Neil & Co. in running for GB&I spots
FIVE Scots have been included in the initial 20-man squad for the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team to face the USA at Royal Lytham & St Annes later this year.
Amateur champion Bradley Neil is joined on the shortlist by compatriots Grant Forrest, Graeme Robertson, Jack McDonald and Jamie Savage.
They will join the rest of the squad for a get-together at the Lancashire club ahead of the Lytham Trophy in May and, again, in July. It is reckoned that the players named in the squad by team captain Nigel Edwards will form the basis of the final ten-man team to take on America from September 12-13 as GB&I seeks to regain the title they last won in 2011 at Royal Aberdeen.
Such a strong Scottish representation in the squad has raised hopes that a repeat of the 2013 match – where there were no Scots in the side for the first time since 1949 – will be avoided.
Announcing the line-up, Nigel Edwards, who will captain the side for a third successive time this year, commented: “We have selected a strong squad of players and they will all know that they are in contention for a place on the team and it is up to them to perform this season.
“As the season progresses, I am sure that a number of players who do not form part of this current squad will challenge for places on the team as has happened in previous years with the likes of Steven Brown and Danny Willett playing their way on to the 2011 and 2007 teams. Players who do not form part of this squad can still play their way on to the team for September.”
Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan is the only player in the squad with previous Walker Cup experience. The reigning Scottish Strokeplay champion played in the 2013 match at the National Golf Links of America, where he earned two points in GB&I’s 17-9 defeat. He is joined by fellow Irishmen Gary Hurley and Paul Dunne.
Double European Amateur champion Ashley Chesters, Adam Chapman and Sam Horsfield, are among the 11 English players in the squad.
David Boote, who enjoyed a top ten finish in last year’s European Amateur Championship, is the sole Welshman included.