US skipper Buddy Marucci breathed a sigh of relief as the USA won the Walker Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 16 years.

The GB&I has not lost at home since Phil Mickelson inspired the Americans to a 14-10 win at Portmarnock in 1991.

But the American captain was made to sweat as his charges racked up their 33rd victory from 41 matches since 1922.

Marucci said: “These are just great matches. It’s wonderful golf. It’s so great for the game.

“We hung in there because it was a great performance from the GB&I team. I just feel so fortunate to have won on foreign soil. I have to give a lot of credit to our guys.

“There was no question in my mind that GB&I would play as hard as they could. We played well this morning and that gave us some space. But I knew it would be tough.”

Rory McIlroy and Jonny Caldwell was a heroes for the home side as they won their matches,

And Clandeboye man Caldwell was delighted to do his bit for the team after question marks had been raised about his selection.

A two-hole winner over Kyle Stanley, Caldwell said: “It is one of my proudest moments. It is gutting to lose overall but I was still tingling a bit after my match. What a match it was.

“I got a few breaks here and there but that’s the way it goes in matchplay sometimes. It was a fantastic occasion and just a pity that we couldn’t get it done.

“In the foursomes this morning, Rory and I had a good lead and the wheels came off.

“We missed a couple of shots and they got a few holes back and they got some momentum with it.”

Asked about Caldwell’s performance, Dalgleish said: “Jonny has played a huge part on the team. He did very, very well and proved that with the win he had this afternoon,

“He was a great team member and he can be proud of how he played with Rory in the foursomes and how he came through for us in the singles.”