All is well in American amateur golf this morning.
With an inspired performance at Los Angeles Country Club, the 10-man American team won back the Walker Cup, 19-7. Thanks to a Saturday-afternoon singles surge, the U.S. squad took a commanding 8-4 lead and won three of four foursomes matches Sunday morning before Stewart Hagestad clinched the cup with a victory in the opening singles match Sunday afternoon.
Among the standouts for the red, white and blue were Maverick McNealy, the Stanford blue-chipper who went 4-0 in his amateur swan song, and Braden Thornberry, the unorthodox-swinging NCAA champion, who was a stalwart in winning two singles matches.
While her compatriots were lapping their opponents in California, Lexi Thompson won an LPGA tournament staged on a course with four holes on the infield of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With a closing 68 on Saturday, the 22-year-old Floridian zoomed past Lydia Ko, the former world No 1 who, despite stalling in the last round, appears close to recapturing her form.
In the Swiss Alps, Matthew Fitzpatrick wrote another chapter in his promising ascent, winning the Omega European Masters on Sunday after shooting a final-round 64 and outlasting Australian Scott Hend in a playoff. It was the fourth European Tour victory for the 23-year-old Englishman who won the 2013 U.S. Amateur.
Since dropping out of Northwestern University in early 2014 to pursue a golf career, Fitzpatrick has made steady progress, posting his maiden European Tour victory at the 2015 British Masters before winning twice last year. Though hardly an imposing figure at 5 feet 9 and 150 pounds, Fitzpatrick is proving himself to be one of Europe’s most formidable competitors.