Previous Walker Cup player Mark Power and Great Britain and Ireland’s highest ranked player, John Gough, don’t feel that there is an extra onus on themselves to lead the charge to the USA at the 49th Walker Cup.
An inexperienced and heavily outranked GB&I side will bid to arrest a run of three successive losses to the visiting Stars and Stripes at the Old Course this weekend with plenty of home hopes being placed upon the shoulders of Power and Gough.
Power was sensational for GB&I in Seminole two years ago, forming a prolific partnership with Kinsale’s John Murphy as he came away with three points from four, while Gough whose parents hail from Meath and Down is GB&I’s only player ranked inside the top-20 in the WAGR – all ten USA players are inside the top-20 including world number one Gordon Sargent. Despite this, neither man feels an extra responsibility to perform.
Power spoke of trying to help the younger players like 16 year old Scot Connor Graham: I’d like to think I am (bringing experience and knowledge), obviously being only one of two to have played the last one. I’m trying to help some of the younger guys out and even some of the guys who haven’t played here before.
“I wouldn’t say there’s an extra responsibility no. I was exactly in the same position as a lot of the guys first time around last time, and I didn’t really try and do anything special. I just went out and tried to play as good as I can. Thankfully it resulted in three points for me, but somebody else could easily come and have three, three and a half, hopefully four points this week for us.
“I’m not going to try and do anything differently. I’ll obviously try and help guys if they have any questions on how I approach different aspects, but I’m not going to try and do anything differently. I’ll obviously try and go better than three points this week and hopefully bring four for the team.”
Irish Amateur Open champion Gough had similar sentiments, focusing on the collective rather than the individual.
“Obviously a nice accolade having that,” the world number fourteen said of his ranking. “But as I just said before, I have complete trust in all the boys, and I know that no matter what happens points-wise, we’re going to put all our cards on the table.
“Obviously it’s an individual accolade, but this week is all about the team.”