Five Irish players in initial squad to defend Walker Cup

Door still open for others to force way in before September, says captain Craig Watson

Paul McBride, a semi-finalist in the 2016 British Amateur, is in the initial Walker Cup squad. Photograph: Pat Cashman

Paul McBride, a semi-finalist in the 2016 British Amateur, is in the initial Walker Cup squad. Photograph: Pat Cashman

 

Five Irish players – including Paul McBride, who is on scholarship to famed Wake Forest University – have been included in the initial 19-man Britain and Ireland squad for the defence of the Walker Cup against the US at Los Angeles Country Club in September.

In winning the Walker Cup at Royal Lytham in 2014, Ireland provided a record quintet of players to that team, but all five – Paul Dunne, Gary Hurley, Cormac Sharvin, Jack Hume and Gavin Moynihan – have since turned professional.

For this latest edition of the biennial amateur, a fresh batch of Irish hopefuls have earned the chance to make the team: McBride (The Island), Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint), Alex Gleeson (Castle), Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) and Conor O’Rourke (Naas) were all part of the Irish team that last year won the Home Internationals.

McBride, a semi-finalist in the 2016 British Amateur, and Grehan also won a bronze medal for Ireland in the world championship (Eisenhower Trophy) last year. Campbell is the current Irish Amateur Open champion and Gleeson is the reigning Irish Close champion, while O’Rourke won the prestigious St Andrews Links Trophy last year.

“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,” said captain Craig Watson in naming the squad, leaving the door open for others to force their way into the team.

Britain and Ireland squad for Walker Cup:

David Boote (Walton Heath, Surrey)

Daniel Brown (Masham, Yorkshire)

Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint, Co Down)

Owen Edwards (Llanwern, Newport)

Alex Gleeson (Castle, Dublin)

Scott Gregory (Corthampton, Hampshire)

Stuart Grehan (Tullamore, Co Offaly)

Craig Howie (Peebles, Borders)

Barry Hume (Haggs Castle, Glasgow)

Paul McBride (The Island, Dublin)

Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park, Derbyshire)

Conor O’Rourke (Naas, Co 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)

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