Ganton ace Gary loses out in States battle

STATESIDE TEST ...  John Wells (L) and Gary Brown (R) of the Great Britain and Ireland team wait on a green during the Morning Four-Ball Matches at the 25th PGA Cup at the CordeValle Golf Club on September 17, 2011 in San Martin, California

STATESIDE TEST ... John Wells (L) and Gary Brown (R) of the Great Britain and Ireland team wait on a green during the Morning Four-Ball Matches at the 25th PGA Cup at the CordeValle Golf Club on September 17, 2011 in San Martin, California

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GANTON’S Gary Brown and Cherry Burton ace John Wells and their Great Britain and Ireland team-mates failed in their trans-Atlantic bid to recapture the PGA Cup against a strong American team at CordeValle, California on Sunday.

Needing victory in eight of the 10 singles matches to overhaul the 10 ½ - 5 ½ deficit at the start of the final day’s play, it proved a trans-Atlantic mission impossible for Russell’s Weir’s team of PGA professionals as the USA won 17 ½ - 8 ½, a repeat of the scoreline from two years ago at The Carrick.

The US, requiring just three points to win outright for a 17th time in the history of the matches, swept the singles by 7-3 in another impressive display over the Robert Trent Jones Jnr course.

Marty Jertson, a senior design engineer for PING, posted the first red on the leaderboard with an emphatic 5&4 victory against Goodfellow including eagles on the par-5 sixth and par-4 10th holes where he holed from 140 yards.

Danny Balin in the second match birdied the last to pip Chris Gill (Exeter) with Sonny Skinner clinching the decisive half against Stuart Little (Minchinhampton) to ensure the trophy was retained.

Brown went down 3&2 to a scorching display by Faber Jamerson.

“Jamerson set the tone on the first when I hit it to 20ft and he hit it to 30ft and holed it,” said Brown.

“He went out in 29, was eight under through 13 and I was just trying to hang in there. I made six birdies myself but he never missed a shot.

“It’s been a great week, I haven’t had my A-game but my short game was really good.”

Wells lost on the last hole after a titanic tussle with Mark Sheftic.

“I was in control and then he made three birdies in a row from the tenth and was always up,” said Wells.

“It was always a tall order given the state of play but at the end of the week the best team has won. I think the rough around the green has cost us. They are more used to it and have more variety of shots out of it.

“The highlight of the week was winning the two points with Gary where we came from behind on both occasions.”

GB&I registered two wins but both were impressive with David Shacklady (Mossock Hall) inflicting a 3&2 defeat on David Hutsell, the reigning US PGA Pro champ, and Rob Giles overturning a three-hole deficit with four birdies in a row from the turn to win one up against four time PGA Cup player Mike Small.

Simon Edwards (Windermere) scored GB&I’s other half point against Rob McClellan.

An emotional GB&I captain Russell Weir said: “This has been the most exciting week I have experience in golf. It is the pinnacle of my career and I will never forget it.

“It was nerve-wracking as a captain, feeling for every player, but the American team were awesome today.

“They came out firing with so many birdies and our players tried their best and unfortunately there were too many birdies flying about out there on the wrong side.

“But the players gave their all this week and have got to be very proud of themselves, and are very special people.”

The US built the platform for victory with six-and-a-half points from the two foursome sessions on Friday and Saturday afternoon – 3 ½ - ½ and 3-1 respectively.

They also won the opening day fourballs 2 ½ - 1 1/2. GB&I rallied to take the Saturday fourballs by 2 ½ - 1 ½ with a half earned at the last from Sonny Skinner and Brad Lardon against Craig Goodfellow and David Mortimer halting the momentum of Weir’s side.

The US now has 17 wins in the Ryder Cup style contest, compared to GB&I’s five with a victory on US soil still proving elusive.

Sunday singles (USA first)

Marty Jertson won 5&4 against Craig Goodfellow (Carlisle Driving Range)

Danny Balin won 1Up against Chris Gill (Exeter Golf & Country Club)

Sonny Skinner halved with Stuart Little (Minchinhampton New Golf Club)

Mike Small lost 1UP to Rob Giles (Greenore)

David Hutsell lost 3&2 to David Shacklady (Mossock Hall)

Mark Sheftic won 1UP against John Wells (Cherry Burton)

Rob McClellan halved with Simon Edwards (Windermere)

Faber Jamerson won 3&2 against Gary Brown (Ganton)

Brad Lardon won 6&4 against David Mortimer (Galway)

Scott Erdmann won 3&2 against John Kennedy (Wexham Park)

Singles result USA 7 - GB&I 3

Final result USA 17 ½ GB&I 8 1/2