The Walker Cup tends to be held up as the epitome of the amateur ideal. It was certainly ideal at Hoylake yesterday as GB&I made hay while that fiery orb in the sky shone to forge a 7-5 lead over the USA after the opening series of foursomes and singles tussles.

It was a cracking day for golf and the old-school charm of this cherished affair, with the large galleries ambling up the fairways in delightful scenes reminiscent of those carefree days of yore, added to the alluring spectacle.

After a wind ravaged build up to affairs on the Wirral which just about had meteorologists adding a new measurement to the Beaufort Scale, yesterday’s relatively calm conditions were in stark contrast to the tumult of the practice sessions and made for an engagingly fair fight.

GB&I may lead by two points but the nip-and-tuck nature of the skirmishes – the foursomes were shared 2-2 while six of the eight singles went to the 18th – suggested that the 47th meeting of these transatlantic rivals could be as tight as a Beverley Hills facelift.

In this collective cause, the individual displays of the Scottish duo of Euan Walker and Sandy Scott in the afternoon’s man-to-man scraps certainly aided the GB&I assault with the tartan twosome pitching in with a win each to bolster the home tally. Scotsmen winning points? Steve Clarke is probably wishing they played fitba.

The National:

Walker and Scott didn’t have it all their own way, of course. Paired together in the morning foursomes, this Barassie and Nairn alliance seemed to dovetail nicely as they opened up a three hole lead after just six holes against the US double act of John Pak and Isaiah Salinda.

Things would unravel, however, after the turn and having been dragged back to all square, the Scots lost three holes in a row from the 11th to fall three behind. Scott’s terrific approach into the 16th which led to Walker holing a putt of 20 feet for an eagle provided a glimmer of hope but it was too little too late.

In this game, you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and get back in the saddle and both Walker and Scott responded with vigour to that initial set back in the afternoon.

While Englishman Alex Fitzpatrick was making a telling statement at the top of the singles order by taking down the world amateur No 1 Cole Hammer, Walker and Scott, out second and third respectively, were doing their bit too.

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Walker, runner-up in both the Amateur Championship and the European Amateur Championship this season, found himself three-up on Steven Fisk early on but, as the nerves began to jangle, he had to dig deep to stave off Fisk’s menacing advances.

His brave chip on 16, which flirted dangerously with the bunker but was played to perfection, kept him two holes to the good but having lost the 17th, the Scot then found the rough off the 18th tee.

His salvage operation found the heart of the green though and with Fisk through the back, Walker trundled a tricky putt up to within a couple of feet to effectively seal what was eventually a two hole win.

“I was pretty nervous coming down the last few holes, in fact, I was really nervous all day,” conceded Walker. “The chip at 16 was critical and that helped me fall over the finishing line, really. The pressure here is probably comparable to the Amateur Championship final and I think it was good I played in that because I was shaking on the first tee then.”

Scott, who had been battling with a push during the morning foursomes, found a fix on the range prior to his singles, and claimed the notable scalp of the US Amateur champion Andy Ogletree.

The Nairn youngster was four-under through six holes as he fashioned a two-hole lead but Ogletree remained as stubborn as a stone in the shoe and was just one down playing the last.

With the tension mounting, and a sizeable contingent from Nairn nibbling their nails into calloused stumps, Scott produced a cracking chip on the last which stopped just a couple feet from the hole. It was a good job it did.

Ogletree holed his putt from around 12-feet but Scott was left with a relatively simple tap-in to complete his one hole victory.

“It’s great to get the point and contribute,” said the former Scottish Boys’ Strokeplay champion. “He [Ogletree] has an excellent matchplay record so it makes this win more special.”

With two more sessions to go, it’s shaping up to be a special final day too.