Three Walker Cup players selected in strong England squad for home internationals

Jake Burnage watches his ball following a shot

England Golf has announced a strong team for the defence of its title at the Men’s Home Internationals, to be played at Lahinch in Ireland on 11-13 September.

The team includes Harry Hall, Tom Sloman and Tom Plumb, who were all among the five Englishmen selected for the GB&I team for the forthcoming Walker Cup match at Royal Liverpool, as well as Ben Schmidt and Ben Jones who were listed as first and second reserves for the biennial transatlantic fixture against the USA.

The 2019 team also includes Jake Burnage (pictured) and Bailey Gill who were part of the 2018 English Men’s Home International team that beat this year’s hosts Ireland in the deciding match 12 months ago at Conwy Golf Club in Wales. Plumb and Sloman were also part of that winning squad.

Schmidt is a newcomer to the Home International team and is joined by fellow home international debutants Matty Lamb, Ben Hutchinson and Joshua McMahon.

Two reserve players have also been selected as part of the team these are David Langley and David Hague.

The Players

Jake Burnage, 23, Saunton and Devon, produced his performance of the season when he beat Matty Lamb into second place at the St Andrews Links Trophy and more recently he enjoyed a great run at the English Amateur Championship at Hankley Common, where he battled all the way through to the semi-finals before losing in a low-scoring match against eventual winner, Conor Gough. He was a member of the victorious English team at last year’s Men’s Home Internationals at Conwy and this season played for his country in the match against Spain.

Callum Farr, 22, Northamptonshire County and Northamptonshire, started the season with a strong second place finish in the Spanish International Amateur but his best performance came at the English Amateur where he reached the final before losing to Conor Gough. He was also seventh at both the English Men’s Open Stroke Play Championship and the Chiberta Grand Prix in France.

Bailey Gill, 22, Lindrick and Yorkshire, was part of last year’s winning English Home International team at Conwy in Wales. He returns to the team after a season highlighted by a third place finish at the Chiberta Grand Prix, a fifth place finish at the Portuguese International Amateur and a share of sixth place at the Lytham Trophy. He also reached the last 16 of The Amateur Championship before bowing out to Ben Jones. He was a member of the winning English team in the mixed match against Spain.

Harry Hall, 22, West Cornwall and Cornwall, was runner-up in this year’s Brabazon Trophy and represented England in the European Amateur Team Championships and Men’s Home Internationals at Nairn. He recently graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) where his performances earned him several individual titles and a place on the 2018 Arnold Palmer Cup team. Since returning from the States this summer, he was also tied-fourth in the stroke play qualifier for The Amateur Championship, tied 15th at the St Andrews Links Trophy and in a share of 16th place at the European Amateur.

Ben Hutchinson, 24, Howley Hall and Yorkshire, makes his debut at the Home Internationals at the end of a hugely consistent season in which he has been fourth at the St Andrews Links Trophy and the Lee Westwood Trophy, fifth at the Spanish International Amateur and eighth at the Lytham Trophy. In April, he claimed two victories in three matches as England retained the Seve Ballesteros Trophy in the mixed match against Spain.

Ben Jones, 20, Northamptonshire County and Northamptonshire, was a member of the English team that defended its title at this year’s European Nations Cup at Sotogrande and also represented his country in the European Men’s Team Championship and the mixed match against Spain. During the season he has recorded a string of fine individual performances, including reaching the semi-finals of The Amateur Championship, finishing third in the European Amateur Championship, fourth in the Coupe Murat in France and seventh in the Brabazon Trophy.

Matty Lamb, 21, Hexham and Northumberland, finished second, one shot behind winner Jake Burnage, at this year’s St Andrews Links Trophy, was third in the Hampshire Salver and reached the last 16 of both the English Amateur and The Amateur Championship.

Joshua McMahon, 23, Wallasey and Cheshire, produced the biggest victory of his career when he came from behind to snatch a one-shot victory at this year’s Lytham Trophy at Royal Lytham & St Annes. He was also tied-seventh at the Flogas Irish Amateur and tied-13th at the European Amateur before reaching the last 16 of the English Amateur, where he lost to eventual winner Conor Gough.

Tom Plumb, 20, Yeovil and Somerset, won the Cape Province Open in South Africa at the start of the season and was part of the English teams that defended their titles at the European Nations Cup and the mixed match against Spain. Since then, he has rattled off a string of consistent performances including a tie for seventh at the St Andrews Links Trophy, a tie for 11th in the individual event at the European Nations Cup and top-20 finishes in the Lytham Trophy and the Coupe Murat in France. He was one of the big success stories in last year’s Home Internationals victory at Conwy, winning four and halving the other two of his six matches.

Ben Schmidt, 17, Rotherham and Yorkshire, made history earlier this year when, still aged 16, he became the youngest-ever winner of the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship (Brabazon Trophy) at The Alwoodley Golf Club in Leeds and he went on to complete a rare double by claiming the Carris Trophy at the English Boys’ Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Moor Park. He also won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters, was third at the Fairhaven Trophy and recorded top-ten finishes at the Portuguese International Amateur and the Bernard Darwin Salver.

Tom Sloman, 23, Taunton & Pickeridge and Somerset, started the season by reaching the last 16 of the Australian Amateur and finishing eighth at the Avondale Medal before completing a double at the European Nations Cup at RCG Sotogrande where he won the individual event and helped England to defend its team title. Subsequently, he has claimed top-ten finishes in the Coupe Murat in France and the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship and also reached the last 16 of the English Amateur Championship at Hankley Common. More recently, he was tied second in qualifying for the US Amateur at Pinehurst.

1st Reserve David Langley, 24, Castle Royle and BB&O, a member of the England A Squad has had a consistent season and built on his strong performances of 2018 where he represented England at last year’s Home Internationals. This season’s highlights include finishing 5th at the South African Amateur, 5th at the Brabazon Trophy at Alwoodley and 4th at last week’s Welsh Open Stroke Play Championship at Prestatyn.

2nd Reserve David Hague, 23, Malton and Norton and Yorkshire, was a member of last year’s winning Home Internationals team in 2018 where he went undefeated winning 6 points from the foursomes and singles. He also represented GB&I in the St Andrews Trophy. 2019 has been a stop start season but a win at last week’s Lee Westwood Trophy showed a welcome return to form and fitness.

Photos: Credit Leaderboard Photography.