Walker Cup: How to watch on TV? What are the tee times? How does it work?

Seminole Golf Club in Florida will host the 48th match as the US go for three-in-a-row

Members of the Britain & Ireland team during a practice day ahead of the Walker Cup at Seminole. Photo: Sam Greenwood/R&A/R&A via Getty Images

Members of the Britain & Ireland team during a practice day ahead of the Walker Cup at Seminole. Photo: Sam Greenwood/R&A/R&A via Getty Images

 

Where is it on?

The 48th edition of the biennial match will be played at the ultra-exclusive Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida.

Who are the defending champions?

The USA have won the last two matches - both by sizeable margins - at Hoylake in 2019 and LA Country Club in 2017. The last victory for Britain and Ireland came at Lytham and St Annes in 2015 when five of the team was made up of Irish players - Paul Dunne, Gavin Moynihan, Jack Hume, Cormac Sharvin and Gary Hurley.

How does it work?

The Walker Cup is sometimes called the amateur Ryder Cup although it is confined to players from Britain and Ireland only rather than the whole of Europe. There are 10 players on each team with four foursomes matches on Saturday afternoon (beginning at 1.20pm Irish time) followed by eight singles matches (7.30pm Irish time). On Sunday it’s four foursomes again (1.20pm Irish time) in the morning before a final session of 10 singles matches (7.05pm Irish time) which means every player on each team plays the final session. There are 26 points up for grabs in total which means that the US need 13 points to retain the cup while Britain and Ireland need 13½ to win it back.

Mark Power hits a tee shot as Barclay Brown and Alex Fitzpatrick look on. Photo: Sam Greenwood/R&A/R&A via Getty Images
Mark Power hits a tee shot as Barclay Brown and Alex Fitzpatrick look on. Photo: Sam Greenwood/R&A/R&A via Getty Images

What are the teams?

John Murphy from Kinsale and Mark Power from Kilkenny are the two Irish players on the Britain and Ireland team and they are joined by England’s Barclay Brown, Jack Dyer, Alex Fitzpatrick, Angus Flanagan, Ben Jones, Matty Lamb, Joe Long and Ben Schmidt in a side without any Scottish or Welsh players. For the US the team is made up of Ricky Castillo, Pierceson Coody, Quade Cummins, Austin Eckroat, Stewart Hagestad, Cole Hammer, William Mouw, John Pak, Tyler Strafaci and Davis Thompson. Nathaniel Crosby captains the USA while Stuart Wilson leads Britain and Ireland.

Which other Irish players have played over the years?

Like the Ryder Cup, Ireland has an impressive roll of honour when it comes to the Walker Cup. This year John Murphy and Mark Power will become the 48th and 49th Irish players to play in the match while Joe Carr holds record of 11 appearances. Pádraig Harrington played three times in 1991, 1993 and 1995, during the last of which he partnered Jody Fanagan to beat John Harris and a young prospect by the name of Tiger Woods in the Sunday foursomes at Royal Porthcawl. In 2007 at Royal County Down, Rory McIlroy was part of the famous Britain and Ireland team that beat a US side which included Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Billy Horschel and Webb Simpson.

Who are the favourites to win?

The USA are odds-on favourites to come out on top at Seminole and make it three Walker Cup victories in a row. On paper their team looks exceptionally strong with five of the world’s top 10 amateurs in their ranks while Britain and Ireland’s top-ranked player is Alex Fitzpatrick at number 12. Florida State University’s John Pak is just one of the standout players on the home team - he’s won seven times in his college career and is considered to be one of the hottest prospects in golf at the moment. For Britain and Ireland a lack of competitive golf on this side of the Atlantic over the last six months in particular has hampered the team with Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty - ranked 21st in the world - unlucky to miss out, mainly for that reason.

Rory McIlroy hits a shot during the 2007 Walker Cup at Royal County Down. Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy hits a shot during the 2007 Walker Cup at Royal County Down. Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images

What’s the course like?

Seminole is a famed club in Juno Beach, Florida which is renowned for its exclusivity. Last year Rory McIIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matt Wolff played a charity match at the course which was the first time golf fans were able to see it in all its glory. Located along the coast the course has somewhat of a links-look to it and approach play is definitely the skill most tested. Wide fairways allow players to pick the best angles into the tricky greens, many of which are raised with penal run off areas. Each year the club hosts a pro-member event which attracts the game’s very best including the likes of Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Shane Lowry while McIlroy partners each year with his father Gerry who is a member at the club.

What’s the weather forecast?

It looks set to be sunny and around 28 degrees for both Saturday and Sunday but there’s always a tough breeze at Seminole and this weekend will be no different with winds around 25kmh.

How can I watch it?

Both days are live on Sky Sports at the following times: Sky Sports Golf red button/Sky Sports Mix from 3pm, Sky Sports Golf from 4pm, Sky Sports Golf red button/Sky Sports Mix from 9.30pm, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Golf from 11pm.

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