Aug. 27, 2005
Wheaton, IL -- Lee Williams, the lone returning player from the 2003 USA team that lost at Ganton (England) Golf Club, could have turned pro after he graduated from Auburn this past spring. He had already competed on one Walker Cup team and was on the victorious USA World Amateur Team last October in Puerto Rico.
But Williams still had a sour taste from Ganton, where he went 0-1-2 and he wanted to not only make the 2005 team, but be a major contributor.
Playing with Matt Every in the morning foursome session, Williams earned his first full point and Walker Cup victory by holing a 6-foot par putt at 18 to seal a 1-up win over Gary Lockerbie and Robert Dinwiddie.
"It always makes you feel good when you win on the last hole," Williams said. "That adds some more excitement. If it came down to winning on 16 or 18 and I knew I was going to win, I'd much rather win on 18 because of the crowd and guys hanging out there to give you a hug. It was awesome."
Williams got his second point with a 2-and-1 victory over reigning British Amateur champion Brian McElhinney of Ireland. He joined teammate Jeff Overton as the only USA players to go 2-0 on the first day of competition.
"He stuck around again to go after another Walker Cup," USA captain Bob Lewis said with admiration of Williams. "He works extremely hard in his game."
Williams will now play twice on Sunday again, in foursomes with Every, and in what is now a familiar position for Williams as the clean-up guy in the final group of singles, where he meets Lockerbie. It's a spot Lewis feels Williams belongs.
"That putt he made on 18 was not only a huge putt because what it did for the team. It was also a huge putt for his confidence and with all the work he's put into his putting," Lewis said of Williams putt in the foursomes. "Those are the key putts that really mean something. Those are the ones that stick with you and help you in the end."