Walker Cup hopefuls set for Brabazon and St Andrew Links
 Stuart Grehan (IRL) during the second round of the European Nations Cup in Cádiz  30/03/2017. Picture: Golffile | Fran Caffrey

Stuart Grehan (IRL) during the second round of the European Nations Cup in Cádiz  30/03/2017.
Picture: Golffile | Fran Caffrey

Defending champion Conor O’Rourke will head a posse of Irish Walker Cup hopefuls in the St Andrews Links Trophy from June 9-11

The Naas ace returns to the scene of his breakthrough victory along with fellow Walker Cup panelists Paul McBride (The Island), Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint), Robin Dawson (Tramore) and Alex Gleeson (Castle) while Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith —the third highest ranked Irish player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking but not yet a member of the Walker Cup prelimnary squad— completes the Ireland line-up. 

O’Rourke’s wire-to-wire triumph in 2016 was the second success by an Irish player at St Andrews following that breakthrough win for Rathmore's Alan Dunbar in 2009.

Tullamore’s Stuart Grehan, currently the highest ranked Irish player at 40th the world, is unavailable for St Andrews because he will be helping Europe defend the Palmer Cup in Atlanta that week.

However, Grehan is included in the GUI’s six-man squad for the Brabazon Trophy at Woodhall Spa, from May 25-28 alongside O’Rourke, Campbell, Dawson,  Gleeson and The Island's Kevin LeBlanc

Scheduled for four rounds on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, five of Ireland’s six Walker Cup panelists will travel to Lincolnshire hoping to emulate Ronan Rafferty (1980), Niall Kearney (2008) and Cormac Sharvin (2015).

Victory in the English Stroke Play Championship clinched Walker Cup places for all three.

GUI SQUADS

Brabazon Trophy (Woodhall Spa, May 25-28)

  • Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint)
  • Robin Dawson (Tramore)
  • Alex Gleeson (Castle)
  • Stuart Grehan (Tullamore)
  • Conor O’Rourke (Naas)
  • Kevin Le Blanc (The Island).

St Andrews Links Trophy (St Andrews, June 9-11)

  • Paul McBride (The Island)
  • Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint)
  • Robin Dawson (Tramore)
  • Alex Gleeson (Castle)
  • Conor O’Rourke (Naas)
  • John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead).

The GUI’s High Performance Programme is supported by Sport Ireland.