Walker Cup Training Match a success

Great Britain’s most talented amateur golfers were in Scotland last week, for the first Walker Cup squad training session to be held at this year’s venue, Royal Aberdeen. The session took the form of a three-day competitive match between two eight-man teams named Nairn and Ganton, the venues of GB&I’s last two victories over the USA on home soil.

Nairn, comprising Tom Lewis, Paul Cutler, Jack Senior, Steven Brown, Rhys Pugh, Dermot McElroy, Kevin Phelan and Kris Nicol, defeated Ganton by 49 ½ - 46 ½. The Ganton team comprised Stiggy Hodgson, Tyrell Hatton, Rhys Enoch, Ross Kellett, Oliver Farr, Darren Wright, Alan Dunbar and David Law.

“It was the first time we’ve played a training match in advance of the Walker Cup, and it proved to be a very valuable exercise,” said GB&I Captain Nigel Edwards. “The players all benefitted from the chance to play competitively, and I was pleased that it was contested in a friendly but hard-fought manner.

Squad member and Welsh international Rhys Pugh“It was a very productive couple of days. We achieved what we set out to do, and everyone is looking forward to the match in September.”

Play began on Wednesday afternoon with four foursomes matches. Another four foursomes were played on Thursday morning, with eight singles being contested on both Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

2009 Boys Amateur Champion Tom Lewis, who, last November, narrowly missed out on winning the New South Wales Open to veteran professional Peter O’Malley, said: “It’s been a really enjoyable week. Royal Aberdeen is a fantastic golf course and it was great to get more familiar with it, while still playing a match.

“It’s certainly whetted our appetite for the Walker Cup itself, and I know we’ll all be doing everything we can this summer to make sure we earn one of the 10 places available.”

The Walker Cup will take place on 10 & 11 September at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club. Tickets are on sale now, costing £25 for adults and £10 for juveniles. Purchase yours here.