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Inspired Team GB clinches victory and regains Simpson Cup
After an enthralling day of singles, it finished 9.5 - 8.5 in favour of Team GB as they won the Simpson Cup for a third time at Royal St George's Golf Club...

After a painful defeat at Congressional in 2014, a courageous Team GB clinched a thrilling 9.5 - 8.5 victory to regain the Simpson Cup at Royal St George's Golf Club on Wednesday.

A late rally from Team USA had left matters evenly poised at 3-3 after the Tuesday fourball matches, but an early sea of blue engulfed the visitors this morning, and although they offered an admirable degree of resistance as the day wore on, the home side continued to edge their way to victory.

It was left to Andy Stevens to close out the contest, as he buried a putt from five feet to effectively secure a 2&1 victory and a third Simpson Cup triumph for his country in four years.

"We're all elated, this means so much to us," beamed GB skipper Jason Evans once the success was wrapped up. "For us, this tournament is one of the things we look forward to most throughout the year. But we're also a competitive bunch, and we wanted to win this thing back. I looked in the lads' eyes this morning, and I could see how determined they were. They really earned it today, and we'll no doubt enjoy a hard-earned drink or two tonight!"

The damage had been done long before Stevens' moment of glory, as veteran Dave Ward laid down the marker in his revenge match with Shawn Whitmore. The American, who famously sunk the winning putt at Congressional against Ward last year, found himself five down through just six holes. There was to be no stopping Ward either, as he cruised to a 4&2 win in the end; earning the first point of the day, and now boasting an impressive Simpson Cup record of 6-1-1.

"Whenever you watch the Ryder Cup, you always see how much responsibility there is on the shoulders of the first man out," a delighted Ward said afterwards. "I knew how important it was to get off to a fast start, and give us some early momentum. I'm just so pleased that I was able to come through in the end, and it was nice to get the win against Shawn this time around."

Veteran Dave Bagby offered his team some respite with a good 3&2 win over Evans, while Billy Paul and Tim Lang staged late fightbacks to earn a half point each.

But it merely preceded a tidal wave of blue, as emphatic victories ensued for Anthony Lownds (4&3), and the debutant pair of Davey Carroll (3&2) and Nathan Blewer (7&6).

The champagne corks hadn't quite been popped yet, as the in-form Andrew Bachelder got the better of Yorkshire's Tony Boyd with a resounding 5&3 win, and nerves may have frayed somewhat as news filtered through that the USA had seized the advantage in the final two games.

But Stevens, with the spotlight well and truly on in the third-to-last pairing, was nerveless as he marched down the intimidating 17th hole, and holed his clutch putt to seal a crucial 2&1 victory.

His W left the Brits just a half shy of the 9.5 points required to regain the Cup, and with four-time Simpson Cup star Ian Bishop dormie 1 up going down the final hole, the trophy was effectively secure for the men on the east of the Atlantic. Bishop's opponent Ken Gestring made a brave par at 18 to deny the Southampton lad his win, but it wasn't enough to take the shine off the celebrations, as the entire squad embraced and rejoiced.

The jubilant scenes briefly made way for a modicum of consolation for the American outfit, as the popular duo of Jonathan L. James (3&1) and Mike Stafford (1 up) registered two good wins for their side in the final two matches, adding more than just a semblance of respectability to the scoreline.

"To see the way the guys kept fighting today was really heart-warming," said a disappointed US team vice-captain Steve Ogletree. "We just didn't get off to the start we wanted today, but we never gave up. A massive congratulations to the Team GB boys, they deserved it today. But we'll come back strong next year!"

Ogletree's sentiments will no doubt be echoed by members of both teams after such a hard-fought and memorable week, with all in sundry already turning one eye to next year's proceedings at Oak Hill CC. And with honorary captains Bernard Gallacher and Lanny Wadkins taking the reins in a repeat of the 1995 Ryder Cup epic, it promises to be one for the ages.