England’s eight representatives in the 2021 Walker Cup team have been told to grasp the opportunity of a lifetime as they try and rise to the challenge of winning back the trophy from the USA on American soil.
Captain Stuart Wilson has announced the 10-man Great Britain and Ireland team which will travel to Seminole Golf Club, Florida on the weekend of May 8-9.
GB&I will attempt to reclaim the trophy lifted by the Americans at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in 2019.
Wilson is leaning heavily on talents who have emerged through the England Golf player pathway as GB&I bid to win across the pond for only the third time in the event’s 99-year history.
Yorkshire trio Barclay Brown, Alex Fitzpatrick and Ben Schmidt (pictured below) have been joined in the team by Surrey’s Angus Flanagan.
Ben Jones from Northamptonshire, Gloucestershire’s Joe Long, Northumberland’s Matty Lamb (main image) and Essex’s Jack Dyer are the other Englishmen in the team.
Dyer stepped up to take the place of Scotsman Sandy Scott who was originally named in the team, but then pulled out through injury.
Irish pair John Murphy and Mark Power complete the line-up.
The two travelling reserves are also English – Jake Bolton from Wiltshire and Florida-based Joe Pagdin.
News of the strong English representation in the GB&I team for the biennial clash with the cream of the American amateur crop, was warmly welcomed by Nigel Edwards, England Golf’s performance director.
Edwards – no stranger to success in the event himself as a player and captain – has congratulated the players on their call-ups, praised their efforts to make the team and encouraged them to make the most of a fantastic opportunity to shine on a global stage.
“I’m naturally delighted with the English representation on this Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team,” confirmed Edwards.
“I think that it’s a fair reflection of how well these young men have played and how hard they have worked over the course of the last few years.
“It’s also a tribute to the many coaches and staff in England Golf regional and national squads who have played a part in elevating these young athletes to the highest levels of the amateur game.
“To be fair, lots of English players have put in an incredible amount of effort in very challenging circumstances to try and make this team and some have, sadly, missed out.
“But the effort put in by all the contenders is testimony to how important and prestigious it is for any young amateur to make his way onto a Walker Cup team.
“Now comes the next challenge for all the players in Stuart’s team – winning points in tough games on American soil.
“It’s a thrill to have that badge on your chest, but it means so much more if you can help play your part in a win.”
Edwards knows all about winning the Walker Cup in the lion’s den having played his part in GB&I’s emphatic victory against the USA in 2001 at Sea Island in Georgia.
On that occasion Edwards featured as part of a team which included future professional stars such as world number one Luke Donald, three-times Tour winner Nick Dougherty and 2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell.
Edwards (pictured above) then helped seal back-to-back victories for GB&I by holing the decisive putt in his singles match at Ganton in 2003.
“It’s a huge honour to play in, captain or simply be involved as a selector with a Walker Cup team,” said Edwards who was winning non-playing captain in 2011 at Royal Aberdeen and again at Royal Lytham and St Annes four years later.
“While these players should recognise that fact, they should not be fazed by it.
“All the players in Stuart’s selection have the ability to do well and I look forward to watching this contest unfold at Seminole in May.”
Walker Cup team
Barclay Brown (20, Hallamshire, England)
Alex Fitzpatrick (22, Hallamshire, England)
Jack Dyer (22, Boyce Hill, England)
Angus Flanagan (21, St George’s Hill, England)
Ben Jones (21, Northamptonshire County, England)
Matty Lamb (23, Hexham, England)
Joe Long (23, Lansdown, England)
John Murphy (22, Kinsale, Ireland),
Mark Power (20, Kilkenny, Ireland),
Ben Schmidt (18, Rotherham, England)