Great Britain & Ireland Storms Past the United States to Capture the 28th PGA Cup

Great Britain & Ireland kicked into a collective second gear on the back nine at Fox hills Club & Resort, with nine of its 10 team members scoring in Sunday’s singles, on the way to a 16-10 victory over the United States in the 28th PGA Cup.

It was the most points that GB&I had scored against the U.S. since the PGA Cup began in 1973, and it was its first successful defense of the Llandudno International Trophy since 1984. The singles performance matched the Sunday in 2013, with GB&I dominating 7 1/2 - 2 1/2.

Rich Berberian Jr. of Hooksett, New Hampshire, the 2016 PGA Professional Champion and PGA Professional Player of the Year, was the lone American to win a singles match. He went 7-under par through 15 holes, including a pair of eagles, to down England’s Chris McDonnell, 4 and 3.

The U.S. is 17-7-4 in the series, and 6-6-1 on the road in the premier international competition for PGA Club Professionals.

Sunday's Singles

Damien McGrane, Kells, County Meath, Ireland (GB&I) def. Mark Brown, Oyster Bay, N.Y. (USA), 3 and 2
Robert Coles, Romford, Essex, England (GB&I) def. Josh Speight, Locust Hill, Va. (USA), 2 and 1
Rod Perry, Port Orange, Fla. (USA) halved with Christopher Currie, Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, Scotland (GB&I)
Matthew Cort, Leicester, Leicestershire, England (GB&I) def. Jamie Broce, Indianapolis, Ind., 2 and 1
Andrew Raitt, London, England (GB&I) def. Dave McNabb, Newark, Del. (USA), 3 and 2
Rich Berberian Jr., Hooksett, N.H. (USA) def. Chris McDonnell, Chichester, West Sussex, England (GB&I), 4 and 3
Paul Claxton, Claxton, Ga. (USA) halved with Greig Hutcheon, Banchory, Aberdeenshire, Scotland (GB&I)
Omar Uresti, Austin, Texas (USA) halved with Garry Houston, Wrexham, Clywd, Wales (GB&I)
Phillip Archer, Warrington, Cheshire, England def. Matt Dobyns, Glen Head, N.Y. (USA), 1 up
David Higgins, Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland (GB&I) def. Adam Rainaud, Chester, Conn. (USA), 3 and 2

Day 3 Total: Great Britain & Ireland 16, USA 10

Saturday Afternoon Foursomes

Paul Claxton & Jamie Broce (USA) def. Matthew Cort & Garry Houston (GB&I), 1 up

England’s Matthew Cort and Wales’ Garry Houston sped two a 2-hole lead, thanks to a first-hole birdie and a conceded second hole when Jamie Broce touched a branch with his backswing. The Americans rallied to square the match with birdies on the fifth and seventh holes, before GBI birdied the eighth and the U.S. birdied the ninth. Broce would later make back-to-back 15-foot birdie putts on the 17th and 18th holes to secure a vital victory.
Robert Coles & Andrew Raitt (GB&I) def. Adam Rainaud & Rich Berberian Jr. (USA), 2 up

Rich Berberian Jr. and Adam Rainaud, who had faced each other in the finals of the PGA Match Play Championship in 2015 and ’16, kept their chemistry percolating this week by powering to a 2-hole advantage through five holes thanks to an eagle on the par-5 fifth. Two holes later, Robert Coles and Andrew Raitt caught fire with three winning holes, including two pars on the eighth and ninth holes to move to a 1-up advantage. Berberian and Rainaud brought the match all square to the 17th hole, then lost it with a bogey after a wayward Berberian tee shot. Coles and Raitt won the 18th hole and match with a two-putt birdie.
Rod Perry & Josh Speight (USA) def. Phillip Archer & Christopher Currie (GB&I), 3 and 2

Rod Perry and Josh Speight, paired together for the first time, took off to a 3-up lead through five holes before Phillip Archer and Christopher Currie answered with a birdie at No. 6. Perry and Speight then teamed to birdie No. 7. Archer and Currie trimmed the deficit to one hole with a birdies at 10 and 11. Perry and Speight soared to the finish by making birdies at Nos. 13 and 14 and closed the match with a winning par at No. 16.
Matt Dobyns & Omar Uresti (USA) def. David Higgins & Damien McGrane (GB&I), 4 and 2

University of Texas alumni Matt Dobyns and Omar Uresti, paired for the second straight anchor afternoon foursomes match, ran off three straight birdies to open the match, then watched as the Irish duo of David Higgins and Damien McGrane birdied the fifth hole. Dobyns and Uresti answer with a birdie at No. 6. Each team traded birdies, with the U.S. going 3-up with an amazing 25-yard par recovery pitch at No. 11 by Uresti from downhill on a bare dirt lie from below his feet. The ball landed to within a foot of the cup. GB&I lost with a bogey there and despite trimming the margin to two holes, was closed out on No. 16 by a winning Dobyns-Uresti par.
USA 3, Great Britain & Ireland 1

Saturday Morning Four-Balls

Christopher Currie & David Higgins (GB&I) def. Rod Perry & Jamie Broce (USA), 4 and 3

Ireland’s David Higgins, the 2016 PGA Professional Champion, teamed with Scottish partner Christopher Currie, runner-up in the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship, for six birdies through 12 holes. It was more than enough momentum to register the first point on the board in the Morning Four-Balls. Rod Perry’s birdie at No. 5 was the lone U.S. winning hole.
Rich Berberian Jr. & Adam Rainaud (USA) def. Matthew Cort & Garry Houston (GBI), 5 and 3

Two of the most evenly-matched duos producing a match that was all square through six holes, including matching deuces on the 179-yard, par-3 sixth. Rich Berberian Jr., won the first hole among the foursome with a birdie on the 548-yard, par-5 seventh hole. Adam Rainaud answered with a birdie at No. 8 to give the Americans a 2-up lead. Berberian then uncorked the highlight shot of the first two days, driving the 324-yard 10th hole and rolling home a 10-foot eagle putt for a 3-up lead. The Americans closed out GB&I, with birdies by Berberian at No. 13 and Rainaud at 15.
Chris McDonnell & Damien McGrane (GB&I) def. Matt Dobyns & Mark Brown (USA), 2 and 1

Former Irish PGA Champion Damien McGrane led with birdies on the second and fifth holes to keep he and England’s Chris McDonnell in front through six holes. Matt Dobyns birdied the par-3 fourth hole and Mark Brown posted his first birdie of the day at the par-5 seventh to square the match. McGrane answered with a birdie at the ninth for a 1-up lead. GB&I improved to a 2-up lead after a McGrane birdie at the 12th, and Dobyns trimmed the deficit to one hole with a birdie at 14. GB&I closed out the match as McDonnell rifled an approach to three feet on the 17th hole for an easy birdie.
Robert Coles & Greig Hutcheon (GB&I) def. Josh Speight & Dave McNabb (USA), 2 and 1

Robert Coles, who was the 2014 European Four-Balls Champion, and Scotland’s Greig Hutcheon, sped to a 2-up advantage through four holes, while Dave McNabb and Josh Speight struggled early, including a McNabb bogey on the par-4 third hole. Speight brought the U.S. duo back within a hole deficit with a deuce on the par-3 sixth hole. GB&I pushed the margin to 4 up with birdies by three straight birdies by Coles on Holes 10-12. Speight answered with an eagle on the 14th hole and McNabb birdied the 16th to send the match to 17. Coles closed out the match by making a 20-foot birdie putt from the front fringe.
Great Britain & Ireland 3, USA 1

Day 2 Total: Great Britain & Ireland 8 1/2, USA 7 1/2

Friday Morning Four-Balls

Rod Perry & Jamie Broce (USA) def. Greig Hutcheon & Damien McGrane (GB&I), 3 and 2

Perry, the PGA Head Professional at Crane Lakes Golf & Country Club in Port Orange, Florida, got off to a rousing start with partner Jamie Broce of Indianapolis, collecting four birdies on the first six holes, building a 3-up lead over Scotland’s Greig Hutcheon and Ireland’s Damien McGrane. Broce offset a lost hole at No. 7 by birdieing the par-4 eighth to give the Americans a 3-up advantage through the opening nine holes. Broce’s birdie at No. 10, increased the margin to four holes before Hutcheon struck back with a birdie at No. 12. Perry then answered with a birdie at No. 13 to again build a 4-up margin. McGrane chipped in from off the left fringe for birdie on No. 15 to trim the margin to two holes, before Perry closed the match by pitching from 30 yard off the green for a deuce at No. 16.
Rich Berberian Jr. & Adam Rainaud (USA) def. Robert Coles & Chris McDonnell (GB&I), 2 and 1

Adam Rainaud and Rich Berberian Jr., who met twice in the 2015 and 2016 PGA Match Play Championship finals, teamed for their first PGA Cup match against the English duo of Robert Coles and Chris McDonnell. Coles birdies at Nos. 4 and 5 gave his team a 2-up lead before Berberian’s par at No. 6 and a Rainaud pair of birdies at Nos. 7 and 8 turned momentum around to gain a 1-up lead through nine holes. Berberian boosted the lead to 3-up with birdies at No. 10 and 13. GB&I battled back to win the 16th hole with a birdie, and Berberian ended the match in spectacular fashion on No. 17. After his second shot from the woods hit a tree and ended up across the fairway in the right rough, he hit an approach shot that ricocheted off Coles’ ball on the middle of the green. Coles replaced his ball 20 feet below the hole and Berberian rolled home a 40-foot par putt from the fringe. Coles then missed his birdie attempt.
Matt Dobyns & Mark Brown (USA) def. Phillip Archer & Andrew Raitt (GB&I), 2 up

Andrew Raitt, who lives only 10 minutes from Foxhills Golf Club, took advantage of his course familiarity to birdie three of the first eight holes, along with a winning par at No. 7 for a 2-up advantage over Matt Dobyns and Mark Brown. Phillip Archer then added a birdie at No. 9 to hike GB&I’s lead to three holes. Dobyns trimmed the deficit to two holes with a birdies at 11 and 13, then followed Archer’s second shot to the par-5 14th to 20 feet by hitting a 5-iron from 212 yards to less than a foot for a tap-in eagle. Brown brought the match to all square with a birdie at No. 15 and rolled home a 25-footer from the left fringe for birdie at No. 17 for a 1-up lead. Dobyns reached the par-5 18th hole in two, and lagged his birdie putt to two feet. Archer and Raitt each missed their birdie attempts.
Chris Currie & David Higgins (GB&I) def. Omar Uresti & Paul Claxton (USA), 3 and 2

Scotland’s Chris Currie birdied the par-3 fourth hole, the only birdie between the two teams through seven holes, for a 1-up margin. David Higgins then birdied No. 8 to build GB&I’s lead to 2 up. Omar Uresti and Paul Claxton, with nine straight pars and a bogey at No. 9, failed to gain any momentum. A birdie by Higgins at No. 10 hiked the GB&I advantage to 4 up. Uresti trimmed the deficit to 2 up after making a birdie at No. 13 and an eagle at 14. GB&I’s Higgins then closed the match on 17 with a birdie.
USA 3, Great Britain & Ireland 1

Friday Afternoon Foursomes

Matthew Cort & Garry Houston (GB&I) def. Dave McNabb & Josh Speight (USA), 2 up

Dave McNabb and Josh Speight made their respective debuts in the PGA Cup, building a 1-up lead through six holes. The solid start was short-lived after losing four holes in a seven-hole stretch to England’s Matthew Cort and Wales’ Garry Houston. McNabb and Speight bogeyed the par-5 seventh, and went down three holes when GB&I birdied 9, 12 and 13. McNabb and Speight rallied to trim the deficit to one hole after 16 holes. Both teams halved the 17th hole with pars, before Cort hit the par-5 18th green in two shots, while Speight and McNabb were unable to convert a seven-foot birdie putt.
Robert Coles & Andrew Raitt (GB&I) def. Rod Perry & Jamie Broce (USA), 3 and 2

Perry and Broce, who had teamed for 10 birdies in Morning Four-Balls, opened birdie-bogey and despite a birdie at No. 5 were all square with Robert Coles and Andrew Raitt. GB&I then sprinted ahead, winning the eighth and ninth holes with birdie for 2-hole margin and went 3 up after 13 holes after a Perry and McNabb bogey. Perry rolled home a birdie putt at 14, but Raitt and Coles closed out the match with a birdie at 16.
Phillip Archer & Christopher Currie (GB&I) def. Rich Berberian Jr. & Adam Rainaud (USA), 2 and 1

Rich Berberian Jr. and Adam Rainaud were even par through nine holes and found themselves down three holes to Phillip Archer and Christopher Currie, who won Nos. 7, 8, and 9 with birdies. Berberian and Rainaud birdied No. 12 and eagled the par-5 14th hole, but could do nothing more as Archer and Currie rattled off birdies at 12, 13, 14 and 15 and closed out the match two holes later with a pair of pars.
Matt Dobyns & Omar Uresti (USA) halved with David Higgins & Damien McGrane (GB&I)

Neither team held more than a one-hold advantage throughout the afternoon. There were three lead changes. University of Texas alumni Matt Dobyns and Omar Uresti were united for the first time in the PGA Cup. The duo battled to grab a one-hole advantage with a birdie at 13 and held the lead until McGrane drained a 20-foot birdie at 16. Dobyns hit his drive out of bounds right into a hazard and the team was only able to make bogey, losing the hole to a GB&I par. Dobyns hit a second shot to the par-5 18 hole, and Uresti lagged a 60-foot eagle attempt to within four feet. After McGrane missed a 22-foot birdie putt, and Dobyns holed a four-footer for the halve.
Great Britain & Ireland 3 1/2, USA 1/2

Day 1 Total: Great Britain & Ireland 4 1/2, USA 3 1/2