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Team GB takes one-point lead after Tuesday fourball matches
After a captivating day of golf at the New Course, it was the Brits who emerged with a 3.5/2.5 advantage going into the singles matches tomorrow.

A thrilling day of fourball matches at the New Course on Tuesday ended with the Simpson Cup delicately poised at 3.5/2.5 to Great Britain - the players defying some variable weather to put on an excellent display of golf for the sizeable collection of supporters at St Andrews. 

The host nation came into today off the back of three comprehensive defeats in the past three years - reverses which have been underpinned by a record in the fourball matches which has seen them take a total of just three points from an available 18. In fact, this marks the first occasion that they have led after the Tuesday fourballs since the inaugural event at TPC Sawgrass back in 2012!

Their record in the singles is far healthier, but, since 2015, they simply haven't given themselves a platform to make it count. They certainly put that right today though, with a collective effort which reflected their determination to turn the tide, and square the overall Simpson Cup series, which the Americans currently lead 4-3.

That said, as the old adage goes, you can't win it on the first day; only lose it, and Team USA - who played their part in a remarkable exhibition of golf on the day - will feel confident that they can get the seven points required to retain the trophy in the singles matches tomorrow. All the more incentive to do so, given that hostilities will resume in the morning at the hallowed turf that is the Old Course.

The blistering pace on Tuesday was set earlier in the top match, with the British duo of Neil Flynn and Rob Hansen combining for five successive (nett) birdies to start their round. The trouble for them was, their American counterparts Adam Jennings and Jake Nelson matched every single one of them! Neither team led by more than one hole at any point, but, with the game all square heading down 17, it was Nelson who stood firm - his par good enough to move them 1 up. Flynn then narrowly missed his birdie chance at 18, which meant the first point of the day went to the Americans.

The next point, however, went to GB, and came courtesy of the fourth group, which saw Simons' Bankes and Jones win a one-sided affair 6&5 against debutant Scott Allen and double-amputee Kevin McCloskey. And it got better for the Brits too, as the duo of John Devlin and Scotland's Chris Paterson in front of them - who at one stage were six-under par through eight holes - notched up another point with a 4&3 victory.

The crucial moment of the fourballs came in group two - again a cliffhanger, and again one which saw some fine golf being played. The experienced American pair of Ken Gestring and Ray Persinger looked on course for a point when they won the 17th hole to move 1 up. However, opponents Anthony Lownds and Greig Phillips both found the green in two at 18, and after Gestring's par save skirted the cup, the British pair embraced after gaining a half-point which must have felt more like a win.

Attentions then turned to groups five and six, albeit with some weather coming in. In the case of the former, Dave Hughes and Matt Arnold had been in control for much of the game for the hosts, and eventually closed out a 2&1 victory. The last match, however, had been a great battle, with no inch given on the first nine in particular. No surprises there, given that each pairing included the respective team captains.

Team GB skipper Ian Bishop was partnered by Simpson Cup ever-present Dave Ward, and dovetailed for a fourball score of 4-under through 16 holes. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't quite good enough, as captain Mike Stafford and Todd Tongue held their nerve to secure a vital 3&2 win for the visitors.

Nevertheless, the final scoreline of 3.5/2.5 represented a marked improvement on recent years for the Brits, and Bishop was understandably delighted with the efforts of his charges.

"What a performance from the lads today, they've been fired up for this, and to take a lead into tomorrow is huge for us," he beamed after play concluded. "We always back ourselves in the singles matches, but we're conscious that we haven't been good enough in the fourballs in recent times. The boys have showed a lot of mettle to put that right today.

"That said, there are 13 points up for grabs tomorrow, so no one knows better than me that there's still a long way to go. The Americans have a really strong team, so we'll need to be at our best if we're going to get the job done."

Given the narrow deficit, Bishop's opposite number Stafford remained upbeat. "At one point there was a lot of blue on the scoreboard, so I think we can be pretty happy with how we pulled it back. The guys gave it everything today, and I couldn't be more proud of them. We know what we need to do tomorrow, and we'll be ready."

Play gets under way at the Old Course at 10:30am (BST), and the line-up for the 13 singles matches has offered up some enticing games. The pick of the bunch is arguably the opening game, which pits Hughes and Nelson against one another - both 3-handicappers. However, the final group will certainly be something special too, as Kate Surman will enter the fray for Team GB, and officially take her place as the first lady to play in the Simpson Cup. She'll be up against fellow founder's pick Nicholas Thom, a double amputee who will also be making his debut.

What a climax it promises to be, and few would dare bet on the outcome from here. A unique event reaching a tense denouement at the Home of Golf? You could hardly script it better.

You can keep track of our live scoring by clicking here, while the below social media channels will bring it to you in pictures, as it happens:

Twitter: @SimpsonCupGB
Twitter: @SimpsonCupUSA
Instagram: @simpsoncup

With things as well poised as they are, you'll want to keep a close eye on the action!