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USA on back foot

Underdogs Britain and Ireland took a 3-1 lead in the opening foursomes of the Walker Cup against the United States at Royal Aberdeen.

Trying to prevent the Americans recording a fourth successive victory - and stretching their overall advantage to 35-7, with one tie - the home side were given a great start by Open Championship star Tom Lewis and Scot Michael Stewart.

They came from two down after seven holes to beat last year's US Amateur champion Peter Uilhein and Nationwide Tour winner Harris English 2&1.

Uilhein, also beaten by Lewis in the battle to be leading amateur at Sandwich in July, had won all his four games in the victory at Merion two years ago, but he and English bogeyed the 14th and 16th after the match entered the closing stretch all square.

Irish duo Paul Cutler and Alan Dunbar - a controversial choice ahead of twice Scottish champion David Law - were one behind after six, but stormed back to take six of the next seven and defeated Nathan Smith and Blayne Barber 5&4.

That run included birdies at the seventh, eighth, 10th and 12th.

England's Jack Senior and Alan Sullivan then made it 3-0 against reigning American champion Kelly Kraft and Russell Henley by a 2&1 margin, never trailing from the moment their opponents double-bogeyed the 413-yard first.

But the visitors grabbed their first point when world number one Patrick Cantlay and Chris Williams ran away from English champion Steven Brown and Stiggy Hodgson, the one survivor from the last match in the Britain and Ireland side.

Lewis was facing Uihlein again in the first of the eight afternoon singles, with the match concluding on Sunday with four more foursomes and then all 20 players involved in more singles.

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