What we learned from the weekend’s action which saw Great Britain & Ireland romp to a record-breaking Walker Cup victory over USA at Royal Lytham, Kiwi Lydia Ko register a historic success in the final major of the season and Belgian Thomas Pieters swiftly add the KLM Open to the Czech Open he won a couple of weeks ago….
The Walker Cup….
*GB&I’s 16 and a half points was their best ever points tally, and they secured victory with six matches to go against the USA’s nine and a half.
*It is only GB&I’s ninth Walker Cup win, but their fifth in the last six contests on home soil.
*The home side were so dominant and in control they only needed three and a half points from 10 singles matches.
*Ireland’s Paul Dunne, who led The Open after 54 holes before fading on the final day, halved his match to clinch the spoils and said: “I will take winning over 30th place (in The Open) every day. It’s so much better to do it as a team.”
*Jimmy Mullen beat Denny McCarthy to become the first GB&I player to have a perfect 4-0 record since Paul Casey and Luke Donald at Nairn in 1999.
The KLM Open….
*Success breeds success: Victorious young Belgian Thomas Pieters, now a two-time European Tour winner, was talking of clinching the hat-trick moments after securing his KLM Open victory.
*It’s never over till it’s over: only a missed short putt on the last denied England’s in-form Lee Slattery, the previous week’s Russian Open winner, of his chance to contest a play-off and celebrate back-to-back victories.
*Pieters’ victory at Kennemer, Holland, sees him become the first player since Rory McIlroy to win back-to-back European Tour titles.
*He booked his spot in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai with a one-stroke victory and the 23 year old is enjoying a stellar second season on the European Tour and has taken over from fellow big-hitting Nicolas Colsaerts as the top Belgian player.
The Evian Open
*Youthful and fearless: Teenage sensation Lydia Ko played without fear but with astonishing freedom which belied her tender 18 years 4 months & 20 days age which saw her become the youngest women’s major winner of all-time.
* She eclipses Morgan Pressel’s mark of 18 years 10 months and 9 days, the age at which the American won the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship.
*Ko becomes the first New Zealand women to win a major and just the third golfer, behind Sir Bob Charles (1963 British Open) and Michael Campbell (2005 US Open).
*Her stunning final round, a bogey-free eight-under par 63, was the round of the week, the best final round of the year, and she finished at 16-under, six shots clear of American Lexi Thompson, who after the7th hole had led by three shots.
*The only thing that didn’t go Ko’s way was the fact world No 1 Inbee Park finished strongly to tie for 8th – had she finished worse than 17th, Ko would have regained the No 1 ranking, as well!