Walker Cup Golfers Undefeated in Singles Matches

Who are the best singles match players in the history of the Walker Cup? The list you'll find below includes some big names, and they are the names of golfers who went unbeaten in singles matches over a minimum of four matches played.

The Walker Cup is the biennial competition played by teams of amateur male golfers, one represeting Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I), one representing the United States (USA). Many of the greats of golf have played in the competition, which includes both foursomes (alternate shot) matches and singles matches.

There are many more golfers, in addition to those listed here, who played in three, two or one Walker Cup singles match without being beaten. But going unbeaten in a minimum of four singles match is, as the names here attest, much harder. So far, only five golfers in Walker Cup history played at least four singles matches without losing: Bobby Jones, William C. Campbell, Luke Donald, Phil Mickelson (pictured above) and Peter Uihlein.

Undefeated and Untied in Walker Cup Singles (minimum four matches)

  • Bobby Jones 5-0: Five-for-five — that was Jones' Walker Cup singles record. And five is the highest number of singles matches any golfer has played in the competition without losing or being tied in any of them. Jones played in the Walker Cups of 1922, 1924, 1926, 1928 and 1930, the last two as player-captain.

    Starting in 1922, Jones' singles victories were over Roger Wethered, 3 and 2; Charles Hetzel, 4 and 3; Cyril Tolley, 12 and 11; Philip Perkins, 13 and 12; and Wethered again, 9 and 8. These were all 36-hole matches. The 12-and-11 result in the 1926 Walker Cup set a tournament record for largest margin of victory in any Walker Cup match. Then Jones brokes his own record in the 1928 Walker Cup by thrashing Perkins, 13 and 12. (Jones and Perkins later collaborated to push for the institution of golf's 14-club limit.) And those scores remain today the most lopsided in Walker Cup history (and larger winning margins are impossible today since matches are now 18 holes).

  • Luke Donald, 4-0: Donald is the only Team GB&I golfer on this list, the other four golfers all played for Team USA. Donald went 4-for-4 in singles matches in the 1999 Walker Cup and 2001 Walker Cup. In 1999 Donald downed Tom McKnight (4 and 3) and Bryce Molder (3 and 2). In 2001 his singles victories were over Jeff Quinney (4 and 2) and Lucas Glover (3 and 2).

  • Peter Uihlein, 4-0: In 2009, Uihlein's singles wins were over Tommy Fleetwood (2 and 1) and Stiggy Hodgson (3 and 1). In 2011, Uihlein beat Tom Lewis (2 and 1) and Hodgson again (2 and 1).

Undefeated with Ties in Walker Cup Singles (minimum four matches)

  • William C. Campbell, 7-0-1: Amateur legend Campbell played in seven Walker Cups: 1951, 1953, 1957, 1965, 1967, 1971 and 1975. The 24-year span between his first appearance (1951) and last (1975) is the Walker Cup record. At one time, he held or shared the competition records for most match wins (he won 11 overall), most points earned (he won 16.5 points), and most matches played for Team USA (18 overall, in which his overall record was 11-4-3). In 1967, he became the first golfer to go 4-0-0 in a single Walker Cup.

    Of Campbell's eight opponents in Walker Cup singles, who is the only one who managed not to lose to him? That was Ian Hutcheon in Campbell's final year, the 1975 Walker Cup. Campbell and Hutcheon halved their Day 1 singles match. But Campbell played another singles match on Day 2 and won his last. His singles victories were: 1951, def. Cecil Ewing, 5 and 4; 1957, def. Joe Carr, 3 and 1; 1965, def. Michael Bonallack, 6 and 5, and Rodney Foster, 3 and 2; 1967, def. Ronnie Shade, 2 and 1, and Shade again, 3 and 2; and 1975, def. Richard Eyles, 2 and 1.

  • Phil Mickelson, 3-0-1: Mickelson played in the 1989 Walker Cup and 1991 Walker Cup, playing two singles matches in each. His halved matched was against Eoghan O’Connell on Day 2 in 1989. Mickelson's three singles victories were against Garth McGimpsey, 4 and 2, on Day 1 in 1989; plus, in 1991, over Andrew Coltart, 4 and 3, and Jim Milligan, 1-up.

Photo credit: "Phil Mickelson"by Tour Pro Golf Clubs is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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