Eerily, in an
article in the Walker Cup program, golf writer Herbert Warren Wind noted the
influx of foreign golfers at U.S. colleges and predicted that "the winning
point in the next victory in the series registered by a British and Irish team
will probably be scored by a young man from the British Isles who is attending
Wake Forest University on an Arnold Palmer scholarship." O'Connell, who
attends Wake Forest on a Lanny Wadkins scholarship, gave Wind his best shot,
narrowly missing a 15-foot birdie putt on 18. Mickelson then dropped a sidehill
eight-footer to halve the match. He was immediately mobbed by his U.S.
teammates. That made the score 12-11, with one match left on the course.
final score: 12-12. Sigel and James Milligan were just clearing the 13th with
Sigel 2 up. Milligan, who won the 1988 Scottish Amateur, was supposed to be
cannon fodder for Sigel; Marks had bunched his best players in the middle
matches in hopes of "stealing some points." But Sigel, whose 14 career
match wins are a Walker Cup record, lost the 16th when Milligan birdied, and
then lost the 17th when the tall Scotsman holed a 30-foot miracle wedge for
par. Their match was even as they teed off on 18, and both players missed the
green with their second shots. Milligan pitched safely to the green while
Sigel's chip died in the fringe. Sigel conceded Milligan's tap-in for a bogey,
and Milligan returned the courtesy for the half. The British and Irish mobbed
their unlikely hero to prolonged applause from the mostly American gallery.
like a Little League bench warmer who has just won the game with a bloop hit,
signed autographs, accepted hugs and tried to explain to Yank reporters what a
"portacabin" is (it's a mobile office for construction sites). "I
realized the situation from number 12 on," he said. "I tried to keep
cool and play as hard as I could."
A few feet away
Sigel said, "I'm not making any excuses. He did it, I didn't, we didn't.
That's all there is to it."
With that, he
walked to the clubhouse, his team jacket slung over his shoulder. He didn't
look back at the silver cup being passed around by the victors. There was no
point. It was gone.