ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — John Gough of England won both his matches Saturday at St. Andrews, and Great Britain & Ireland built a three-point lead over the Americans in the Walker Cup for its largest opening-day margin in 34 years.
GB&I has not won the Walker Cup since 2015. It takes a 7½-4½ lead into Sunday, its largest lead since the same score in 1989 at Peachtree Golf Club in Atlanta.
Gough and Matthew McClean held on for a 1-up victory in foursomes as GB&I sent the tone by taking three of the four team matches. Gough then won five straight holes to start his singles match and beat U.S. Amateur champion Nick Dunlap 6 and 5 in the shortest match of the day.
The afternoon singles came down to four tight matches in the middle of the lineup.
Gordon Sargent, the No. 1 amateur in golf, made a 3-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole at the Old Course for a 1-up victory over Jack Bigham. Sargent earlier won a foursomes match with Dylan Menante, the only U.S. point in the morning.
That was the only singles match the Americans won that came down to the final hole.
Liam Nolan won the 18th with two putts from some 65 feet for birdie, while Austin Greaser took three putts from short of the green in the Valley of Sin. Then, Mark Power matched birdies with David Ford to hold on for a 1-up victory.
In the final match on the course, McClean hammered a putt from the Valley of Sin to about 8 feet and holed that for birdie to earn a halve with Preston Summerhays.
The Americans have won the past three times in the Walker Cup, which dates to 1922, and have a 38-9-1 record in the amateur matches.