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Walker Cup team win Golf Writers' Trophy

Great Britain and Ireland's Walker Cup team, winners in America for only the second time in history, have overwhelmingly taken the Golf Writers' Trophy for 2001.

The side captained by Peter McEvoy, who won the award both by himself in 1978 and as a member of the only previous team to triumph on United States soil in 1989, pushed women's world number one Annika Sorenstam into second place.

"Fantastic," said McEvoy after hearing that he and his side had received nearly 60 per cent of the votes cast by members of the Association of Golf Writers.

Britain and Ireland came from a point down after the first day to win 15-9 at Sea Island in Georgia in August, matching their record winning margin - set at Nairn two years ago - and was their first-ever successful defence of the trophy in a series which dates back to 1922.

America still hold a 31-6 lead despite losing three of the last four matches.

"Put yourself back 20 years and you would not be able to believe what has been achieved since then," added McEvoy. "It is an incredible thing to beat such a huge golfing nation such as the United States, especially in intense heat and humidity and on a type of grass which we were nowhere near as familiar with as them.

"It was the worst possible conditions for us to win, yet we did it easily and that is to the enormous credit of the players."

Luke Donald, Nick Dougherty and British champion Michael Hoey all won three points out of four, but McEvoy was a total team effort.

"It was a big blow to us when Paul Casey (like Donald unbeaten at Nairn) decided to turn pro, but our expectation levels have changed now. We no longer travel just in hope.

"It's twice as hard to win in America as it is at home and I think time will show that they had a side full of really strong players. But apart from a short spell, they never got off the ground.

"I'm expecting great things of several of our players, but when there's a good team spirit it is possible for the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts.

"For example, when Michael Hoey had to go back out after a thunderstorm in the last match of the first day all of our team were there and I can't remember seeing any of theirs."

As for his own role, McEvoy said: "I generally think that captaincy is over-stated. Common sense is the main thing and you use what experience you have had yourself."

McEvoy won the Golf Writers' Trophy in 1978 after becoming the first British amateur to play all 72 holes of the Masters and retaining the Amateur championship.

Sorenstam was a clear second in this year's voting after a season in which she won eight times, topped the American tour with a record two million dollars and in March became the first woman to break 60 in an official event.

Her 59 came during the Standard Register Ping tournament in Phoenix. Sorenstam started with eight birdies, had 13 in all and went on to win the title with an LPGA record total of 261, 27 under par.

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