St Andrews Trophy call ups for Grehan and Hume; O'Rourke 2nd reserve
 Stuart Grehan.  Picture by  Pat Cashman

Stuart Grehan.  Picture by Pat Cashman

Tullamore and Maynooth University star Stuart Grehan has been selected alongside Jack Hume in the nine-man Great Britain and Ireland side for the St Andrews Trophy match against the Continent of Europe.

The Offaly star, the reigning South of Ireland champion, will tee it up with Walker Cup stalwart Hume at Prince’s Golf Club in Kent on from 20-21 July with Naas' Conor O'Rourke named as second reserve following his St Andrews Links Trophy victory and his performance in the European Amateur Team Championship.

The GB&I team will be captained by Scotland’s Craig Watson for the first time and will bid to retain the trophy following a 14-10 victory at Barsebäck in Sweden two years ago; their first win in the biennial match since 2008.

“We have selected a strong team for this match knowing that it will be a tough encounter at Prince’s”, said Watson.

“The players have impressed the selectors with their excellent performances this season and are looking forward to the challenge of trying to retain the trophy that GB&I won in Sweden two years ago.”

Two members of the team, Grehan and David Boote, appeared in Europe’s 18½-11½ win in the Arnold Palmer Cup at Formby last month.

Boote also featured in Europe’s record 21½-10½ win against Asia-Pacific in the Bonallack Trophy at Vidago Palace in Portugal in March.

Hume, who won the South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship this year, appeared in GB&I’s record 16½-9½ win over the USA in the 45th Walker Cup Match at Royal Lytham & St Annes last September.

England’s Jamie Bower has enjoyed a successful season, winning the Men's English Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship (Brabazon Trophy), the Gauteng North Amateur and the Southern Cape Open in South Africa this year.

Scott Gregory and Robert MacIntyre, who contested the final of The Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl last month, are both selected. Gregory, who was also runner-up in the Spanish Amateur Championship this year, defeated the Scot 2&1 to become the 2016 Amateur Champion and qualify for The 145th Open at Royal Troon.

Grant Forrest and Connor Syme, who along with MacIntyre were part of the Scottish team that beat Sweden this weekend to win the European Amateur Team Championship for a second consecutive year, also feature in Watson’s selection.

Alfie Plant, the 24 year-old winner of the Lytham Trophy in May, completes the team.

The St Andrews Trophy has been played alternately on British/Irish and mainland European courses since 1956. GB&I has won on 25 occasions and the Continent of Europe has won five times, including the 2010 and 2012 matches.

The GB&I team:

  • David Boote, 22, Walton Heath, Wales
  • Jamie Bower, 23, Meltham, England
  • Grant Forrest, 23, Craigielaw, Scotland
  • Scott Gregory, 21, Corhampton, England
  • Stuart Grehan, 23, Tullamore, Ireland
  • Jack Hume, 22, Naas, Ireland
  • Robert MacIntyre, 19, Glencruitten, Scotland
  • Alfie Plant, 24, Sundridge Park, England
  • Connor Syme, 21, Drumoig, Scotland

Captain - Craig Watson, East Renfrewshire, Scotland

Reserves —  1, Craig Howie, 21, Peebles, Scotland; 2, Conor O'Rourke, 24, Naas, Ireland

Player profiles

David Boote (Walton Heath)

Age 22 – member of European team that defeated the USA to win the Arnold Palmer Cup last month. Won the Bonallack Trophy with Europe against Asia-Pacific this year. Won the Welsh Amateur Championship in 2015 and finished fourth in the South American Amateur Championship in Lima in January.

Jamie Bower (Meltham)

Age 23 – three tournament wins in 2016, including the Men's English Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship (Brabazon Trophy), the Gauteng North Amateur and the Southern Cape Open in South Africa.

Grant Forrest (Craigielaw)

Age 23 – 2016 results include winner of the Battle Trophy at Crail’s Craighead Links, and top five finish at the Carrick Neill Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship. Won the European Amateur Team Championship with Scotland this weekend. The Walker Cup player won four times in US collegiate golf before graduating from the University of San Diego last year. Runner-up at The Amateur Championship in 2015.

Scott Gregory (Corhampton)

Age 21 – winner of the 2016 Amateur Championship, qualifying for The 145th Open, and runner-up in the 2016 Spanish Amateur Championship.

Stuart Grehan (Tullamore)

Age 23 – member of the European team that defeated the USA to win the Arnold Palmer Cup last month. Runner-up in the South Africa Stroke Play Championship and joint runner-up in the Carrick Neill Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship this year. Won the East of Ireland and South of Ireland Amateur Championships last year.

Jack Hume (Naas)

Age 22 – in 2016, the Walker Cup player has won the South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship and the individual event in the European Nations Cup, which was won by the Ireland team he played in. Was also runner-up in the Irish Amateur Open Championship and played in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation, a European Tour event.

Robert MacIntyre (Glencruitten)

Age 19 – runner-up in this year’s Amateur Championship. Won the Scottish Champion of Champions event at Leven earlier this year.  Won the European Amateur Team Championship with Scotland this weekend. Winner of the Scottish Amateur Championship in 2015 and finished in a tie for sixth in the individual event at the European Nations Cup in Spain in February.

Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park)

Age 24 – Winner of the Lytham Trophy in May this year. Runner-up in the English Men’s Amateur Championship and Grand Prix de Chilberta in 2015. 

Connor Syme (Drumoig)

Age 21 – Won the European Amateur Team Championship with Scotland this weekend and this year’s Australian Amateur Championship.

The St Andrews Trophy

The St Andrews Trophy is played biennially between Great Britain and Ireland and the Continent of Europe. It was first played in 1956 over the West Course at Wentworth when the European Golf Association accepted an invitation from The R&A to put forward a team.

The GB&I team won the inaugural match and it was not until 1974 that the Continent of Europe won for the first time. The matches have been closely contested in recent years and the Continent of Europe won the matches at Castelconturbia in Italy in 2010 and Portmarnock in 2012 with GB&I securing victory at Barsebäck in 2014.The GB&I team is selected by The R&A and the Continent of Europe side by the European Golf Association.