Six England players are in the initial 19-man squad for the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team, announced today by The R&A.
They are Amateur Champion Scott Gregory (image © Leaderboard Photography), Lytham Trophy winner Alfie Plant, English champion Dan Brown and fellow internationals Bradley Moore, Marco Penge and James Walker. Gregory and Plant helped England to win the world championship silver medal at last season’s Eisenhower Trophy.
The final team of 10 will be announced in August and will face the United States at Los Angeles Country Club over the weekend of 9–10 September. GB&I will be bidding to retain the historic trophy after a record 16½ – 9½ victory over the USA at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2015.
Craig Watson, who will captain the GB&I Walker Cup team for the first time, said, “We have identified a strong group of players who are all in contention for a place on the team and we will be monitoring their performance and results over the coming season.
“We will also pay close attention to the progress and form of players who have not been included in this current squad as they also have the opportunity to play their way into contention for the team selected to play the USA in September.”
Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, who lost to Gregory in the final of The Amateur at Royal Porthcawl, is in the squad alongside Craig Howie, Sandy Scott and Connor Syme, who were all in Scotland’s winning team at the 2016 European Amateur Team Championship. They’re joined by compatriots Barry Hume and Craig Ross. Hume is a reinstated amateur following a spell in the professional ranks.
Colm Campbell, the current Irish Amateur Open Champion, is joined by Paul McBride, Conor O’Rourke and R&A Foundation scholars Alex Gleeson and Stuart Grehan from Ireland. Gleeson is the Irish Amateur Close Champion, while O’Rourke triumphed in the St Andrews Links Trophy last season. Grehan and McBride were team-mates for Ireland at last year’s world championship, winning a bronze medal in the Eisenhower Trophy.
Two Welshmen have been selected for the squad: David Boote and Owen Edwards. Stanford University graduate Boote excelled for GB&I against the Continent of Europe in the St Andrews Trophy and made significant contributions to the winning European teams in the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy and the Arnold Palmer Cup.
The GB&I squad:
David Boote (Walton Heath, Surrey)
Daniel Brown (Masham, Yorkshire)
Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint, County Down)
Owen Edwards (Llanwern, Newport)
Alex Gleeson (Castle, Dublin)
Scott Gregory (Corthampton, Hampshire)
Stuart Grehan (Tullamore, County Offaly)
Craig Howie (Peebles, Borders)
Barry Hume (Haggs Castle, Glasgow)
Robert MacIntyre (Glencruitten, Argyll & Bute)
Paul McBride (The Island, Dublin)
Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park, Derbyshire)
Conor O'Rourke (Naas, County Kildare)
Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood, Sussex)
Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park, Kent)
Craig Ross (Kirkhill, Lanarkshire)
Sandy Scott (Nairn, Nairnshire)
Connor Syme (Drumoig, Fife)
James Walker (Oaks, Yorkshire)