they may.”
Kim and Harman will square off against Richie Ramsay and Lloyd Saltman in the morning session before Kim takes on Gary Wolstenholme in the first singles match of the afternoon.
Ramsay, 22, is from Aberdeen, Scotland, and has been a consistent top finisher in major events over the past two years. He followed his three wins in 2004 that included the Scottish Stroke Play title with a third place in the same event over his home course this year and a win in the Irish Open Amateur.
Lloyd Saltman, 19, is a native of Gorebridge, Scotland. In 2005, Saltman was the low amateur at the British Open, he won the Brabazon Trophy and followed that by winning the St Andrews Links Trophy the following week.
Gary Wolstenholme, 44, resides in Market Harborough, England. Wolstenholme is playing in his sixth Walker Cup Match. He holds the unique record of having played in four Cup winning teams (1995, 1999, 2001 and 2003). Only Sir Michael Bonallack and the late Joe Carr have played in more matches although Wolstenholme’s record of 17 matches played, nine won and eight lost, stands comparison with the best. He is England’s most decorated amateur player and this year has won the New South Wales Medal and the Sherry Cup.
The Golf Channel will televise Sunday’s final round beginning at 3 p.m.
The United States leads the overall series 31-5-1, but has lost four consecutive meetings.
Two other Sooner golfers are in action this week at the Canadian Amateur Championship in Baddeck, Nova Scotia.
Brodie Flanders (Fawcett Hill, New Brunswick) and Shawn LaFontaine (Cobourg, Ontario) begin their title conquest on the 7,037-yard, par-72 Bell Bay Golf Course, Sunday, Aug. 14.
The 64 low scorers from two rounds of stroke play, one each Sunday and Monday, will advance to the match play portion of the tournament.
The first round of 18-hole match play begins Tuesday, Aug. 16. The second and third rounds are played Wednesday and quarterfinal and semifinals are played Thursday. A champion will be crowned at Friday’s final, 36-hole match-play round.
Flanders tees off from 10 at 5:57 a.m. CDT and LaFontaine begins from 10 at 10:54 a.m.
LaFontaine was this year’s Ontario Amateur Championship runner-up. Flanders tied for seventh at the New Brunswick Amateur and earned an exemption by being a quarterfinalist at the 2004 Canadian Amateur.