R&A announces preliminary squad for Walker Cup

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Initial 20-man GB&I squad to face USA in September has been named.

The names of 20 amateur golfers who will be battling it out for the right to face Team USA in the Walker Cup later this year have been announced by the R&A.

From the preliminary 20-man squad, captain Nigel Edwards will pick 10 players to represent Great Britain and Ireland team in the 45th Walker Cup, to be held at Royal Lytham & St Annes in September.

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.”

The GB&I team will be bidding to win back the trophy after the USA’s convincing 17-9 victory in the 2013 match at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, New York.

A get-together for the 20-man squad will be held at the Lancashire course on July 21-22 and the players will also meet ahead of the Lytham Trophy in May.

Edwards added: “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 Steve 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.”
‘It is up to them to perform this season’ Amateur champion Bradley Neil leads a strong Scottish contingent in the squad, which also includes 2014 St Andrews Links Trophy champion Grant Forrest and Jamie Savage, who won the Irish Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan is the only player in the squad with previous Walker Cup experience. The current Scottish Open Stroke Play champion earned two points in the 2013 match. He is joined by fellow Irishmen Gary Hurley, who finished joint runner-up in the 2014 European Amateur Championship, and Paul Dunne, who came through final qualifying to play in last year’s Open at Royal Liverpool.

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.

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