Alex Maguire continued his Walker Cup bid with a run to the quarter-finals at the 128th Amateur Championship last week, maintaining his blistering stretch of form.
After successfully defending his East of Ireland Championship title before winning the St Andrews Links at the Old Course, the Laytown & Bettystown golfer was beaten by US based Englishman Frank Kennedy in the quarter-finals at Hillside.
Maguire looks the most likely to play his way onto Stuart Wilson’s Great Britain and Ireland side this September having been omitted from the provisional panel last winter and he isn’t afraid to think about it.
“It’s always there,” admitted the Mornington native. “You look over there on the first tee and there’s a sign about it (Walker Cup). Yeah, look, there’s nothing else I want more than to be on that team but I’m going to be right there and playing my best golf, and if I’m selected, if that’s good enough and if not, at least I can say I played my best golf going into it.”
Should he not be selected for GB&I when the team is named in August, Maguire could settle for the consolation prize of an Open Championship place. The R&A announced a new elite amateur exemption for Royal Liverpool in July with the top-3 WAGR points scorers from the St Andrews Links, Amateur Championship and European Amateur Championship earning a spot at Hoylake – although he is opting away from Estonia’s European AM this week.
“I think momentum only carries you so far. I think it only carries you to the first tee. It gives you confidence that you’ve known you can do it and you’ve done it before and you’ve done it recently. Like I said yesterday or whenever I said it, you’ve got to go out and commit to golf shots.
“You can’t just stand up there going, oh, I’m playing well so this is going to work out well. You’ve still got to read your putts correctly and you’ve got to just use what you’ve been using before because before you had the momentum, that’s what you were doing. I don’t think I’m going to try to change what I’m doing just because I’m playing well. It’s all to do with just staying in the moment and committing to the process that you have for each shot.”