Mike Miller boosted his hopes of a US Walker Cup call up when he snatched a dramatic half in the last match of the day to give the Metropolitan Golf Association of New York the Carey Cup and its first away win over a GUI selection.
With the biennial matches tied 3-3 heading into yesterday’s singles at The European Club, Pádraig Hogan’s GUI team looked odds on to regain the trophy when they led in four of the six matches early on.
Only Portmarnock’s Geoff Lenehan and Belvoir Park’s Simon Ward managed to convert those leads into wins, however.
Headfort’s Brian Casey and Knock’s Nicky Grant lost inside the distance before Castle’s Alex Gleeson surrendered a two up lead with five to play, going down to Max Buckley on the 18th.
That left Co Cavan’s Eddie McCormack needing a point from the last match to clinch a tie overall but while he was three up with 10 holes to play, Miller fought back to be just one down playing the 18th.
As McCormack bogeyed the final hole, Miller faced an 18 footer from just off the green for par and a halved match and duly holed it to give the MGA a 6.5 to 5.5 win overall.
“This is awesome,” said a delighted Miller, who is hoping to become the first MGA player to play in the Walker Cup since fellow New Yorker George Zahringer in 2003.
“We came to the best links course in Ireland and won. It’s tough and very difficult with the wind but the group of guys that came over with us could handle it and it proved today that we brought over six great players.
“I was three down through eight and on nine Eddie missed a putt and things started to change. I won nine, ten and eleven and then all of a sudden couldn’t get anything else to fall until I was coming down the stretch and made a nice putt on 18 to halve the match.”
Victorious MGA skipper Jeff Holzschuh added: “It’s a great win, we just happened to get an extra point today, it could have gone either way.”
Seventeen year old Jim Liu couldn’t stay for the presentation ceremony as he had to jet out to China to take up an invitation to play in the European Tour’s Volvo China Open this week.
GUI v MGA (Carey Cup) at The European Club.
GUI 5.5, MGA 6.5 (GUI names first)
B Casey lost to J Liu 2/1;
S Ward bt B Komline 3/2;
N Grant lost to C Young 3/2;
G Lenehan bt J Saladino 1 hole;
A Gleeson lost to M Buckley 1 hole;
E McCormack halved with M Miller.