Famous Five — big Irish presence expected on Walker Cup team

The Famous Five?  (L-R) Gary Hurley, Gavin Moynihan, Paul Dunne, Cormac Sharvin and Jack Hume. (Pic: Cormac Sharvin/Facebook)

Members of Naas Golf Club were openly discussing the "great news" on Sunday that Jack Hume has been handed a Walker Cup spot for next month's matches at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

And with Paul Dunne, Gary Hurley, Gavin Moynihan and Cormac Sharvin already considered certainties, it appears that Ireland will have a record representation of five players in the side to face the United States at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

Hume has generally been considered to be one of five or six players battling for the last two spots on the team. But his consistency over the past year and his excellent links pedigree makes him an ideal candidate.

The R&A will confirm the team on Monday and given the good feeling around Naas and whispers from others close to the parties concerned, it appears likely now that the boys in green will make up half the team and have five representatives in the 10-man side for the first time in the event’s 93-year history

Ireland had four players on the team in 1949 and 1951 when Joe Carr, Jimmy Bruen, Cecil Ewing and Max McCready played at Winged Foot and Royal Birkdale respectively.

But as skipper Nigel Edwards pointed out last week, Irish amateur golf has managed to maintain the nucleus of the same team for the last few seasons, resulting in a strong bond and back-to-back victories in the Home Internationals.

“Ireland has kept those players in there for a period of time,” Edwards said of the benefits of remaining amateur rather than jumping straight into the professional ranks. “So they have gained a lot of experience and that’s helped their performance. 

“They have had some serous performances on good golf courses in difficult conditions and getting results year after year. I think it is very pleasing to see because they like matchplay as well and they gel well as a team.”

During last week's US Amateur there was talk that Ireland could count on no more than four players. But given the talk from Naas, Sharvin's initial feelings on the matter appear to be spot on.

“I think five isn’t out of the equation,” Sharvin said. “If we get any less I think there will be a lot of people and team mates very, very disappointed."