McBride the lone Irishman in Walker Cup side

McBride the lone Irishman in Walker Cup side
Paul McBride on the 15th green during the final day singles in the Home Internationals at Moortown Golf Club, Leeds, England. 18/08/2017. Image courtesy Golffile/GUI ©Thos Caffrey

Paul McBride on the 15th green during the final day singles in the Home Internationals at Moortown Golf Club, Leeds, England. 18/08/2017. Image courtesy Golffile/GUI ©Thos Caffrey

Ireland might have won the Home Internationals four years running but The Island's Paul McBride is the lone Irishman selected for the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup side that will defend the trophy at Los Angeles Country Club from September 9-10.

With many of the top GB&I players now teeing it up in the clashing US Amateur Championship, the annual battle for the Raymond Trophy did Ireland few favours this time with McBride becoming Ireland's 43rd Walker Cup player.

Naas’ Conor O’Rourke had a slim chance of making it and was paired with McBride in foursomes for that purpose, winning all three matches at Moortown.

But his singles defeat to Welsh rival Jack Davidson on the opening day did not help his cause and he was only named as first reserve for a 10-man side that includes five Englishmen, two Scots and two Welshmen.

Wake Forest star McBride (21) believes his consistency was the key to his selection for a team that won with five Irishmen at Royal Lytham and St Annes two years ago.

But in line with the way the modern amateur game has gone, it was consistency in US collegiate golf and the biggest UK and European events that counted and the GB&I side features 10 of the top 12 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking with Tullamore's Stuart Grehan and second reserve Craig Howie the men missing out.

"I have been very consistent, but I haven't won," said McBride, who reached the quarter-finals of the British Amateur Championship and played all four rounds in last month's Porsche European Open on the European Tour, finishing tied 47th. 

"I played well at the British Amateur, the European Amateur and the European Team Championships. So I have played very solidly, which probably earned me my place."

While Ireland made up half the winning side in 2015 - Gavin Moynihan, Paul Dunne, Gary Hurley, Jack Hume and Cormac Sharvin are all now professionals — England dominates this year’s team as Ireland's main candidates failed to record an eye-catching victory.

Colm Campbell, Robin Dawson, John Ross Galbraith and Alex Gleeson were not at their best when it counted and Grehan, injured earlier this year, was not at his best.

As a result, British Amateur champion Harry Ellis, Open Championship Silver Medal winner and European Amateur champion Alfie Plant, Lytham Trophy winner Jack Singh Brar and St Andrews Links Trophy winner Matthew Jordan are all selected.

Last year’s Amateur champion Scott Gregory is joined by Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, the man he beat in the final, US Amateur quarter-finalist Connor Syme and Welshmen Davidson and David Boote. 

Newly-crowned US Amateur champion Doc Redman and beaten finalist Doug Ghim made Spider Miller's team with the absence of Sam Burns, Sean Crocker and mid-amateur Scott Harvey turning some heads.

According to Ryan Lavner at the Golf Channel: 

Burns, who earned the Nicklaus Award as the top player in college golf and recently tied for sixth in a PGA Tour event; mid-am Scott Harvey, who was part of the 2015 Walker Cup team; and Illinois senior Dylan Meyer, ranked No. 4 in the world.

GB&I: David Boote (Wal), Jack Davidson (Wal), Harry Ellis (Eng), Scott Gregory (Eng), Matthew Jordan (Eng), Paul McBride (The Island, Ire), Robert MacIntyre (Sco), Alfie Plant (Eng), Jack Singh Brar (Eng), Connor Syme (Sco). Reserves: 1st Conor O’Rourke (Naas, Ire), 2nd Craig Howie (Sco). Captain: Craig Watson (Sco).

USA: Cameron Champ, Doug Ghim, Stewart Hagestad, Maverick McNealy, Collin Morikawa, Doc Redman, Scottie Scheffler, Braden Thornberry, Norman Xiong, Will Zalatoris. Captain: John “Spider” Miller.