Left out of the provisional Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup squad over the winter, Alex Maguire has let his golfing do the talking and he has put up a pretty stern argument for inclusion on the ten-man team in September.
Captain Stuart Wilson will confirm his squad for the biennial contest against the USA at St Andrews in August and Maguire looks best placed of the GB&I contingent to force his way into the reckoning from the outside.
The Laytown & Bettystown man successfully defended his East of Ireland title in Baltray last Monday before a final round 64 saw him romp to the St Andrews Links Trophy title at the Old Course by five shots as he picked up back-to-back wins and his third win at the first attempt having won the North of Ireland and Connacht Strokeplay on debut while he was a semi-finalist at last year’s Amateur Championship on his first start at Royal Lytham.
The 22-year-old has been in scintillating form since returning home from collegiate golf in the US with finishes of 4th at the Irish Amateur and 14th at the Brabazon Trophy to boot and he feels after capturing one of the most prestigious amateur titles at the Home of Golf yesterday he has given himself a great chance of making the Walker Cup panel.
“I feel like I have given myself a good chance of making that team, I have played pretty consistently over the last month or two,” said Maguire. “I had a feeling if a GB&I player won the St Andrews Links they would pretty much be a shoe in for the Walker Cup and now that I have won the event I will retract that statement because I don’t want to get ahead of myself!
“I’ve given myself the best chance especially around the Old Course where the Walker Cup is, if the selectors think I’m good enough to play then that’s up to them but I’ll just keep playing my golf and try and make it hard for them to not pick me but yeah, when there are no automatic spots and it’s on selectors I try keep my emotions out of it and focus on my golf and let that do the talking and recently my golf has been talking pretty nicely to me.”
At the weekend the R&A announced a new elite amateur exemption into the Open Championship with the leading points scorers on the WAGR from the St Andrews Links Trophy, the Amateur Championship and the European Amateur securing a spot at Royal Liverpool in July.
Unfortunately for Maguire he will need to win the Amateur next week at Hillside and Southport & Ainsdale as the European AM is not on his schedule.
“I’m not playing European AM this year, I couldn’t make time for it, I’ll probably have to win the British AM to make it to the Open with the WAGR points. I don’t think it’s possible to make it off just two events either but I’m gutted not to be playing. I wish if I had a good week next week and then another at the European AM I could be playing the Open, but I guess I’ll just have to win the Amateur.”