Paul McBride will be carrying the flag for Ireland, but he’s in good company ahead of the 46th Walker Cup Match which gets underway tomorrow.
Paul McBride is the lone Irish representative as Great Britain & Ireland get set to do battle with their United States counterparts at this year’s Walker Cup. The 46th edition of the biennial Match gets underway this Saturday at Los Angeles Country Club in California, where a victor will be named on Sunday.
Many commentators believe it will be mission impossible for team GB&I come crunch time. Only two Great Britain and Ireland sides have won in America in the 95 year history of the event after all, but in Matchplay golf, anything can happen.
Spearheaded by five Englishmen, this GB&I team go into the contest as defending champions, though take from that what you want considering the ten on this selection will be making their tournament debuts. One man who shouldn’t feel too overwhelmed, however, is The Island’s Paul McBride. Now playing his golf out of Wake Forest University in North Carolina, Paul will be no stranger to what lies ahead.
McBride’s selection was wholly deserved after a terrific year at home and abroad. He sealed his place by making the quarter-finals of the British Amateur Championship and then took home four of five points in helping Ireland to a dramatic four-in-a-row at the Home Internationals. He’s in the form of his life and well capable of causing an upset.
Of his teammates, amateur champion Harry Ellis, a senior at Florida State University, will be another with familiarity on his side come tee time Saturday. Alfie Plant has enjoyed a whirlwind 18 months, winning the Lytham Trophy last year, claiming the European Amateur title at Walton Heath and then winning the Silver Medal at the British Open. He’ll be another hoping to inspire.
Best of luck to Team GB&I.
Whatever happens, the Americans will be a formidable opponent – on home soil they always are, but this GB&I side should travel with no fear and believe they have what it takes to win the most coveted team prize in amateur golf. Or at the very least, give it a good crack!