Walker Cup: Team GB&I and America go head-to-headSeptember, 2015
How do GB&I stack up against their American counterparts?
This weekend 10 Americans amateurs will travel across the Atlantic in the hope of defeating a team gathered from the four corners of Great Britain and Ireland.
The Walker Cup is one of golf’s oldest and most prestigious team competitions, with previous participants including Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Tiger Woods.
GB&I captain Nigel Edwards, himself a Walker Cup veteran, will be hoping his team can avenge their 2013 loss to Team America, captained this time out by John ‘Spider’ Miller.
In this feature we take a head-to-head look at the two teams.
‘We have selected a talented group of players who perform at the highest level’
Ashley Chesters vs Maverick McNealy
Hawkstone Park, England
World Amateur Golf Ranking 8
Put in an excellent performance in The Open at St Andrews to finish tied for 12th. The two-time European Amateur Champion reached the last 16 of the Amateur Championship, finished tied second at the Welsh Open Stroke Play Championship and tied seventh at the Brabazon Trophy.
Portola Valley, California
Received the 2015 Jack Nicklaus Award and the Fred Haskins Award as the NCAA Division 1’s top college player. Was chosen Pacific 12 Conference Player of the Year and won the conference title by 10 strokes after shooting a course-record 9-under 61 in the final round. Recorded six victories in 2014-15.
Cormac Sharvin vs Bryson DeChambeau
Won this year’s Brabazon Trophy to capitalize on a rich vein of form which saw him finish runner-up at the Irish Open Amateur Championship, tied second at the Lytham Trophy and third at the Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship. Represented Ireland at the European Amateur Team Championship.
Became only the fifth player to win the US Amateur and NCAA Individual championships in the same year. Earned first team All-America honours and helped the USA to victort in the 2014 World Amateur Team Championship in Japan, firing a third-round 61 to establish an 18-hole scoring record.
Paul Dunne vs Hunter Stewart
Distinguished himself at The Open and was joint leader after 54 holes, before finishing tied 30th. The former Irish Boys Champion secured top 10 finishes at the Brabazon Trophy and the individual standings of the European Amateur Team Championship. Reached quarter finals of the US Amateur Championship.
Earned first-team All-America honours and was chosen Southeastern Conference Player of the Year 2014-15. Won three individual titles and tied for third at the NCAA Championship. Qualified for the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst No.2, won this year’s Northeast Amateur by four strokes, finishing with a 10-under par 266.
Gavin Moynihan vs Lee McCoy
The Island, Ireland
Played in the 2013 Walker Cup match, earning two points out of four for the GB&I team. Won the Irish Open Amateur Championship for the second time this year, finished runner-up at the Brabazon Trophy, third at the European Amateur Championship and was part of Ireland’s winning Home Internationals team.
Earned first team All-America and first team All-Southeastern Conference honours in 2014-15. Qualified for the US Open at Chambers Bay and helped the USA earn a silver medal in the 2015 Pan America Games in Toronto. Tied for 69th at the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic in July.
Gary Hurley vs. Robby Shelton
West Waterford, Ireland
Runner-up in the European Amateur Championship after finishing joint runner-up in 2014. Second at the Spanish International Amateur Championship earlier this year. Finished in the top 20 in the Lytham Trophy and was part of the Irish team which finished second in the Southern Cross Invitational.]
Earned first team All-America and All-Southeastern Conference recognition for the second consecutive year. A semi-finalist for the 2015 Ben Hogan award, has played in seven USGA championships, including three US Amateurs. A 2014 US Open qualifier, was 4-0 in his matches in the 2015 Palmer Cup against Europe.
Jack Hume vs. Denny McCarthy
A consistent performer this season, finishing tied third for the Brabazon Trophy and tied sixth in the St Andrews Links Trophy. As well as finishing in the top 20 at the European Amateur Championship in Slovakia and the Irish Amateur Open, Hume was part of the winning Irish team at the Home Internationals.
Earned All-America honours for the third year in a row and became the first University of Virginia player to be chosen All-Atlantic Coast Conference four times. Ied for 42nd in the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay and won the 2014 World Amateur Team Championship in Japan as part of Team USA.
Ewen Ferguson vs. Beau Hossler
Called into the team following the withdrawal of Sam Horsfield. Winner of the Boys Amateur Championship in 2013, runner-up in the Stephen Gallacher Scottish Boys Stroke Play and quarter-finalist at the Fairstone Scottish Amateur. Captured the Scottish Champion of Champions and Craigmillar Park Open.
Mission Viejo, California
Earned first team All-America honours and was chosen 2015 Big 12 Conference Player of the Year. Helped USA to win silver medal in the 2015 Pan American Games. Became the youngest player since World War II to make the cut at a US Open, finishing tied 29 in 2012 and tied for 58th at Chambers Bay this year.
Grant Forrest vs. Jordan Niebrugge
Was the runner-up in this year’s Amateur Championship and played a key role in Scotland’s victory at last month’s European Amateur Team Championship, winning five points out of six. In 2014, the former Scottish Boys and Scottish Amateur Champion won the St Andrews Links Trophy.
A member of the winning 2013 USA Walker Cup team, posting two singles victories. Tied for sixth at The Open this year, winning the silver medal and posting the lowest score by an amateur in the championship’s 144-year history. Tied for 27th in the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic in 2014.
Jack McDonald vs. Scott Harvey
Kilmarnock (Barassie), Scotland
Reached the semi-finals of the Amateur Championship and was part of the winning Scottish team in the European Amateur Team Championship, winning five points out of six. Achieved top 15 finishes at the Lytham Trophy, Irish Amateur Open Championship, Scottish Stroke Play and St Andrews Links Trophy.
Greensboro, North Carolina
One of two mid-amateurs on the 2015 USA Walker Cup team. Won the 2014 US Mid-Amateur, which earned him an invitation to the 2015 Masters. Won the South American Amateur in Lima, Peru and won the Carolinas Player of the Year award for four consecutive years, from 2011-14.
Jimmy Mullen vs. Mike McCoy
Royal North Devon, England
The reigning Welsh Amateur Open Stroke Play Champion. Part of the England team which finished fourth in the European Amateur Team Championship and represented his country in this year’s Home Internationals. Finished tied third in the Duncan Putter and 19th at the Lytham Trophy.
Des Moines, Iowa
Will become the third-oldest Walker Cup competitor at 52 years, 9 months. Low amateur in both the 2014 and 2015 US Senior Opens , tying the record for lowest 72-hole score by an amateur. Won the 2013 US Mid-Amateur, earning a spot at the 2014 Masters. Won the Crane Cup and Coleman Invitational this year.