Ireland will have four golfers in action when Portmarnock Golf Club hosts the St Andrews and Jacques Leglise Trophy Matches in two weeks’ time.
British Amateur champion Alan Dunbar and Waterford Castle’s Kevin Phelan have been chosen to play for Great Britain and Ireland in the St Andrews Trophy clash against Continent of Europe, who won the title in Italy two years ago against a GB & I side featuring Portstewart’s Paul Cutler.
Dunbar’s inclusion was a foregone conclucsion following his Walker Cup debut last year and his Amateur championship win at Royal Troon. But Phelan’s presence in the nine man side, whiile not unexpected, is a boost both for Irish amateur golf but also for the Florida based players chances of Walker Cup debut in the US next year.
As for the Jacques Leglise Trophy, Ireland will again have two players in the GB & I side with Irish Amateur Open strokeplay champion Gavin Moynihan of the Island taking the captaincy.
The 17-year old was a member of the winning side in 2010 with Daermot McElroy but is joined on this occasion by Castle’s Alex Gleeson, who helped his club with the Leinster section of the Irish Senior Cup at the weekend with a 3-2 win over All Ireland champions Portmarnock.
Moynihan The R&A Director – Amateur Events, Euan Mordaunt announced the GB&I teams as:
The St Andrews Trophy Match: Alan Dunbar (Rathmore, IRL), Craig Hinton (The Oxfordshire, ENG), Nathan Kimsey (Woodhall Spa, ENG), Kevin Phelan (Waterford Castle, IRL), Garrick Porteous (Bamburgh Castle, ENG), Rhys Pugh (Vale of Glamorgan, WAL), Neil Raymond (Corhampton, ENG), Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie, SCO) and Ben Taylor (Walton Heath, ENG).
The Jacques Leglise Trophy Match: Harry Ellis (Meon Valley, ENG), Matthew Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire, ENG), Alex Gleeson (Castle, IRL), Patrick Kelly (Boston West, ENG), Gavin Moynihan (The Island, IRL), Bradley Neil (Blairgowrie, SCO), Max Orrin (North Foreland, ENG), Toby Tree (Worthing, ENG) and Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park, ENG).
The St Andrews and Jacques Leglise trophy matches offer spectators a rare opportunity to see some of the world’s best amateur golfers, men and boys, in morning foursome and afternoon singles matches over two days of competition.
In recent contests GB&I has been represented by leading players at the peak of their amateur careers including current World No 1, Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Tom Lewis. While the Continent of Europe has counted Ryder Cup Captain, Jose Maria Olazabal, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and Edoardo and Francesco Molinari among its ranks.
When both matches were last played together in 2010 at Golf Club Castelconturbia in Milan, Italy, the Continent of Europe were the victors, 14 to 10 in The St Andrews Trophy men’s match and 15½ to 8½ in The Jacques Leglise boys match. Overall, match results favour GB&I 24-4 in the St Andrews Trophy Match and 34-10 in the Jacques Leglise Match.
Portmarnock Golf Club has hosted the St Andrews Trophy Match on one previous occasion in 1968 when GB&I triumphed, 20 -10.