Russell issues rally call to GB&I team head of PGA Cup finale

Russell issues rally call to GB&I team head of PGA Cup finale

17/09/2022

David (DJ) Russell knows Great Britain & Ireland need to pull off one of the biggest comebacks in PGA Cup history if they are to regain the Llandudno International Trophy at Foxhills Club & Resort.

A day full of ups and downs saw the hosts win the morning session 2.5 – 1.5 which cut the American’s lead to just two points heading into the afternoon foursomes.

Russell had high expectations for his team to deliver in this format over the weekend, but again Great Britain & Ireland struggled, winning just one and gaining half a point in another. They now trail the United States 6.5 – 9.5 heading into the Sunday singles.

“It's going to be a tough call tomorrow,” said Russell. “We’ve got to win seven out of the 10 singles with no halves, so it’s going to take some doing.

“But I’m happy and confident that we’ve got a bunch of lads that are certainly capable of doing that, whether they do that we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Birthday boy Matthew Cort found the same sort of form that saw him win all four of his fourball and foursomes matches in the 2019 PGA Cup at Barton Creek Resort in Texas.

The Beedles Lake professional partnered with Simon Thornton to claim GB&I’s second win in the morning session. This came moments after Adam Keogh and James Ruth earned the hosts their first point of the day.

Cort partnered with another Irishman in the afternoon, David Higgins, and they got Russell’s team off to a flying start in the foursomes, beating Americans Michael Block and Larkin Gross, who suffered their first defeat of the weekend after three straight wins.

Cort commented: “I got nothing out of the first day, but we played some decent stuff. I gelled nicely with two Irish lads, Simon (Thornton) in the fourballs and then and David (Higgins) in the foursomes.

“I’ve been wanting to play with David in one of these because he’s such a good match player, I think we feed off each other and try to do our own thing, but keep it in play and hole a few putts.”

Asked what he though of GB&I’s chance of turning the match around in the singles, Cort added: “It can be done but we’re up against it, no doubt about that. There are 10 singles matches, we’re not too far behind so I think today was important to keep within grasp of doing some good stuff."

It could have been worse for GB&I had PGA Cup debutants Adam Keogh and Thornton not come from behind to gain half a point in their match against Jared Jones and Wyatt Worthington II.

Heading to the 18th one behind, Thornton set up a wonderful birdie opportunity for his partner and Keogh obliged, holing a six-foot putt under enormous pressure to keep the hosts in the match.

 “Adam (Keogh) and Simon’s (Thornton) fightback was inspirational,” Russell added. “It looked for a long time like it was going to be 3-1 this afternoon, and just that extra half a point doesn’t sound much, but it’s massive things like this. It gives us an opportunity and without that we’d have needed to win eight matches tomorrow, which would really take some doing, but seven is possible.

“There is a feeling of elation after managing to get that half point, how valuable that will be we’ll wait and see tomorrow.

“We need to get a bit of blue on the board early. Very early on in both of the foursomes, they’ve won the early holes and whether you like it or not, you do notice the red on the board and you notice that your teammates are losing. We want to get the blue on there and frighten the life out of them.”

CLICK HERE to view a full list of scoring from day two of the 30th PGA Cup at Foxhills.

CLICK HERE to view our photo gallery from day two.

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