John Holmes beat longtime Britain and Ireland player Gary Wolstenholme, 1 up, to help the United States take a 61/2-51/2 lead after the first day of the Walker Cup matches at Chicago Golf Club.
The two-day competition will conclude Sunday with four more morning alternate-shot matches and eight afternoon singles matches. The United States needs 121/2 points to win, and Britain and Ireland needs 12 to retain the cup.
Anthony Kim, Jeff Overton and Lee Williams also won singles matches for the United States, which has lost the last three meetings in the biennial competition. Kim beat England's Gary Lockerbie, 6 and 5; Overton defeated Wales' Nigel Edwards, 5 and 4; and Williams edged Ireland's Brian McElhinney, 2 and 1.
England's Oliver Fisher, the youngest player in Walker Cup history at 16 years 11 months, beat Michael Putnam, 2 up. Fisher played the last five holes in 4 under, winning the 14th, 16th and 18th.
Wales' Rhys Davies, England's Matthew Richardson and Scotland's Lloyd Saltman also won their matches for Britain and Ireland. Davies beat Matthew Every, 4 and 3, Richardson defeated Nicholas Thompson, 5 and 4, and Saltman edged Billy Hurley, 1 up.
In the morning alternate-shot matches, Kim and Brian Harman overcame a three-hole deficit with eight to play to halve their match with Edwards and Davies. In the other matches, Williams and Every beat Gary Lockerbie and England's Robert Dinwiddie, 1 up; Overton and Putnam defeated Fisher and Richardson, 2 and 1; and Saltman and Scotland's Richie Ramsay beat Hurley and Kyle Reifers, 4 and 3.