Ten players have been selected in the Great Britain and Ireland team to play the United States of America in the 47th Walker Cup match at Royal Liverpool (Hoylake) on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September.
GB&I is bidding to win back the famous trophy after the USA secured a 19-7 victory in the 2017 match at Los Angeles Country Club. Home advantage has favoured the winners in recent matches with GB&I winning the biennial encounter in 2011 at Royal Aberdeen and 2015 at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
The GB&I team includes The Amateur champion James Sugrue, the English Amateur champion Conor Gough and Conor Purcell who won the Australian Amateur Championship earlier this year. Alex Fitzpatrick, whose brother Matthew played in the Walker Cup in 2013, is also selected alongside Scotland’s Euan Walker who finished runner-up in both The Amateur Championship and European Amateur Championship.
Ten players selected
Craig Watson, GB&I captain, said, “It has been a very difficult decision to select ten players for Great Britain and Ireland from a strong squad but we have been very impressed with the results of those we have picked and we believe they will give us the best chance of regaining the Walker Cup against a strong American team.
“The Walker Cup is a fantastic opportunity for these amateur golfers to demonstrate their talents on the big stage and it will be an experience that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We are looking forward to the match at Hoylake and I’m sure the players will give it their very best to win.”
The GB&I team:
Alex Fitzpatrick, Hallamshire, 20
Conor Gough, Stoke Park, 16
Harry Hall, West Cornwall, 22
Thomas Plumb, Yeovil, 20
Conor Purcell, Portmarnock, 22
Caolan Rafferty, Dundalk, 26
Sandy Scott, Nairn, 21
Tom Sloman, Taunton & Pickeridge, 23
James Sugrue, Mallow, 22
Euan Walker, Kilmarnock (Barassie), 23
- Benjamin Schmidt, Rotherham, 16
- Benjamin Jones, Northamptonshire County, 19
Craig Watson, 53, East Renfrewshire, Scotland
2017 Los Angeles Country Club, USA 19 GB&I 7
2015 Royal Lytham & St Annes, GB&I 16½ USA 9½
2013 The National Golf Links of America, USA 17 GB&I 9
2011 Royal Aberdeen, GB&I 14 USA 12
Representing Wake Forest University has recorded a series of top ten finishes in US college golf this year including the Jones Cup Invitational, the General Hackler Championship, the Valspar Collegiate and the ACC Championship. In 2018 he reached the quarter-finals of the US Amateur Championship. He also played for GB&I in the 2017 Jacques Leglise Trophy at Ballybunion.
Won the 2019 English Amateur Championship at Hankley Common to add to the Major Champions Invitational title he captured in March of this season. In 2018, he won the R&A Boys Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush, the Fairhaven Trophy and English U16 McGregor Trophy. Played for the winning GB&I team in the 2018 Jacques Leglise Trophy.
The University of Las Vegas student finished runner-up in this season’s Brabazon Trophy and represented England in the European Amateur Team Championship. In 2018, he won the William H Tucker and the Little Rock First Tee Classic in US college golf and was selected to play in the Arnold Palmer Cup match against the United States of America.
Plumb defeated 2018 Junior Open champion Martin Vorster to win the SANLAM Cape Province Open in March of this year. He finished seventh in the St Andrews Links Trophy and played for England in the European Amateur Team Championship. He represented GB&I in the 2017 Jacques Leglise Trophy at Ballybunion.
In 2019 he won the Australian Amateur Championship in January and achieved runner-up berths in the West of Ireland Amateur Open and Irish Amateur Open Championship. In 2018, he reached the semi-finals of The Amateur Championship at Royal Aberdeen and represented GB&I in the St Andrews Trophy match played in Finland.
The R&A Foundation scholar who attends Maynooth University pipped fellow Irishman Connor Purcell to the West of Ireland Amateur Open title at County Sligo in April. Rafferty has also recorded top five finishes in the South African Amateur Championship, The R&A Foundation Scholars’ Tournament, the European Nations Cup and the St Andrews Links Trophy this season. He won the South of Ireland Amateur Open Championship at Lahinch in 2018.
As a student at Texas Tech University, won the 2019 El Macero Classic and picked up top five finishes in the Showdown in the Rockies, the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate, the Lake Charles Toyota Invite and the Big 12 Championship. Reached the quarter-finals of The Amateur Championship where he was beaten by finalist and fellow Scot, Euan Walker. He played in the International team that defeated the United States of America in the 2019 Arnold Palmer Cup.
Won the 2019 European Nations Cup at RCG Sotogrande by one shot. He has achieved top ten finishes in the Australian Amateur Championship and The Avondale Amateur, the Coupe Murat and the Brabazon Trophy, while also reaching the latter stages of the English Amateur Championship.
Became the first Irishman to win The Amateur Championship since 2005 when he defeated Euan Walker by two holes at Portmarnock. He narrowly missed the cut in The 148th Open at Royal Portrush. Sugrue represented Ireland in the European Amateur Team Championship this summer.
Started this year in fine form by winning the African Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Leopard Creek before finishing runner-up in both The Amateur Championship and European Amateur Championship this summer. Also recorded top five finishes in the European Nations Cup and the Brabazon Trophy.
Has risen to prominence this season after winning the Brabazon Trophy, the Carris Trophy and the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. Finished third in the Fairhaven Trophy and recorded top ten finishes in the Bernard Darwin Salver and the Portuguese International Amateur Championship. Won the Lee Westwood Trophy in 2018.
This season has seen the Englishman reach the semi-finals of The Amateur Championship at Portmarnock, finish third in the European Amateur Championship and record top five finishes in the NSW Amateur, the Spanish Amateur Copa S M El Rey, the Coupe Murat and the Brabazon Trophy. He represented England in the 2019 European Amateur Team Championship.
For more information visit www.walkercup.org.