Five Irish golfers have been named in an initial 20-man Walker Cup squad for September's clash against the USA at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
Great Britain and Ireland captain Nigel Edwards has selected the top five Irish golfers in the world amateur rankings, led off by world No 34 Gavin Moynihan. The Island player, a student at the University of Alabama, is also the only golfer among the 20 named to have previous Walker Cup experience, having played in the heavy defeat to the USA in New York in 2013, where he earned two points.
Paul Dunne is named after a memorable 2014 that saw the Greystones player come through final qualifying to play in the British Open at Hoylake.
West Waterford's Gary Hurley, who finished joint runner-up in the 2014 European Amateur Championship, is also selected, as are Jack Hume from Naas and Cormac Sharvin from Ardglass.
British amateur champion Bradley Neil leads a strong Scottish contingent in the squad, which also includes the 2014 St Andrews Links Trophy champion, Grant Forrest, and Jamie Savage, who won the Irish Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.
Double European Amateur champion Ashley Chesters, Adam Chapman, who won the South of England Open Amateur Championship last year, and Sam Horsfield, who recently successfully defended his New Year's Invitational title in Florida, are among the English players in the squad.
David Boote, who enjoyed a top 10 finish in last year's European Amateur Championship, is the sole Welshman included.
A get together for the 20-man squad will be held on July 21st and 22nd at Royal Lytham & St Annes and the players will also meet ahead of the Lytham Trophy in May. The final 10-man team will be announced in August ahead of the the 45th Walker Cup match, which will be played on the weekend of September 12th and 13th.
On announcing the squad, Edwards said: “We have selected a strong squad of players and they will all know that they are in contention for a place on the team and it is up to them to perform this season.
"As the season progresses I am sure that a number of players who do not form part of this current squad will challenge for places on the team as has happened in previous years with the likes of Steven Brown and Danny Willett playing their way on to the 2011 and 2007 teams. Players who do not form part of this squad can still play their way on to the team for September."
WALKER CUP SQUAD (Irish in bold)
Tomasz Anderson (Brocket Hall), David Boote (Walton Heath), Daniel Brown (Bedale), Adam Chapman (Windermere), Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park), Paul Dunne (Greystones), Grant Forrest (Craigielaw), Sam Horsfield (Davenport, USA), Paul Howard (Southport & Ainsdale), Jack Hume (Naas), Gary Hurley (West Waterford), Nick Marsh (Huddersfield), Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock, Barassie), Gavin Moynihan (The Island), Jimmy Mullen (Royal North Devon), Bradley Neil (Blairgowrie), Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie), Jamie Savage (Cawder), Cormac Sharvin (Ardglass), Ben Stow (Rushmore).