By Brian Keogh
Tramore teenager Clancy Bowe has been given a dream call up to Garth McGimpsey's Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup squad.
The 18-year-old schoolboy is one of eight new names that are in with a chance of taking on the United States at Ganton Golf Club from September 6-7.
Team captain Garth McGimpsey said: "We have a very exciting group of young golfers coming through and we believe that any one of these players could take a step forward to compete for a place in the team at Ganton.
"Their inclusion in the squad acknowledges this. For those who do not quite make it this year, I know that being part of the squad will give them valuable experience and will hold them in good stead for future matches."
Bowe, who plays off scratch, has been a member of the Irish Boys team for the past three seasons.
He captained the GB and I Jacques Leglise team in 2001 and grabbed the attention if the selectors when he won three out of four matches in the same tournament in Lausanne last summer.
His inclusion in the squad obrings Irish participation in the Walker Cup panel to five.
Portmarnock's Noel Fox, Athlone's Colm Moriarty, Birr's Justin Kehoe and Ballyclare's Gareth Maybin are also in the running for a place in McGimpsey's team.
The Ulster born skipper is hoping to lead the Great Britian and Ireland side to an historic third win on the trot.
He has also recalled former Walker Cup player Philip Rowe, 22, to the fold after a four year absence.
Chairman of the R&A Selection Committee, Peter McEvoy, explained: "Philip played a huge part in the winning team at Nairn in 1999, gaining three points from three matches. For the past four years he has been studying at Stanford University in the United States and now that he has returned, is fully committed to amateur golf this coming year."
The squad will meet for a second time at Ganton in early April when players will build on their local knowledge of the course.
The other new players in the squad are: Yasin Ali (Ealing), Rhys Davies (Royal Porthcawl), James Heath (Coombe Wood), Scott Jamieson (Cathkin Braes). Matthew Richardson (Pinner Hill), Philip Rowe (West Cornwall), Michael Skelton (Middlesbrough).