Bryce Molder, U.S. team eager to regain the Walker Cup


SEA ISLAND, Georgia, AP

Bryce Molder, an All-American for four years at Georgia Tech University who broke college scoring records held by Tiger Woods and David Duval, has decided to skip the U.S. Amateur next week in order to turn professional. But miss the Walker Cup? No way. The memories are too fresh for Molder. Two years ago, he was on the U.S. team that lost 15-9 — the most points Great Britain and Ireland had ever scored in the match play competition that started in 1922, five years before the Ryder Cup came along. “I don’t think I can explain how I felt, watching them celebrate and we’re sitting there, can’t do anything but watch,” Molder said Friday. “I decided early on this year that if I got picked for the Walker Cup, I wouldn’t turn pro early in the summer.

“Never in my mind did I ever think twice about playing.” His second chance begins Saturday. Molder leads a 10-man American team at Ocean Forest Golf Club that will try to win back the Walker Cup from a GB&I team led by former U.S. college champion Luke Donald of England. The Walker Cup essentially is the amateur version of the Ryder Cup, minus the bad behavior and acrimony that has marred the professional match-play event the past decade.

The cup is named after George Herbert Walker, a former U.S. Golf Association president and the great-grandfather of President Bush. While the United States leads the overall series 31-1-5, the Walker Cup has mirrored the Ryder Cup in how closely it has been contested in recent years. Each team has won three of the last six matches. The turning point was in 1989, when Phil Mickelson and Jay Sigel both gave up leads late in their singles matches.