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Friday’s Walker Cup Match Notebook


Calm weather conditions not a disadvantage to USA team.


The weather has been terrific all week at Ganton for the Walker Cup practice rounds, which concluded on Friday. Possibly too good for a U.S. team that has seen Ganton in only relatively benign conditions, a concern that captain Bob Lewis had before coming to Ganton.


With the USA trying to capture its first Walker Cup since its 18 & 6 victory at Quaker Ridge (N.Y.) Golf Club in 1997, Lewis opined on the need for differing weather conditions at Ganton during the U.S. Amateur earlier this year and his exact concerns of the GB&I team experiencing the course in differing weather conditions than his team.


“They have actually played the golf course probably two or three times,” Lewis said of the GB&I team experience with the course before the week of the Walker Cup . “But the thing that concerns me the most is if we would get there and not get different weather conditions. I wouldn't want to arrive and have like perfect weather conditions for four practice days where the wind only blows one direction. That's the only thing that concerns me.”


With the conclusion of the practice rounds Lewis believes his team has seen the course in enough varying wind conditions that it will be able to handle whatever Mother Nature and the GB&I team brings over the weekend.


“I was concerned that we weren’t going to see enough of the potential wind conditions we might have over the weekend,” Lewis said after Friday’s practice round. “But we’ve seen enough of the different directions of the wind.”


GB&I’s Gary Wolstenholme believes the weather can be a big part and knowledge of the differing conditions will be a benefit.


“We’ve been here twice before in less favorable conditions that they are now,” Wolstenholme said of the weather at Ganton this week. “The course changes matter hugely; it really does. We’ve had no wind this week and I’ve never experienced that before. This is very unusual and if the weather does come through it will be interesting to see how the course changes. It would be in our favor and we’ll be hoping that the weather will be a bit friskier shall we say.”


The forecast for the weekend is clear, with the winds reaching 20 MPH .


Over 100 years old, Ganton has a lot of history behind it. Here are some of the oddities of 100 years at Ganton:

•  Henry Gullen was the Secretary at Ganton in 1909 before he went up to

Scotland and became the R&A Secretary from 1912-1940.

•  Prior to World War I, the course was concerned that the Suffragettes were going to damage the greens. Night guards were hired to protect the greens at Ganton. Nothing occurred and when the war started the guards were pulled off.

•  Ganton course flag flies to the left of the clubhouse, it is one-half

chocolate, one-quarter green and beige as outlined in the minutes of the membership of July 1931. The colors symbolize the sand, gorse and green for the fairway. Over time, the colors have been changed. The flag now has a strip of yellow instead of beige, but the club tie still has the beige stripe in it.



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