GB&I St Andrews Trophy squad announced
A preliminary 12 player Great Britain & Ireland squad has been selected for this year’s St Andrews Trophy Match which will be played at Portmarnock Golf Club, Ireland, on 31 August and 1 September.
It is a largely new look squad for the match against the Continent of Europe with only Ireland’s Alan Dunbar and Rhys Pugh (pictured) of Wales able to boast previous Walker Cup experience.
The group features players who have enjoyed success across the globe, including Neil Raymond, winner of the 2012 New South Wales Stroke Play, Paul Shields, who shot a 61 at the recent 2012 Gauteng North Open in South Africa and the University of Alabama’s Jason Shufflebotham who won last year’s prestigious Sam Hall Intercollegiate.
Among those also showing good form on the US college scene are Ben Taylor, of Nova Southeastern University in Florida, and the University of North Florida’s Kevin Phelan, who finished third and fourth respectively at last week’s Jones Cup Invitational.
The squad will meet for the first time at Portmarnock from 4-6 July in a match play team environment consisting of two series of foursomes and singles matches.
Victorious 2011 Walker Cup Captain Nigel Edwards, back to lead a St Andrews Trophy side for a second time, is delighted with the talent at his disposal.
“We have based our preliminary selection on performances throughout 2011 and will look to add to this squad following the Amateur Championship at Royal Troon in June,” said Edwards, who played on winning St Andrews Trophy teams in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
“A number of players have started the season well in Australia, South Africa and on the US college circuit.
“My message to the squad, and those players who narrowly missed out, is to keep playing well through the spring and summer and prove that you should be in the final nine.”
The selectors, who will attend events throughout the summer, fully expect several players not included in the initial 12-man squad to be in contention for a place in the final nine-man team.
Alan Dunbar - Rathmore
Rhys Enoch - Truro
Ben Loughrey - Wrag Barn
Dermot McElroy - Ballymena
Kevin Phelan - Waterford Castle
Garrick Porteous - Bamburgh Castle
Rhys Pugh - Vale of Glamorgan
Neil Raymond - Corhampton
Paul Shields - Kirkhill
Jason Shufflebotham - Prestatyn
Ben Taylor - Walton Heath
James White - Lundin
Nigel Edwards, Captain
Jonathan Plaxton, Chairman