The R&A has confirmed the Great Britain and Ireland team to face the USA at The Walker Cup 2009, to be played at Merion, Pennsylvania, USA on 12 & 13 September.
“We have picked a strong team for what will undoubtedly be a tough match,” explained GB&I Captain, Colin Dalgleish. “Each player selected has demonstrated their ability to perform at the very highest levels of the amateur game, but, crucially, they have also bonded extremely well.
“I’m convinced that we go to Merion as a tight-knit team with the combination of experience and talent necessary to give ourselves every chance of returning with the trophy.”
The ten players who will contest the match at Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania, USA, are as follows:
Wallace Booth, Scotland: Wallace Booth was a member of Scotland’s winning side at both this year’s European Amateur Team Championship and last year’s World Amateur Team Championship. He also won four points from a possible four for Great Britain and Ireland in the 2008 St Andrews Trophy against the Continent of Europe. A student at Augusta State University between 2003 and 2007, Booth finished second in this year’s Irish Open Amateur and third in the Scottish Champion of Champions.
Date of Birth: 27/07/1985
Highest World Amateur Golf Ranking: 34
Gavin Dear, Scotland: 2009 Irish Open Amateur champion, Gavin Dear, was also a member of Scotland’s winning side at both this year’s European Amateur Championship and last year’s World Amateur Team Championship. Winner of this year’s Craigmillar Park Open, second at the Scottish Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship and a Spanish Amateur semi-finalist, Dear attended Lynn University in Florida between 2002 and 2006 and won the Dixie Amateur in 2008.
Date of Birth: 05/06/1984
Highest World Amateur Golf Ranking: 12
Tommy Fleetwood, England: Lancashire’s Tommy Fleetwood won the Scottish Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship this year by eight shots with a tournament-record score of 16-under-par. He was runner-up in the 2008 Amateur Championship at Turnberry as a 17-year-old and reached the quarter-finals of the event at Formby this year. He has played for England at all levels of the amateur game and has represented GB&I in the Jacques Leglise Trophy.
Date of Birth: 19/01/1991
Highest World Amateur Golf Ranking: 20
Luke Goddard, England: Goddard triumphed at the English Amateur Championship earlier this year at Rye Golf Club. And the long-time England international has enjoyed an extremely consistent season, finishing second in the Berkshire Trophy and fourth in the Portuguese Amateur, St Andrews Links Trophy and South of England Open Amateur.
Date of Birth: 17/04/1988
Highest World Amateur Golf Ranking: 6
Matt Haines, England: Haines has enjoyed a successful season, winning both the Hampshire Salver and the Duncan Putter, and finishing runner-up at the St Andrews Links Trophy and Welsh Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship. As a member of the England team, he maintained a 100% individual record at the European Amateur Team Championship and did so again in matches against Spain and Australia. In 2008, Haines formed part of the GB&I team that defeated the Continent of Europe in the St Andrews Trophy.
Date of Birth: 01/12/1989
Highest World Amateur Golf Ranking: 20
Eamonn ‘Stiggy’ Hodgson, England: Always known by his nickname ‘Stiggy’, Hodgson has earned his place in the team thanks to a string of consistent performances. He reached the semi-finals at The Amateur Championship, the quarter-finals of the English Amateur, finished third in the Tillman Trophy, fourth in the Brabazon Trophy, sixth in the Hampshire Salver and seventh in the Lytham Trophy. Hodgson has previously competed for GB&I at the 2008 Jacques Leglise Trophy and is a past English Boys champion.
Date of Birth: 12/08/1990
Highest World Amateur Golf Ranking: 11
Sam Hutsby, England: 2009 European Nations Cup champion, Hutsby, is the highest-ranked player on the Great Britain & Ireland final squad. He was runner-up at both The Amateur Championship and the Spanish Amateur this year, while last year he was a member of the winning GB&I team at the St Andrews Trophy, taking three-and-a-half points from a possible four.
Date of Birth: 29/10/1988
Highest World Amateur Golf Ranking: 4
Niall Kearney, Ireland: Niall Kearney, winner of the 2009 Brabazon Trophy, was a member of Ireland’s winning team at the 2008 European Amateur Team Championships and Mens Home Internationals. Kearney reached the last 32 at this year’s Amateur Championship as well as making the last four in the West of Ireland Championship and finishing sixth at the South of England Open Amateur.
Date of Birth: 10/03/1988
Highest World Amateur Golf Ranking: 27
Chris Paisley, England: A University of Tennessee student since 2005, Paisley won the Arizona Intercollegiate at the Arizona National earlier in the year before representing Europe against the USA at the Palmer Cup at Cherry Hills. In 2008 he competed for GB&I in the St Andrews Trophy as well as winning the Czech Open Amateur and finishing runner-up at the English Amateur.
Date of Birth: 24/03/1986
Highest World Amateur Golf Ranking: 16
Dale Whitnell, England: Whitnell maintained a 100% individual record during England’s match against Australia earlier this year. He is the Portuguese Open Amateur champion and the Tillman Trophy winner. Backing up these victories were third places in the Lytham Trophy and Scottish Amateur Open Stroke Play and fourths in the Brabazon, Irish Open Amateur and South of England Open Amateur. He also reached the semi-finals of the English Amateur. In 2008 Whitnell competed for GB&I at the St Andrews Trophy.
Date of Birth: 9/08/1988
Highest World Amateur Golf Ranking: 8
The 2009 Walker Cup will be held at Merion Golf Club, Pennsylvania, on September 12 & 13. A change of format has been made from previous years, with four foursomes ties to be played each morning, followed by eight singles matches on Saturday afternoon, and ten (previously 8) singles on Sunday afternoon.
Visit www.2009walkercup.org for more information.