It's not easy to outstrip the likes of Joe Carr, Jimmy Bruen, Cecil Ewing or Max McCready but a quintet of Irish amateur stars pulled it off today when they were named by the R&A in the Great Britain and Ireland team to face the USA in the 2015 Walker Cup match at Royal Lytham & St Annes from September 12-13.
Greystones' Paul Dunne, Naas Jack Hume, West Waterford's Gary Hurley, The Island's Gavin Moynihan and Ardglass' Cormac Sharvin got the nod from the selectors at the weekend and broke the record Irish Walker Cup presence of four set by Carr, Ewing, Bruen and McCready in 1949 and repeated in 1951.
The side was named this morning and the now famous five of Dunne, Hume, Hurley, Moynihan and Sharvin are joined by English trio Ashley Chesters, Jimmy Mullen and Sam Horsfield and Scots Grant Forrest and Jack McDonald in what will be a difficult bid to win back the trophy after the USA enjoyed a 17-9 victory at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, New York, two years ago.
Nigel Edwards, who will be captaining the GB&I team for the third time, said: “We have selected a talented group of players who compete at the highest levels of amateur golf and, in some cases, have played in Major Championships and Tour events.
"The Walker Cup offers these players a tremendous opportunity to display their abilities and gain invaluable experience of playing in international team competition.
“I know there will be players who are disappointed not to have made the team and it has been a difficult decision to make with such strength in depth in the British and Irish game at the moment but we believe we have selected the best players for the team and are very much looking forward to the match.”
The United States completed its 10-man team following Sunday's US Amateur Championship final at Olympia Fields in Chicago with the addition of five players to the five they announced earlier this month.
Scott Harvey, 37, of Greensboro, N.C.; Denny McCarthy, 22, of Rockville, Md.; Mike McCoy, 52, of Des Moines, Iowa; Jordan Niebrugge, 22, of Mequon, Wis.; and Robby Shelton, 19, of Wilmer, Ala., will represent the United States Team captained by John “Spider” Miller at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England, Sept. 12-13.
These five players join 2015 U.S. Amateur champion Bryson DeChambeau, 21, of Clovis, Calif.; Beau Hossler, 20, of Mission Viejo, Calif.; Lee McCoy, 21, of Athens, Ga.; Maverick McNealy, 19, of Portola Valley, Calif.; and Hunter Stewart, 22, of Lexington, Ky.
“The addition of these five outstanding gentlemen to the 2015 United States Walker Cup Team is a source of great pride for us,” said Diana M. Murphy, USGA vice president and chairman of the USGA’s Championship Committee.
“We are confident that this group of 10 who will represent the USA will form a competitive and cohesive team in the true spirit of the Walker Cup and prove to be an amicable and formidable opponent for Great Britain and Ireland.”
The presence of Florida-based Horsfield—he's lived there since he was five— might come as a surprise to some but he reached the second round of the US Amateur and is the third highest ranked player from GB&I.
The Great Britain & Ireland team:
- Ashley Chesters, 26, Hawkstone Park, England
- Paul Dunne, 22, Greystones, Ireland
- Grant Forrest, 22, Craigielaw, Scotland
- Sam Horsfield, 18, Davenport, Florida, USA
- Jack Hume, 21, Naas, Ireland
- Gary Hurley, 22, West Waterford, Ireland
- Jack McDonald, 22, Kilmarnock (Barassie), Scotland
- Gavin Moynihan, 20, The Island, Ireland
- Jimmy Mullen, 21, Royal North Devon, England
- Cormac Sharvin, 22, Ardglass, Ireland
- Ewen Ferguson, 19, Bearsden, Scotland
- Bradley Moore, 17, Kedleston Park, England
Captain: Nigel Edwards, 47, Whitchurch, Wales
- 2013 The National Golf Links of America, USA 17 GB&I 9
- 2011 Royal Aberdeen, GB&I 14 USA 12
- 2009 Merion, USA 16 ½ GB&I 9 ½
Ashley Chesters - England
Chesters is the highest-ranked British player in the World Amateur Golf RankingTM in sixth position and put in an excellent performance in The Open at St Andrews to finish tied for 12th. The two-time European Amateur Champion and English international reached the last 16 of the Amateur Championship at Carnoustie, finished tied second at the Welsh Open Stroke Play Championship and tied seventh at the Brabazon Trophy.
Paul Dunne - Ireland
Dunne also distinguished himself at The Open and was the joint leader after 54 holes before finishing tied 30th. The former Irish Boys Champion has enjoyed an excellent season, securing top ten finishes at the Brabazon Trophy and the individual standings of the European Amateur Team Championship in Sweden. He reached the quarter final stage of last week’s U.S. Amateur Championship at Olympia Fields.
Grant Forrest - Scotland
Forrest 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 and was part of the victorious European Palmer Cup team.
Sam Horsfield - England
Horsfield was born in England but his family moved to Florida when he was aged five. Currently ranked 23rd in the World Amateur Golf RankingTM, the 2013 Florida State Amateur Champion reached the quarter finals of this year’s Western Amateur Championship and qualified for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. He reached the last 32 at last week’s U.S. Amateur Championship.
Jack Hume - Ireland
Hume has been a consistent performer this season, finishing tied third in 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 Championship, Hume was part of the winning Irish team at the recent Home Internationals.
Gary Hurley - Ireland
Hurley was runner-up in the recent European Amateur Championship, after finishing joint runner-up in 2014, and was also second at the Spanish International Amateur Championship earlier this year. The R&A Foundation Scholar finished in the top 20 in the Lytham Trophy and was part of the Irish team which finished second at the Southern Cross Invitational. He has also represented Europe in the Palmer Cup on two occasions.
Jack McDonald - Scotland
McDonald reached the semi-finals of the Amateur Championship and was part of the winning Scottish team in the European Amateur Team Championship, like Forrest, winning five points out of six, and finishing tied fourth in the individual standings. The R&A Foundation Scholar also achieved top 15 finishes at the Lytham Trophy, the Irish Amateur Open Championship, the Scottish Stroke Play Championship and the St Andrews Links Trophy.
Gavin Moynihan - Ireland
Moynihan played in the 2013 Walker Cup match at the National Golf Links of America, earning two points out of four for the GB&I team. He 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.
Jimmy Mullen - England
Mullen is the reigning Welsh Amateur Open Stroke Play Champion. He was part of the England team which finished fourth at the European Amateur Team Championship and also represented his country in this year’s Home Internationals. He finished tied third in the Duncan Putter and tied 19th at the Lytham Trophy. In 2014, he reached the last 16 of the U.S Amateur Championship.
Cormac Sharvin - Ireland
Sharvin won this year’s Brabazon Trophy to capitalise on a rich vein of form which saw him finish runner-up to Moynihan at the Irish Open Amateur Championship, tied second at the Lytham Trophy and third at the Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship. The R&A Foundation Scholar also represented Ireland at the European Amateur Team Championship.
The Walker Cup
The Walker Cup Match is a biennial ten-man amateur team competition between a team composed of players from Great Britain and Ireland and the USA. It is played over two days with 18 singles matches and eight foursomes matches. The USA leads the overall series 35-8-1.