Four Irish in 20-man St Andrew Trophy squad
Tramore's Robin Dawson

Tramore's Robin Dawson

Ireland's Robin Dawson, Alex Gleeson, Caolan Rafferty and Rowan Lester have been named in the 20-strong Great Britain squad ahead of July's St Andrews Trophy match in Finland.

Scotland’s Craig Watson will Captain the nine-man team that will face the Continent of Europe at Linna Golf from July 26-27.

It will be his second match in charge following the 12.5– 121.5 tie at Prince’s in Kent in 2016.

Watson returns to the role after missing the Walker Cup match in September last year due to a family bereavement.

Castle's Alex Gleeson 

Castle's Alex Gleeson 

“I’m very much looking forward to the St Andrews Trophy," he said. "I’m delighted to resume the role and am excited about the potential of the new crop of players coming through and contending for a place in the team.

 “We know we will be in for a tough match in Finland and we will need a strong team if we are to win the trophy. I am sure the players we have identified, and others not currently in the squad will be working hard to impress the selectors in the coming months.”

With many of the 2017 Walker Cup team having turned professional following the 19-7 defeat by the United States in September, only England’s Matthew Jordan returns to Watson’s St Andrews Trophy squad.

The 22-year-old is the highest ranked GB&I player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (9th) after recently capturing the Lytham Trophy with a nine-shot victory. 

Hermitage's Rowan Lester. Picture:  Pat Cashman

Hermitage's Rowan Lester. Picture: Pat Cashman

Having not been included in the original squad, Jordan forced his way into the Walker Cup team with an impressive win at the St Andrews Links Trophy.

The Royal Liverpool golfer is joined by his victorious England 2018 European Nations Cup teammates Gian-Marco Petrozzi, David Hague and Todd Clements. Clements, the current English Amateur champion, claimed the individual title in Spain last month with a five-stroke winning margin.

Scottish Amateur Champion Sam Locke is included in the squad for the first time. The 19-year-old won the Scottish title after defeating countryman Ryan Lumsden in the final at Prestwick last July. Lumsden has also been named in the squad alongside Calum Fyfe, the 2017 Scottish Golf Men’s Order of Merit winner.

Ireland’s Robin Dawson will be looking to secure his place in the team having come close at the Walker Cup.

Dundalk's Caolan Rafferty

Dundalk's Caolan Rafferty

Dawson was a late addition to the squad last year after a bright start to 2017 in which he recorded two runner-up finishes at the South African Stroke Play Championship and the European Nations Cup.  The world number 66 is the highest ranked Irishman in contention with Texas-based Lester joined by the in-form Gleeson and Dundalk stalwart Rafferty, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise, culminating in his inclusion in the Irish team last year.

Watson will gather his squad on the eve of the St Andrews Links Trophy before the final team is announced after the European Men’s Team Championships in July.

The match will be played at Linna Golf from July 26-27

2018 GB&I St Andrews Trophy squad

By (WAGR ranking)

  • Matthew Jordan, Royal Liverpool, England.  Age 22 (9) 
  • Todd Clements, Braintree, England. Age 21 (13)
  • Gian-Marco Petrozzi, Trentham, England.  Age 21 (50)
  • Alex Fitzpatrick, Hallamshire, England. Age 19 (57)    
  • Robin Dawson, Tramore, Ireland. Age 22 (66)
  • Benjamin Jones, Northamptonshire County, England.  Age 19 (84)  
  • David Hague, Malton & Norton, England.  Age 21 (95)  
  • Billy McKenzie, Rowlands Castle, England.  Age 23 (96)
  • Harry Hall, West Cornwall, England.  Age 20 (99)
  • Ryan Lumsden, Royal Wimbledon, Scotland.  Age 21 (119)
  • Sandy Scott, Nairn, Scotland.  Age 19 (133)
  • Alex Gleeson, Castle, Ireland.  Age 24 (148)
  • Caolan Rafferty, Dundalk, Ireland.  Age 25 (163)
  • Euan Walker, Kilmarnock (Barassie), Scotland.  Age 22 (218)
  • Rowan Lester, Hermitage, Ireland.  Age 22 (286)
  • Calum Fyfe, Cawder, Scotland.  Age 20 (290)
  • Jamie Stewart, Old Course Ranfurly, Scotland.  Age 18 (354)
  • Robin Williams, Peterborough Milton, England.  Age 16 (384)
  • Andrew Wilson, Darlington, England.  Age 24 (405)
  • Sam Locke, Stonehaven, Scotland.  Age 19 (456)