The first PGA Cup was contested in 1973 at – where else? – Pinehurst No. 2.
Thus it seems apropos that 40 years later, a Pinehurst professional would prove to be the critical component in leading Team USA in its quest to retain the PGA Cup against Great Britain and Ireland in Northumberland, England, last week.
Kelly Mitchum was brilliant during the three-day event, which is modeled after the Ryder Cup and pits the nation’s top golf professionals against their counterparts abroad. Mitchum was 3-1 with partner J.C. Anderson in team play, helping set the tone as Team USA built a large lead entering singles play Sunday.
But as the GB&I team roared back with a rally not unlike Europe’s run in the Ryder Cup on American soil last year, Mitchum helped Team USA earn a critical point, sinking a 100-foot putt to rattle his European Tour veteran opponent on his way to a crucial victory that enabled a 13-13 tie between the teams and USA holding onto the Cup.