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Hampshire pro stars for Great Britain & Ireland in PGA Cup match with America
GOLF: Ampfield’s Jon Barnes was a star performer for Great Britain & Ireland as they mounted a stunning fightback to tie their PGA Cup match with America.
Barnes won two of a possible three points at Slaley Hall, as GB&I came from 10.5-5.5 behind on the final day to draw 13-13.
The result wasn’t enough to capture the trophy, with the United States retaining it by virtue of their success two years ago, but it still represented a fine effort from the home side.
“We all played brilliantly,” said Barnes of the 7.5-2.5 victory in the singles session. “It was mixed emotions really. We were pleased to win the singles so comprehensively, but still disappointed not to actually win the trophy. But it’s the best result for a number of years.”
Indeed, the last time GB&I won the event – which is the Ryder Cup equivalent for PGA professionals – was in 2005.
Barnes got off to the perfect start, winning his foursomes match with Scotland’s Graham Fox in the opening session.
The Hampshire pro did not play in the afternoon fourballs on day one, though, as GB&I suffered a debilitating 4-0 defeat.
“I was a bit upset,” admitted Barnes at being dropped.
On day two, the 42-year-old again teamed up with Fox in the foursomes, only to suffer a loss.
But, after being left out of the fourballs again, he rebounded with a crucial 3up success in the singles, in the last match out on the Northumberland course.
“I knew I had to win, so it was really important,” said Barnes.”Even before we went out we still thought we could win.”
He added: “It’s great playing for your country, although I was slightly disappointed not to play more. But it was a great week and a great experience.”
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