Ryan Herrington will be live blogging from on site at the Walker Cup and in his preview, notes how the U.S. team has seen every kind of wind this week.
The U.S. side played Kingbarns and the Old Course at St. Andrews the previous weekend before getting to Aberdeen, then played 36 holes on the Balgownie Links on Monday. Each subsequent day they have eased off slightly with their practice, still experiencing the varying conditions that will help them be prepared Saturday and Sunday but without running out of energy.
"We've seen the course six or seven times," said American Russell Henley. "Pretty much every time the weather has been different. The wind has been different and while we've been out there it's changed on us. So I feel like we have experienced pretty much about everything with the weather in Scotland. I think everybody is feeling pretty good."
Sean Martin reminds us that as talented as the American team appears on paper, the U.S. has not done well on the road in recent Cups.
The United States is 1-3 in the past four “road” Walker Cups. The Americans’ one-point victory at Royal County Down in 2007 ended a three-Cup losing streak in Great Britain & Ireland. The ’07 U.S. team featured eight current PGA Tour players, including Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson, Rickie Fowler and Chris Kirk. That team won, 12 ½-11 ½, only after Jonathan Moore holed a 4-foot eagle putt on the final hole.
Yes, that Great Britain & Ireland team featured Rory McIlroy, but the narrow margin is testament to the difficulty of playing overseas in the Walker Cup.
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There is a bit of a taint on the Cup due to questionable selections on both sides, something Gary Van Sickle noted in previewing the cup.
I'd like to see the teams chosen with a points system or even by one of the current amateur ranking systems. That would help eliminate this kind of controversy and the scent of politics and backroom deals.
John Huggan reviews the state of the cup and notes this about the selection gaffes:
So, sadly and pathetically, both sides have been compromised by highly political and out-of-date selection criteria that make no sense to those not charged with the responsibility for identifying the 10 players best able to represent their countries. The GB&I committee, for example, is made up of a chairman, the captain and a representative from each of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The long-held and logical conclusion is that each member goes in with the sole intent of getting as many of his compatriots on the side as possible. Thus, were the best 10 players all, for instance, Welsh, that would never be the team selected.