An initial 19-man squad for the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team to face the United States at Los Angeles Country Club in September has been announced by The R&A.
The list includes five Irish players Colm Campbell, the current Irish Amateur Open Champion, Paul McBride, Conor O’Rourke and R&A Foundation scholars Alex Gleeson and Stuart Grehan. Gleeson is the Irish Amateur Close Champion, while O’Rourke triumphed in the St Andrews Links Trophy last season. Grehan and McBride were team-mates for Ireland at last year’s World Amateur Team Championships in Mexico and won a bronze medal in the Eisenhower Trophy.
The 46th Walker Cup match will be played over the weekend of 9 – 10 September and GB&I will bid to retain the historic trophy after a record 16½ – 9½ victory over the USA at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2015.
Craig Watson, who will captain the GB&I Walker Cup team for the first time, said, “We have identified a strong group of players who are all in contention for a place on the team and we will be monitoring their performance and results over the coming season.
“We will also pay close attention to the progress and form of players who have not been included in this current squad as they also have the opportunity to play their way into contention for the team selected to play the USA in September.”
The 2016 Amateur Champion Scott Gregory leads a strong English contingent which includes current Lytham Trophy champion Alfie Plant and English Amateur Champion Daniel Brown. Fellow Englishmen Bradley Moore, Marco Penge and James Walker have also been selected.
Robert MacIntyre, who was defeated by Gregory in the final of The Amateur at Royal Porthcawl, joins Craig Howie, Sandy Scott and Connor Syme, his teammates in Scotland’s successful defence of the 2016 European Amateur Team Championship in the squad alongside compatriots Barry Hume and Craig Ross. Hume is a reinstated amateur following a spell in the professional ranks.
Two Welshmen have been selected for the squad: David Boote and Owen Edwards. Stanford University graduate Boote excelled for GB&I against the Continent of Europe in the St Andrews Trophy and made significant contributions to the winning European teams in the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy and the Arnold Palmer Cup.
The GB&I squad:
David Boote (Walton Heath, Surrey)
Paul McBride (The Island, Dublin)
Daniel Brown (Masham, Yorkshire)
Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park, Derbyshire)
Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint, County Down)
Conor O’Rourke (Naas, County Kildare)
Owen Edwards (Llanwern, Newport)
Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood, Sussex)
Alex Gleeson (Castle, Dublin)
Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park, Kent)
Scott Gregory (Corthampton, Hampshire)
Craig Ross (Kirkhill, Lanarkshire)
Stuart Grehan (Tullamore, County Offaly)
Sandy Scott (Nairn, Nairnshire)
Craig Howie (Peebles, Borders)
Connor Syme (Drumoig, Fife)
Barry Hume (Haggs Castle, Glasgow)
James Walker (Oaks, Yorkshire)
Robert MacIntyre (Glencruitten, Argyll & Bute)
The final ten-man GB&I team will be announced in August.
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