Walker Cup veteran Nigel Edwards and first-timers Jamie Moul and David Horsey came to the rescue for Great Britain & Ireland, fighting all the way to the final hole to gain invaluable points that helped peg back an early United States lead and leave the teams tied at six points each at the end of the first day.
"I’m absolutely ecstatic," said GB&I captain Colin Dalgleish. "For a while there it looked as if maybe it was running away from us a little bit, but I knew the guys were playing far too well for that to happen.
"If you get two or three points behind on the first day it's a long hard slog back from there. But to end up all square for the day is fantastic.
"It’s worked out in these last three games for us. It’s worked out great, absolutely great."
His rival captain, Buddy Marucci, said: "I think we feel pretty good. If you can come over here and get a half out of the first day, that's probably not too bad. I think we had the advantage early in the afternoon, and as happens very often, Great Britain and Ireland played very well coming down the stretch.
"A couple of those matches that were all-square, we didn't close them the way we would have liked. But at the end of the day, it's 6-6 and here we go again tomorrow. We're certainly happy not to be behind. I think we felt we might be ahead. But you know, we're pretty comfortable where we are."
With Rory McIlroy and Lloyd Saltman both losing at the top of the order and only a superb performance from Rhys Davies putting a point on the board for GB&I after a fine 5 and 4 victory over Dustin Johnson, it was left to Edwards, the 39-year-old Welshman playing in his fourth Walker Cup, to stem the tide and lead the fight-back.
He looked set for an early win over Kyle Stanley when poised at three up after 11 holes, but he lost three in a row before edging ahead with a par four at the demanding 15th. Despite a fine approach at the 17th he lost the hole to a birdie, then watched his opponent put two balls into the gorse well left of the 18th fairway. The first ball was found, but Stanley was forced to take a penalty drop and failed to find the green in four, leaving Edwards with an uncontested victory.
Of his sudden loss of three holes Edwards commented: "It was just bad course management really. Thought about going for the green on 12, the par five, and it wasn't the greatest of lies and then took the wrong club and made a pig's ear of it. Then the next two were not too great either.
"It came good down 18 however when Kyle gave me an opportunity and I managed to take my chance and I'm delighted with the win."
Jamie Moul, who was No 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking for 16 weeks earlier in the season, was two down with seven to play against Chris Kirk, but won the par-five 12th with a birdie and a par at the next was good enough to square the match. He and Kirk exchanged the next two holes in a tense finish until a birdie at the 18th gave Moul victory.
David Horsey won the first hole with a birdie in his match with Webb Simpson and was never behind from that point on. Another birdie at the 11th put him two up before Simpson had consecutive birdies at the next two holes to square the match. It stayed that way in strict par figures until the 18th where Simpson found trouble and conceded the hole and the match.
Daniel Willett was three down to Colt Knost in the best-scoring match of the day, but birdied three in a row from the 14th to square the match. Knost, the US Amateur and Public Links champion, is not an easy man to beat and he holed a tense 18-foot putt at the 17th to get back into the lead. When Willett missed the final green and hit a poor pitch the American won by two holes.
Llewllyn Matthews was always going to be in for a tough afternoon against talented Californian Jamie Lovemark but got off to a good start with an opening birdie. He was still one up after four, but Lovemark finally got into his stride and rattled off six pars and three birdies in the following 11 holes for a 5 and 4 win.
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