171. Peter Oosterhuis Has Died Aged 75

7th May 2024

Peter Arthur Oosterhuis has died at the age of 75, a day before his 76th birthday, in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Oosterhuis was born on 3rd May 1948 in London to Josie and Hans. Dutchman Hans had emigrated to Britain after escaping German occupation of his home country during Workd War II.

Peter was educated at Dulwich College. His mother introduced him to golf when he was 10 and he became a member of Dulwich & Sydenham Hill Golf Club, taking lessons with the pro Len Rowe.

His progress in the game was rapid and he represented England Boys’ in 1964 and went on to captain the team in 1965.

In 1966 he won the Berkshire Trophy and the R&A British Youths Open Amateur Championship at Dalmahoy. He also finished 3rd in this latter competition in both 1967 and 1968.

Interstingly he only chose to play in the Amateur Championship on one occassion. He lost in the third round at Troon in 1968 to Matt Lygate, a Scottish International who was a member at neighbouring Troon Portland.

He played in the 1967 Walker Cup match at Royal St. George’s G.C. having just turned 19. He was the first player still at school to play in the match. Paired with Scotland’s Ronnie Shade they halved one and won one of their two foursomes. He lost both of his singles; to Bob Dickson by 6&4 on Day 1 and James Grant III by 1 Hole on Day 2.

He was a member of the GB&I St. Andrews Trophy team that was victorious 20-10 against Continent of Europe in 1968, winning 3 out of 4 points at Portmarnock.

Peter Oosterhuis

The 6ft. 5” Oosterhuis turned professional in November 1968 and by the mid-1970s had replaced Tony Jacklin as Britain’s leading golfer.

In March 1969 he won the Sunningdale Foursomes with his partner Peter Benka. They beat Catherine Lacoste and Jean-Michel Lerretche in the Final 3&2.

He won the Harry Vardon Award in his rookie year, 1969, and went on to top the European Tour’s Order of Merit four times between 1971 to 1974. In 1975 he moved to the USA to compete full time on the PGA Tour, one of the first international players to do so.

The Englishman was twice a runner-up at The Open, in 1974 and 1982. He also had a good run at the 1973 Masters where he entered the final round, played on a monday after rain delays, with a 3-shot lead before closing with a 74 and having to settle for tied 3rd.

He won 20 times worldwide, with seven official victories in Europe, including the national opens of France and Spain, and one on the PGA Tour, overcoming Jack Nicklaus down the stretch in the 1981 Canadian Open.

Oosterhuis played in six consecutive Ryder Cups from 1971 to 1981 (only the last two including European players), all of which ended in team defeat, but individual success. He compiled a W14-L11-H3 overall record, including a joint European best six singles wins (out of nine games) taking the scalps of Arnold Palmer (2), Johnny Miller, JC Snead and Gene Littler. It is something of a surprise that he was never afforded the European team captaincy in the 1980’s but living full time in America obviously didn’t help his case.

His performances were built on a surprisingly sharp short game for a big man and sound strategy which he put down to his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; an ability to remember nearly every shot he ever played and staying focussed on the next task at hand.

Once his playing career ended in 1986 he took on a number of Director of Golf roles, most notably at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. He then became a highly respected TV commentator working firstly for Sky Sports and then the Golf Channel and CBS in USA for 18 years.

He was sadly diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and retired from the public eye.

In 2016 he became the 49th honorary life member of the European Tour.

Without a major win to his name Oosterhuis could never be considered a golfing great but he was certainly a player of some ability and unquestionably a hugely popular gentleman both on and off the course.


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

170. Dean Robertson Appointed GB&I Captain

15th February 2024

Dean Robertson has been appointed as the new Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) Men’s Captain by The R&A.

Robertson, who was born in Canada on 11th July 1970, will begin his initial two-year term by captaining GB&I against the Continent of Europe in the St Andrews Trophy match being played at Royal Porthcawl G.C. on 25th-26th July 2024. He will then look forward to taking the reins at the 50th Walker Cup match at Cypress Point Club in California on 6th-7th September 2025.

“To have represented Great Britain and Ireland in the St Andrews Trophy and the Walker Cup was the pinnacle of my amateur career and an incredible privilege,” said Robertson.“Now to have the honour of captaining Great Britain and Ireland is something I could not have imagined but it is one that I am thrilled about. I very much look forward to working closely with the players for the matches ahead with an important focus on being well prepared and playing to win.”

Dean Robertson (Photo: University of Stirling)

Robertson, the long standing High Performance Golf Coach at the University of Stirling, has a wealth of experience and no doubt will be a popular appointment.

The 53 year old has run a hugely successful golf program at Stirling over the last 14 years and has become a highly regarded coach to a number of amateur and professional players.

He has also been Head Coach (2009) and Assistant Head Coach (2016) of the European Arnold Palmer Cup team winning both an away and home match against USA.

Robertson, as a Cochrane Castle member, enjoyed a notable amateur career with victories in the 1991 Scottish Youths, 1992 Scottish Amateur Stoke Play and 1993 Scottish Amateur Championships.

He earned a golf scholarship at Midland College in Texas which aided his development.

He was part of the victorious GB&I side in the St Andrews Trophy match at Royal Cinque Ports in 1992 contributing two singles wins, including one against future Ryder Cup player Niclas Fasth, and a foursomes success in his four outings.

The following year Robertson played in the 1993 Walker Cup match at Interlachen C.C. In a 19.0-5.0 defeat he picked up a 3&2 singles victory on the rain-affected opening day against American amateur great Jay Sigel.

He turned pro after his Walker Cup appearance and secured a European Tour card at the 1994 Q-School. The highlight of his 14 year professional career, which saw him win €1.9m in prize money, came in 1999 when he beat Padraig Harrington by 1-shot to win the Italian Open.

Following in the footsteps of compatriot Catriona Matthew, who is captaining the GB&I Curtis Cup team this year, Robertson, who will become the first GB&I men’s captain to have been a professional golfer*.

He succeeds fellow Scotsman Stuart Wilson and becomes the 17th Scottish captain and third consecutive Scotsman to take the role.

GB&I have lost the last four Walker Cup matches and no Scotsman has ever captained a winning Walker Cup team. If Robertson is to break these two runs he will require all of his coaching and man-management skills and above all the emergence of some genuine playing talent in the next 18 months.

On a side note The R&A announcement stated that the appointment was for a “two year term” which potentially still leaves the door ajar for Paul McGinley to take up the role when the 51st Walker Cup match is played at his beloved Lahinch G.C. in Ireland in 2026. McGinley had been strongly rumoured to be the ‘name in the frame’ for 2024 but perhaps stepped back from the position as lucrative US television commentating opportunities have recently opened up for him.

*Two USA captains to date were previously professionals. Jim Holtgrieve (2011, 2013) turned professional in 1998 aged 50 and played on the Champions Tour for a few years. His amateur status was re-instated by the USGA in 2007. Nathaniel Crosby (2019, 2021), was a professional golfer primarily on the European Tour between 1984-87.


Copyright © 2015-2024, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

169. The Walker Cup 1922-2023 Centenary Edition Book Published

15th December 2023

‘The Walker Cup 1922-2023 ~ Golf’s Finest Contest’ by Gordon G. Simmonds has been published for The R&A by Grant Books Ltd.

‘The Walker Cup 1922-2023 ~ Golf’s Finest Contest’ Centenary Edition

This 3rd edition of the popular book, limited to 3,600 copies, represents a significant departure in format from the previous issues published in 2000 and 2004. Running to 384 pages it has been fully revised and an enlarged size has been adopted.

To celebrate the centenary match which took place at St. Andrews last September Simmonds has fully refreshed his history, including hundreds of extra photographs, new forwards from Peter McEvoy and Fred Ridley, up to date statistics and additional reports for the matches played between 2005 and 2023.

Whilst a large number of the books have already been subscribed for some copies are available for sale from Grant Books for £70.00.

Gordon G Simmonds 


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

168. Sir Michael Bonallack Has Died Aged 88

26th September 2023

Sir Michael Francis Bonallack, Kt, OBE, a past Walker Cup player, captain and administrator has died aged 88.

He was born in Chigwell, Essex, England on 31st December 1934 and died on 26th September 2023 in St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland.

He represented Thorpe Hall G.C., near Southend-on-Sea in Essex, throughout his amateur career.

His list of playing achievements is unlikely to ever be matched again and he is in my opinion the best GB&I amateur golfer of all time.

He first came to prominence when he won the British Boys Championship in 1952, beating Alec Shepperson on the 37th hole of the final at Formby GC.

He went on to win the Amateur Championship five times; the last three being in successive years: –
1961 v. Jimmy Walker 6&4 at Turnberry
1965 v. Clive Clark 2&1 at Porthcawl
1968 v. Joe Carr 7&6 at Troon
1969 v. Bill Hyndman (USA) 3&2 at Hoylake
1970 v. Bill Hyndman (USA) 8&7 at Newcastle, County Down

He also won the English Amateur Championship five times (1962, ’63, ’65, ’67 and ’68) and the English Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship (Brabazon Trophy) four times (1964, ’68, ’69 (tied with Rodney Foster) and ’71).

Other notable victories came in the Lytham Trophy (1965T and ’72), Berkshire Trophy (1957, ’61, ’65, ’68, ’70, ’71T), St. George’s Grand Challenge Cup (1965, ’68, and ’81), H.R.H. Prince of Wales Challenge Cup (1967), Hampshire Hog (1957 and 1979) and the no longer contested Golf Illustrated Gold Vase (1961T, ’67T, ’68, ’69T, ’71 and ’75).

He represented GB&I in nine Walker Cup teams, two as playing Captain (in 1957, ’59, ’61, ’63, ’65, ’67, ’69,  ’71 and ’73). He played 25 individual games, more than any other GB&I player in the history of the match and is only beaten by Jay Sigel’s 33 on the USA side. His record reads won 8, lost 14 and halved 3. The highlight for Bonallack was contributing to the victorious side in 1971 where GB&I won the cup for the first time in 33 years. “I was playing captain that year when we won over the Old Course at St. Andrews, and it does not get, cannot get, any better than that,” he later recalled.

Bonallack also represented GB&I in six World Amateur Team Golf Championships, for the Eisenhower Trophy, the last three as playing Captain (1960, ’62, ’64, ’66, ’68, ’70 and ’72). In 1968 he tied for the Individual title with Vinny Giles from the USA. He also represented GB&I in biennial matches against The Rest of Europe between 1958-72.

Sir Michael represented England in the Home International Matches on 17 occasions (1957-72, ’74). He captained the team between 1962-1967. His record was played 131; won 79, halved 15 and lost 37.  He also played in the British Commonwealth Team in 1959, 1963, 1967 and 1971, captaining the team in 1971 and 1975 (non-playing).

He played in 13 Open Championships. His best finish coming in his first when he tied 11th at Muirfield. He didn’t win the Silver Medal that year but secured it in 1968 (Carnoustie – T21) and again in 1971 (Royal Birkdale – T22). He considered these results his main golfing disappointment, reflecting in later years: “I wish I had done better in The Open”.

Good friend Donald Steel, writing for Country Life in July 1983, upon Bonallack’s competitive retirement, described him as a “fierce competitor” before adding “I have never seen anyone hole more critical putts than he did or impose the same magical touch on a whole variety of wedge and bunker play.”

He married Angela Ward in 1958.  A celebrity couple of the day the announcement of their earlier engagement made the front page news of almost every daily newspaper. Angela played in six Curtis Cup teams during her own golfing career (1956, ’58, ’60, ’62, ’64 and ’66).

Michael’s younger sister Sally (Barber) was also a very accomplished player, representing GB&I in the Curtis Cup in 1962.

Michael Bonallack joined The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in 1960. Over these years he was Chairman of the Amateur Status Committee (1975-79) and of the Selection Committee (1975-79) and a Member of the Rules of Golf Committee (1979-83), the General Committee (1975-1978 and 1999-2000) and the Heritage Committee (2006-10).

At the Club’s Autumn Meeting in September 2013 he become the 16th Honorary Member of The Royal and Ancient. He had previously been made a Life Member in 1999. As such his portrait is displayed in the Big Room of The Royal and Ancient Clubhouse.

Sir Michael Bonallack’s R&A Portrait (Photo: British Golf Museum) 

After his stellar playing career Sir Michael moved smoothly into golf administration. He was appointed Secretary of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in 1983, succeeding Keith Mackenzie.

As Secretary of the R&A, Bonallack helped to guide the game into the 21st Century. “He has bridged the gap between the history and heritage and tradition of The Open Championship and golf in general as it moved into the commercial age globally and internationally and he’s done it with great taste and tact and really stands almost alone as someone who has handled that crossing.” said the late Mark McCormack, chairman of International Management Group.

He retired as Secretary in 1999 after 16 years and was immediately nominated for the captaincy of the club for the millennium 1999-2000 year. There were two themes that he sought to bring to the role during his term of office: “…maintaining behavioural standards and ensuring that amateur golf is not destroyed by over-commercialism and ridiculously large prizes”.

The Bonallack Trophy, a biennial amateur competition played between teams from Europe and Asia-Pacific, was first played in 1998. The competition named in honour of Sir Michael continues to grow in importance and has helped to raise the profile of the game, particularly in the Far East, Indian and Australasia areas.

Sir Michael held many important positions in the golfing world and over the years received numerous honours and awards. Most notably he was knighted in 1998 becoming the third ‘golfing knight’ after Sir Henry Cotton and Sir Bob Charles. Sir Nick Faldo subsequently joined this select group in 2009.

Lady Bonallack died on Friday 1st July 2022 at the age of 85. She had been in poor health for a few years and finally succumbed to the COVID-19 virus.

Clearly in poor health Sir Michael was a very welcome guest at the opening ceremony of the 49th Walker Cup match played earlier this month at St. Andrews.

Sir Michael’s was a life well lived and he leaves a legacy to the game that can only be matched by a handful of others.


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

167. Walker Cup 2023 – Day 2 Match Report

3rd September 2023

USA won the 49th Walker Cup match at St. Andrews beating Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) by 14.5-11.5.

The USA dominated Day 2 winning 10 of the 14 points that were available. USA won the morning Foursomes 3.0-1.0 before also taking the afternoon Singles 7.0-3.0.

The USA Team (Photo: Oisin Keniry /R&A / R&A via Getty Images)

The match had echoes of the 2019 clash at Royal Liverpool G.C. where GB&I started well and led going into the the final Singles only to lose that key series badly (USA won that Singles 8-2).

USA have now won the last four Walker Cup matches and have improved their overall match record to W39, L9, H1. Their most recent loss came in 2015 at Royal Lytham when this year’s captain Mike McCoy was a playing member of the USA team.

After picking up the trophy McCoy said “This is a great feeling. I tried to put a lot of effort into this for two years and tried to do anything I could that would help make the team successful. I learned a little bit about what made each of them tick, and it just worked out. But there was a lot of effort by a lot of people to make this happen.”

Having lost his second Walker Cup match a disappointed GB&I captain Stuart Wilson said “The Americans just handled the (windier) conditions slightly better than us, and to be fair to the boys, without being too harsh, I’m sure they’ll be quite disappointed in the way they played themselves. They tried their hardest, but they didn’t turn up with their “A” games this afternoon I would say in some matches.”

In a statistical anomaly GB&I, who have nine successes to their name, have never won a Walker Cup match with a Scottish captain in charge. 2023, with Stuart Wilson in charge was that nation’s 16th attempt.

GB&I will next battle the odds again in September 2025 when they travel to Cypress Point G.C. in California for match number 50.

Gordon SARGENT was the star man winning all four of the games he played in with Mark POWER, unbeaten on Sunday, outstanding for GB&I.

Caleb SURRATT and Preston SUMMERHAYS also made a difference on Day 2 winning both of the games they were involved in in style.

Stewart HAGESTAD, who won both of his Singles today, became the first man since Jay Sigel (1977-87) to play on four consecutive winning teams.

Barclay BROWN was the only player on either side not to be involved in a winning game.

Here is my assessment of the individual player performances over the weekend:-

Here’s the detailed hole-by-hole scores for each game (which should be viewed in the context of match play games with concessions) alongside some of my own observations from being out on the course all day:-


USA came out fighting on Sunday morning winning the second Foursomes series 3.0-1.0.

Day 2 Foursomes – Course Information (Graphic: The R&A)

Day 2 Foursomes – Hole Locations (Graphic: The R&A)

* Due to the strong winds Hole 11 was changed to 12 On / 15 Left when the holes were being cut.

GB&I 1.0 – 3.0 USA

Cloudy skies greeted the players on Sunday morning. The breeze was much stronger and gusting close to 30mph at the far end of the course.

The greens were running at an average speed of 10 ft 3″, 3″ slower than yesterday.

John GOUGH and Matt MCCLEAN both looked a little weary on the course this morning and their play was generally untidy.

The American’s, Caleb SURRATT and Ben JAMES, certainly didn’t require their very best golf to take the first point of the day.

Surratt & James v. Gough & McClean Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

Game 2 got off to an inauspicious start with both Connor GRAHAM and Gordon SARGENT spinning their approaches on the 1st hole back into the Barry Burn. Sargent’s was inexcusable given he was playing into the green after the 16 year old Scotsman.

Despite the poor start the players settled down and it proved to be a highly competitive encounter.

Nick DUNLAP‘s 10ft birdie on the 3rd gave USA the early initiative.

On the 4th hole Graham holed from 25 feet for a birdie only to see Sargent immediately follow him from a similar distance.

The 5th was halved in birdie 4’s after both pairs two putted from distance before USA doubled their advantage on the 6th when the Scots three putted.

The holes around the turn were halved, albeit Calum SCOTT holed a tricky 12 footer on the 10th green, after Graham had driven into the right fairway bunker, to keep the American’s honest.

The two Scottish lads were fighting for their lives and eventually they were rewarded for their efforts.

On the short par 4 12th Graham again holed out from 8 foot only to see Sargent follow him in from slightly closer.

On the 13th Dunlap pulled his drive into a gorse bush which resulted in a bogey and on the 15th Sargent fell for the sucker pin and ran into the hidden bunker at the back of the green when a more cautious approach would have served him better when playing to the back hole location. When Dunlap left the ball in the bunker GB&I found themselves All Square with three holes to play.

Dunlap quickly got things back on track on the 16th for the Americans with a superb approach to a tight front right pin. Sargent, who had putted magnificently all morning, confidently delivered the birdie from 6 feet. USA 1Up with two to play.

On the 17th GB&I had great opportunity to get back level. Sargent left his approach short of the green on the left hand side whilst Graham arrowed his iron to 6 feet. Dunlap played a delightful chip that ran out close before Scott just missed his birdie putt to the left.

Both pairs drove to the edge of the 18th green and long putted to 10 feet (USA) and 5 feet (GB&I). Sargent again stepped up and in front of the large gallery holed without issue.

Sargent looked every inch the best amateur player in the world this morning with a superb display of hitting and clutch putting. The two Scottish lads played very well and a half wouldn’t have flattered them by any means.

Dunlap & Sargent v. Graham & Scott Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

The GB&I pair of James ASHFIELD and Alex MAGUIRE will be regretting some poor approaches and missed short putts on the front nine which enabled the USA pairing of Preston SUMMERHAYS and Nick GABRELCIK to quickly build up a 3Up lead in Game 3.

Despite a valiant fight back on the back nine the American’s saw the game out quite comfortably.

Summerhays & Gabrelcik v. Ashfield & Maguire Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

The only good news on a disappointing morning for GB&I was delivered by the all-Irish pairing of Liam NOLAN and Mark POWER.

Four birdies, albeit the 13th clearly a conceded one, turned their game against Dylan MENANTE and Austin GREASER right round.

Greaser struggled on the greens and no doubt Nolan, who will face him again in the Singles, will be testing his putting out fully this afternoon.

Menante & Greaser v. Nolan & Power Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 


Day 2 Singles – Course Information (Graphic: The R&A)

Day 2 Singles – Hole Locations (Graphic: The R&A)

A determined Caleb SURRATT made few mistakes on his way to getting the better of home favourite Calum SCOTT, who played well again without receiving any reward for his efforts.

Surratt v. Scott Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox)

Barclay BROWN had a disappointing Walker Cup and his finish this afternoon halted any momentum GB&I were trying to build up behind him. His capitulation from a 3Up with 4 holes to play position was most unexpected from one of our more experienced players. U.S. Amateur champion Nick DUNLAP has also struggled this week so he will have been pleased to finish the match off with a battling half.

Dunlap v. Brown Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox)

An inspired Stewart HAGESTAD putted the lights out against a combative Connor GRAHAM who again played with a lot of heart and never once let his head drop.

Hagestad v. Graham Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

Gordon SARGENT and John GOUGH played out a tight game with the Englishman edging the front nine before Sargent wrestled the advantage from him. Gough holed his second shot into the par 4 6th hole for eagle but later hit his drive on the 17th out of bounds to hand the initiative to the Alabama man.

Gough will be turning pro tomorrow and making his debut in the Horizon Irish Open at The K Club.

Sargent v. Gough Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

Preston SUMMERHAYS despatched an inconsistent James ASHFIELD 4&3 in the fifth Singles game not giving the Welshman any encouragement throughout.

Summerhays v. Ashfield Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

Matthew MCCLEAN required all his match play skills to fight back and secure a half against Dylan MENANTE in Game 6, albeit some shaky putting late on prevented him notching up a win.

Menante v. McClean Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

Having not featured in the two Foursomes sessions and having lost a close match with Gordon Sargent yesterday Jack BIGHAM was delighted to leave St. Andrews with a point to his name.

The Englishman finished in style playing the 16th perfectly and holing a nice putt to end proceedings against Nick GABRELCIK.

Gabrelcik v. Bigham Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

Mark POWER bowed out from amateur golf with a superb victory against Ben JAMES. He played the final three holes magnificently well as James refused to go quietly.

After James had holed from further way on 16 Power missed his own 6 foot birdie putt to move back to All Square. Unaffected he played an outstanding approach into 17 to move back into the lead and a brave drive down 18, just like yesterday afternoon, enabled him to again finish with a birdie and a 1 Hole victory.

Power, like Gough, is planning to turn pro tomorrow and will be debuting in next week’s Irish Open at The K Club.

James v. Power Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

Austin GREASER proved to be too good for Liam NOLAN and an exceptional back nine, with no sign of the putting woes that had afflicted him earlier in the day, saw the American run out a 3&1 winner.

Greaser v. Nolan Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

David FORD secured the point that won the Walker Cup in his game against Alex MAGUIRE as both players traded birdies coming down the home stretch.

Ford v. Maguire Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

166. Walker Cup 2023 – Day 1 Match Report

2nd September 2023

Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) lead USA by 7.5-4.5 after the opening day of the 49th Walker Cup match at St. Andrews.

GB&I won both the morning and afternoon series of games; the Foursomes 3.0-1.0 and the Singles 4.5-3.5.

The home team’s 3-point lead represents their joint best Day 1 performance, matching their efforts 34 years ago at Peachtree G.C. in Atlanta.

John GOUGH and Calum SCOTT both starred for GB&I, each delivering two points for their team. Gordon SARGENT also won both of his games for USA.

The key, as always, was the home team’s ability to hole a few more putts and importantly come out on the right side of most of the tight encounters.

Six games needed to play the 18th hole today with the GB&I team winning four of these and halving another.

A delighted GB&I captain Stuart WILSON said “It’s obviously been a great day result wise for GB&I, but it’s been hard fought. Our guys showed grit and determination and kept fighting and managed to get some points to get us ahead on the board, so well done to our guys.”

American captain Mike MCCOY said” It wasn’t the day we were looking for. The message tomorrow is win some points. We’ve got a talented group of players and I think they’re ready to step up and give us an opportunity.”

GB&I now only require 6 of the 14 points still to play for tomorrow to record a famous win, just their 10th in the 49 matches that have been played to date.

Having arrived at St. Andrews on the back of three consecutive defeats and starting out as massive under-dogs it would be a great achievement if the home team could now see this out.

However, home supporters shouldn’t get ahead of themselves as GB&I also took an early 7.0-5.0 lead at Royal Liverpool in 2019 before collapsing to a 10.5-15.5 defeat on the final day.

Matt McClean Birdies the 18th Hole (Photo: Oisin Keniry / The R&A / R&A via Getty Images)

Here’s the detailed hole-by-hole scores for each game (with the caveat that these were match play games with concessions) alongside some of my own observations from being out on the course all day:-


Day 1 Foursomes – Course Information (Graphic: The R&A)

Day 1 Foursomes – Hole Locations (Graphic: The R&A)

GB&I 3 – 1 USA

Play started under cloudy skies at 8.30am with good crowds surrounding the 1st hole.

The USA pairing of Gordon SARGENT and Dylan MENANTE, who had the honour of hitting the first shot in the 49th Walker Cup match, got off to a dream start. Californian Menante converting from 12ft for birdie after a nerveless approach over the burn from the WAGR No. 1.

However, the opening game quickly returned to All Square when Sargent’s drive found the deep fairway bunker on the left side of the 2nd fairway. With Menante forced to play out backwards and to the left GB&I were able to par their way to a hole win in regulation.

Menante, who seemed to settle the quickest of all four players, holed from 20ft on the third to restore USA’s 1Up advantage.

On the par 5 5th Sargent found one of the left greenside bunkers with his approach whilst Mark POWER impressively found the heart of the green. After playing three shots in various bunkers and still lying 25ft from the hole the Amercan’s picked up, looking like 7 would be the best they could score.

After seeing just one of the first five holes halved the match settled down and a sequence of shared pars followed.

The turning point in Game 1 came at the start of the back nine and in particular on the 10th and 12th holes.

Power, who had looked good on the greens on the front nine, missed what appeared to be a very makeable 6ft winning birdie putt on the 10th after Barclay BROWN had judged his pitch beautifully to the back hole location. Such opportunities can rarely be given up.

After the par 3 11th was halved Power then pulled his drive off the 12th tee into the gorse bushes. Despite a lost ball Brown returned to the tee and indeed finished the hole with a six before the USA team were required to play another shot. Sargent having, despite the breeze being against him, driven over 330 yards into the swale at the front of the green and close to the tucked pin.

With USA 1Up Power misjudged his approach into the 13th green from the fairway, leaving it well short. When Brown played a poor recovery pitch 30ft past the hole USA were left to two putt for an easy win.

With momentum on their side and the GB&I pair starting to struggle with their games it appeared unlikely that Menante and Sergeant would give up their 2Up lead and that proved to be the case.

The win came on the 16th after Sargent hit a huge drive along the out of bounds line, drawing the ball back into the centre of the fairway. Menante pitched in close and Sargent converted from 7 feet with ease. The American’s celebrated a good 3&2 win with Menante looking very solid.

Sargent & Menante v. Brown & Power Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

Game 2 saw an outstanding performance from the Scottish pair, Calum SCOTT and Connor GRAHAM. Two of the most competitive players on the home team were clearly determined to win this point in front of a partisan following.

Six birdies and no mistakes saw them run out comfortable winners in a high quality game against Caleb SURRATT and Ben JAMES. Feeling the pressure after two quick fire GB&I birdies on 14 and 15 the Americans drove out of bounds on the 16th to hand the Scots the win.

Surratt & James v. Scott & Graham Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

After a slow start which saw the American’s Preston SUMMERHAYS and David FORD take an early lead GB&I pair Matthew MCCLEAN and John GOUGH‘s consistent play enabled them to regain parity before seemingly staying just one step ahead of their opponents for the rest of the round.

McClean’s birdie on the 13th and Gough’s fist pumping 7ft birdie putt on the 16th green proved the critical difference coming down the stretch in what was a tight match.

The game could have ended on the 17th but the left-handed Ford played a great shot from the infamous Road Hole bunker to keep the match alive.

Summerhays, who had holed well on the 17th in his contribution to the great sand save, missed a short left to right birdie putt on the 18th green to help see GB&I over the line.

Summerhays & Ford v. McClean & Gough Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

In Game 3 Alex MAGUIRE and James ASHFIELD established a strong lead on the front nine with a superb eagle on the par 5 5th the highlight. Ashfield holing an impressive 35ft uphill putt to the delight of the crowds.

Having been reeled in on the back nine a battling finish, with Maguire’s putting particularly to the fore, enabled the GB&I pair to secure an important win.

Firstly, Ashfield, who was playing with a strapped up right wrist, holed from 12ft on the 16th for par after his approach had overshot the green. Hagestad still had a chance from 7ft to claim the birdie and hole win but his own putt narrowly missed.

Ashfield chipped superbly to 10ft from left of the green on the Road Hole before Maguire converted for a great winning par. After Dunlap’s chip wasn’t so tidy and Hagestad missed his 15ft putt the GB&I pair came to the 18th with a restored 1Up lead.

After Nick DUNLAP‘s eagle putt on the home hole lipped out this year’s St. Andrews Links champion, Alex MAGUIRE stepped up and holed another 10 footer to halve the hole in birdie 3 and secure what could be a critical 1 Hole win for GB&I.

Dunlap & Hagestad v. Maguire & Ashfield Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 


Day 1 Singles – Course Information (Graphic: The R&A)

Day 1 Singles – Hole Locations (Graphic: The R&A)

GB&I 4.5 – 3.5 USA

The sun broke through in the late morning and the Old Course was bathed in warm sunshine for most of the afternoon.

Eight Singles, to newly cut holes, were played in the Day 1 series with GB&I edging them 4.5-3.5 and extending their overall match lead to 7.5-4.5.

Barclay BROWN played steady par golf in Game 1 but Caleb SURRATT, a high quality player and still smarting after his morning defeat, was not going to be defeated again.

In near perfect conditions it was inevitable that birdies would be required to win a Singles and a class act like Surratt delivered them on the 5th, 9th and 12th holes.

Surratt v. Brown Scoreboard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

The second game proved to be a birdie-fest. I am sure Nick GABRELCIK would have been pleased to accept five birdies standing on the 1st tee. How wrong he would have been. Calum SCOTT arrived in Fife in form and is certainly rising to the occasion. He shot eight birdies, six of which won holes, to secure his second point on a memorable day for the Nairn man.

Gabrelcik v. Scott Scoreboard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

Having not been included in GB&I’s Foursomes line-up Jack BIGHAM will have wanted to impress in his Singles game against Gordon SARGENT.

After slipping to 2Down after 5 Holes matters looked bleak for the Hertfordshire man who is a rising sophomore at Florida State. It was therefore to Bigham’s credit that he was able to turn the match around with a string of birdies.

A 1 Hole lead standing on the 17th tee is never a secure position on the Old Course and so it proved in this game. Sargent’s par and birdie on the closing two holes good enough to regain control of the point.

Sargent v. Bigham Scoreboard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

Austin GREASER will not have enjoyed his afternoon on the Liam NOLAN rollercoaster.

Nolan offset six birdies with five bogeys in his round but came good down the stretch and sealed the deal with a great birdie on the home hole.

Greaser v. Nolan Scoreboard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

I was not surprised to see Mark POWER start poorly this afternoon after he seemed to lose some confidence on the back nine of his Foursomes this morning.

When David FORD holed a 60 yard bunker shot on the 10th hole for an eagle 2 and a 3Up lead, with Power already close to the hole in two, one feared that a heavy defeat maybe on the cards for the likeable Wake Forest graduate.

The fact he was able to settle himself and start playing high quality golf spoke volumes for his ability and character. It was also a good reminder for us all of why captain Wilson has so much faith in him.

Power won four holes in a row from the 12th to turn his match around; it appears two were won and two were handed to him with Ford bogeying.

A superb drive and birdie in front of a large crowd on the 18th green will no doubt be one of his abiding memories of the week, alongside his Irish flag raising duties at the Opening Ceremony.

Ford v. Power Scoreboard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

Game 6 proved to be one of the best match ups of the Day with big hitting Preston SUMMERHAYS and reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Matt MCCLEAN playing out an entertaining half.

After McClean had given up a 1Up advantage after he found the Road Hole bunker the two players showed off amazing touches to two putt from significant distance on 18.

Summerhays v. McClean Scoreboard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

Alex MAGUIRE seemed flat from the off this afternoon; perhaps drained from his putting exploits on the closing holes in the Foursomes.

An experienced player of Stewart HAGESTAD‘s quality needs no head start and with Maguire three putting for fun early on the game quickly got away from the Irishman.

Maguire fought as best he could but with his putter cold he fell to a disappointing  4&3 loss.

Hagestad v. Maguire Scoreboard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

The much anticipated clash between the U.S. Amateur champion, Nick DUNLAP, and GB&I’s long-standing No. 1 John GOUGH proved to be a one-sided affair.

Dunlap got off to a bad start spinning his approach on the 1st back into the burn but nothing could have prepared him for Gough’s putting.

An incredible uphill 40 footer on the 2nd and a 15 footer on the 3rd set the tone with the Englishman demonstrating a sound touch all the way round.

After Dunlap had three putted the 4th and 5th he found himself 5Down. A this point I reminded myself that Scott Hoch has the biggest Singles win in 18 hole Walker Cup history, beating James Buckley by 9&7 in 1979.

Gough hit two poor shots to my eyes in the game; the first coming at the 7th where his short iron ran through the back of the green and for the only time in the round he was unable to get up and down from a tricky spot.

He would win the game on the 13th hole. After Dunlap found trouble off the tee and could only make 5 Gough produced a winning par, albeit he had to work for it. Having badly misjudged the wind he found himself towards the back of the green with a 50 foot left to right swinging and downhill putt. He judged the first effort superbly and without any fuss drilled the second from 6 feet into the back of the hole.

Gough has drawn Gordon Sargent in the Sunday Singles. A tough ask but what better way to end his amateur career than by beating the World No. 1.

Dunlap v. Gough Scoreboard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox) 

Click here to view the – 2023 Walker Cup Tee Times / Results


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

164. 2023 Walker Cup Order of Play & Broadcasting Schedules Confirmed

29th August 2023

The R&A has confirmed the itinerary for the 49th Walker Cup match being played on the Old Course in St. Andrews later this week.

Programme of Events

Friday 1st September 2023

5.00pm – 6.00pm: Opening Ceremony (free to attend)

Saturday 2nd September 2023

8.30am – 9.00am:  4 Foursomes Matches (ticket required)

1.45pm – 2.55pm:  8 Singles Matches (ticket required)

Sunday 3rd September 2023

8.00am – 8.30am:  4 Foursomes Matches (ticket required)

1.15pm – 2.45pm:  10 Singles Matches (ticket required)

c.7.00pm:  Closing Ceremony following completion of play.

GB&I and USA Teams (Graphic: @WalkerCup)

UK Broadcasting Schedule

Saturday 2nd September 2023

There will be no coverage provided of the four opening morning Foursomes.

The eight afternoon Singles will be shown live on Sky Sports Golf and on the R&A’s website (www.randa.org).

Sunday 3rd September 2023

The R&A will provide live coverage of the four foursome matches on it’s website www.randa.org.

The ten afternoon Singles will be shown live on Sky Sports Golf and on the R&A’s website (www.randa.org).

The commentary team across the two days of the match will include Brad Faxon, Steve Burkowski, Gary Wolstenholme, Andrew Cotter, Hally Leadbetter and George Harper Jnr.

USA Broadcasting Schedule

The Golf Channel and Peacock will be providing coverage in the United States of America. It appears they will be picking up the Sky Sports Golf Singles coverage only.

The R&A website stream will not be available in the USA.


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

163. The R&A Announce The 2023 GB&I Walker Cup Team

21st August 2023

The following ten golfers have been selected for the 2023 Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup team for the forthcoming match at St Andrews: –

James ASHFIELD – Wales, Delamere Forest, 22 – WAGR #71
Jack BIGHAM – England, Harpenden, 19 – WAGR #88
Barclay BROWN – England, Hallamshire, 22 – WAGR #25
John GOUGH – England, The Berkshire, 24 – WAGR #11
Connor GRAHAM – Scotland, Blairgowrie, 16 – WAGR #184
Alex MAGUIRE – Ireland, Laytown & Bettystown, 22 – WAGR #149
Matthew MCCLEAN – Ireland, Malone, 30 – WAGR #52
Liam NOLAN – Ireland, Galway, 23 – WAGR #143
Mark POWER – Ireland, Kilkenny, 23 – WAGR #94
Calum SCOTT – Scotland, Nairn, 20 – WAGR #35

The team is made up of four players from Ireland, three from England, two from Scotland and one from Wales.

Connor Graham will be 16 years, 10 months and 9 days old when the 49th Walker Cup starts and will therefore become the youngest player to have ever competed in the match for either side.

Barclay Brown and Mark Power are constants throughout Stuart Wilson’s tenure as first Chairman of the GB&I Boys’ Selection Committee and subsequently GB&I Men’s Captain. Power played in his Jacques Léglise Trophy team against Europe in 2017 and 2018 whilst Brown played in the same match in 2018 and 2019. Both also played for GB&I at Seminole in the 2021 Walker Cup match and at Penati, Slovakia in the 2022 St. Andrews Trophy match.

GB&I Team (Graphic: The R&A)

Two reserves were also announced by the selection committee: –

Tyler WEAVER – England, Bury St Edmonds, 18 – WAGR #269
Caolan RAFFERTY – Ireland, Dundalk, 30 – WAGR #60

My own analysis had led me to prefer Caolan Rafferty and James Claridge over Connor Graham and Mark Power but I am confident the latter pair will in no way weaken our overall team.

My 2023 GB&I Team Selection Spreadsheet Extract

Stuart Wilson, GB&I captain, said, “We have selected ten players who we believe will give us the best chance of regaining the Walker Cup against the United States of America.

“This is their opportunity to perform on the biggest stage in amateur golf and have their name written alongside some of the greatest names in the history of the sport by winning the Walker Cup.”

“There is arguably no more iconic venue in the world to achieve that feat than on the Old Course in St Andrews. We look forward to the challenge of winning the match next week and I know these players will give it their all to win back the trophy in front of a home crowd.”

The Great Britain and Ireland Team will play USA in the 49th Walker Cup Match on 2-3 September 2023 at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Here are The R&A’s GB&I captain and player biographies: –


Stuart Wilson
Wilson is captain of the GB&I team for the second consecutive Walker Cup. Twenty years ago, in the Walker Cup in 2003, he was a member of the winning GB&I team at Ganton. In 2004, he won The Amateur Championship over the Old Course at St Andrews with a 4&3 win over Lee Corfield in the Final. He went on to win the Silver Medal as the low amateur in The 133rd Open at Royal Troon later that year and compete in the 2005 Masters Tournament. In addition to leading GB&I in the Walker Cup, he also captained last year’s GB&I team when they beat the Continent of Europe in the St Andrews Trophy and captained European teams in the Junior Ryder Cup in 2012 and 2014. He is the Secretary / Manager of Blairgowrie G.C., the home club of Connor Graham.


James Ashfield
Ashfield is representing GB&I in the Walker Cup for the first time. In 2023, the member of Wales’ national team has finished runner-up in both the Lytham Trophy and European Amateur Championship in Estonia, finished tied third in the Sotogrande Cup in Spain and reached the last-64 in The Amateur Championship at Hillside. In 2022, he won the Welsh Amateur Championship, reached the last-16 in The Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes and represented Wales in the Eisenhower Trophy in France. Two years ago at Nairn, he reached the semi-finals of The Amateur.

Jack Bigham
In 2023, the member of England’s national team has recorded top-12s in both the European Amateur Championship in Estonia and St Andrews Links Trophy, represented his country in both the European Amateur Team Championships and The R&A Men’s Home Internationals and completed his first collegiate season at Florida State University. In 2021, he won the R&A Boys’ Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports and reached the quarter-finals of the English Amateur at Moortown and the last-16 of The Amateur Championship at Nairn. He makes his Walker Cup debut in St Andrews.

Barclay Brown
Brown makes a second Walker Cup appearance after playing at Seminole in 2021. So far in 2023, the member of England’s national team has earned All-America honours in his senior season at Stanford University, finished tied-fourth in the NCAA Division One Individual Championship and competed in the US Open at Los Angeles Country Club. In 2022, he reached the last-64 in The Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes and after qualifying for The 150th Open at St Andrews, was tied 12th after 36 holes to make the cut. In that year, he was also a member of the winning GB&I team in the St Andrews Trophy against the Continent of Europe. Reached the quarter-finals of The Amateur Championship in 2020 and the semi-finals of The R&A Boys’ Amateur in 2019.

John Gough
Gough has been eager to make the GB&I team given his younger brother, Conor, represented GB&I at Royal Liverpool in 2019. So far in 2023, the member of England’s national team has won both the Australian Master of the Amateurs and Irish Amateur Open, finished runner-up in both the Avondale Amateur and the Sotogrande Cup, reached the last-32 in The Amateur Championship and made the cut in the DP World Tour’s Betfred British Masters. In 2022, he won both the Spanish Amateur and the Lytham Trophy, finished runner-up in the Scottish Amateur Open, reached the semi-finals of The Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes and represented England in the Eisenhower Trophy. Before his defeat to Sam Bairstow in the semi-finals of The Amateur last June, he had gone on a run of only losing one of 24 match play ties. Last year, he was also a member of the winning GB&I team in the St Andrews Trophy against the Continent of Europe.

Connor Graham
At the age of 16, Graham will become the youngest players on either team to ever compete in the Walker Cup. So far in 2023, the member of Scotland’s national team has won the Scottish Amateur Open and finished runner-up in the French Under-18 Amateur Open. In 2022, he won The R&A Junior Open at Monifieth and finished runner-up in the Lytham Trophy, tied third in the Scottish Boys’ Amateur Open and shared seventh in the St Andrews Links Trophy.

Alex Maguire
After winning the first-ever Open Amateur Series to qualify for The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool in July, Maguire has achieved another highlight. This year, the member of Ireland’s national team has also won the St Andrews Links Trophy and East of Ireland Amateur Open, reached the quarter-finals of The Amateur Championship at Hillside, finished fourth in the Irish Amateur Open and closed his senior season at Florida Atlantic University with a tie for fourth in his conference championship. In 2022, he won the East of Ireland Amateur Open and reached the semi-finals of The Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes. In 2021, he won the North of Ireland Amateur Open and reached the quarter-finals of the South of Ireland Amateur Open.

Matthew McClean
A Walker Cup debut for McClean. Last year, he won the US Mid-Amateur Championship by defeating Hugh Foley in the final at Erin Hills in Wisconsin. To date in 2023, the member of Ireland’s national team has competed in both the Masters Tournament and the US Open and recorded top-ten finishes in the South African Amateur, East of Ireland Amateur Open and Brabazon Trophy. He also reached the last-64 of the US Amateur and the semi-finals of the Western Amateur. In addition to his USGA championship title in 2022, he also finished runner-up in both the Irish Amateur Open and North of Ireland Amateur Open, reached the last-16 in The Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes and represented Ireland in the Eisenhower Trophy. In that year, he was also a member of the winning GB&I team in the St Andrews Trophy against the Continent of Europe.

Liam Nolan
Nolan makes his Walker Cup debut thanks to a fine season in which the member of Ireland’s national team has won the South American Amateur in Ecuador and Brabazon Trophy and reached the last-64 in The Amateur Championship at Hillside. In 2022, he recorded top-four finishes in the North of Ireland, South of Ireland and West of Ireland Amateur Open championships and finished in a share of tenth in the Brabazon Trophy and tied-14th in the St Andrews Links Trophy. In 2021, he won an R&A Student Tour Series event in Ireland and finished runner-up in both the West of Ireland Amateur Open and Connacht Men’s Stroke Play.

Mark Power
A second Walker Cup appearance for Power who went 3-1-0 in 2021 at Seminole and was 2-0-0 in foursomes with John Murphy. To date in 2023, the Ireland national team player has completed his fourth collegiate season at Wake Forest University and finished tied 13th in the European Amateur Championship in Estonia. In 2022, he reached the last-32 in The Amateur Championship and the last-64 in the US Amateur and represented Ireland in the Eisenhower Trophy. In that year, he was also a member of the winning GB&I team in the St Andrews Trophy against the Continent of Europe. In 2020, he finished runner-up in the Brabazon Trophy, reached the semi-finals of The Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale and represented the International team in the Arnold Palmer Cup.

Calum Scott
In 2019, his older brother Sandy represented GB&I at Royal Liverpool and Scott now joins the family roll of honour. This year, the member of Scotland’s national team finished tied third in the St Andrews Links Trophy, reached the last-64 in The Amateur Championship at Hillside, made the last-32 of the US Amateur and completed his second season at Texas Tech University. In 2022, he finished third in the European Amateur Championship and represented Scotland in the Eisenhower Trophy. In that year, he was also a member of the winning GB&I team in the St Andrews Trophy against the Continent of Europe. In 2021, he reached the quarter-finals of The Amateur Championship over his home course of Nairn and reached the last-16 in both The R&A Boys’ Amateur and Scottish Amateur Open.


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

162. USGA Confirm 2023 USA Walker Cup Team

20th August 2023

Following the completion of the U.S. Amateur Championship at Cherry Hills G.C. the USGA’s International Team Selection Working Group (ITS) confirmed the remaining six players who would complete the USA’s 2023 Walker Cup team: –

Nick GABRRELCIK, 21, of Trinity, Florida – WAGR #10
Austin GREASER, 22, of Vandalia, Ohio – WAGR #8
Stewart HAGESTAD, 32, of Newport Beach, California – WAGR #15
Ben JAMES, 20, of Milford, Connecticut – WAGR #6
Dylan MENANTE, 22, of Carlsbad, California – WAGR #5
Preston SUMMERHAYS, 21, of Scottsdale, Arizona – WAGR #18

These six players join the four that had previously been selected to the team.

Nick DUNLAP, 19 – Huntsville, Alabama
David FORD, 20 – Peachtree Corners, Georgia
Gordon SARGENT, 20 – Birmingham, Alabama
Caleb SURRATT, 19 – Indian Trail, North Carolina

The three highest ranked American players, Gordon SARGENT #1, Michael THORBJORNSEN (21) #2 and David FORD #4 (previously #3), in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) on 21st June 2023 received automatic selections two months ago. On 9th August 2023 Thorbjornsen withdrew from the match due to a back injury, thus opening up another space in the line-up.

Nick DUNLAP (WAGR #9), who won the U.S. Amateur Championship earlier today, and Caleb SURRATT (WAGR #7) were added to the USA team by the ITS on 31st July 2023 having impressed with their strong play over the early summer period.

Summerhays was perhaps the surprise pick in the final wave as the ITS overlooked two higher WAGR ranked players, namely Cole Sherwood (12th) and Luke Clanton (14th). Summerhays’ stronger ‘USGA pedigree’ no doubt helped his case.

“These six players are outstanding additions to round out this year’s team,” said Mike McCoy, captain of the USA Team. “This group of players has earned the opportunity to be part of this team and I’m thrilled to see their hard work rewarded. I am beyond excited to have our full team set as we begin to prepare for the Old Course.”

Maxwell MOLDOVAN, 21, of Uniontown, Ohio and Neal SHIPLEY, 23, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania were also named as the USA’s non-travelling first and second alternates, respectively.

The USA Team will play Great Britain and Ireland in the 49th Walker Cup Match on 2-3 September 2023 at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland.

USA Team (Graphic: USGA)

Here are the USGA’s biographies (edited) of all of the USA team: –

Nick Dunlap, 19, of Huntsville, Alabama
– The 2023 U.S. Amateur champion.
– He joined Tiger Woods as the only players to have won the U.S. Junior Amateur (2021) and U.S. Amateur titles (2023).
– Dunlap has also won the 2023 Northeast Amateur and North & South Amateur titles.
– Match play record since winning the AJGA’s Polo Classic in 2021 is P32, W30, L2.
– He is a rising sophomore at the University of Alabama.

David Ford, 20, Peachtree Corners, Georgia
– Ford will join the small group of left-handed Walker Cup players.
– He claimed the 2022 Southern Amateur at Sea island G.C.
– He is a rising junior at the University of North Carolina.
– A member of the 2023 Arnold Palmer Cup team.
– Has twin brother, Maxwell, who is also an elite amateur golfer.

Nick Gabrelcik, 21, of Trinity, Florida
– Earlier this summer, he notched a victory at the Southern Amateur Championship at the Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tennessee.
– He is a rising senior at the University of North Florida.
– In 2021, he earned the Phil Mickelson Award as the top freshman in college golf. He is a three-time USA Palmer Cup competitor and made the cut in the 2023 Valspar Championship on the PGA Tour, shooting a second-round 67.

Austin Greaser, 21, of Vandalia, Ohio
– Greaser was runner-up to James Piot in the 2021 U.S. Amateur at Oakmont C.C.
– He is a fifth-year senior at the University of North Carolina.
– Greaser won the 2022 Western Amateur Championship, defeating Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira in the finals.

Stewart Hagestad, 32, of Newport Beach, California
– A mid-amateur member of three winning USA Walker Cup Teams (2017, 2019, 2021).
– He has played in 26 USGA championships, including 13 U.S. Amateurs.
– He captured the 2021 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Sankaty Head Golf Club, defeating Mark Costanza, 2 and 1. He also defeated Scott Harvey in 37 holes in the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship final, producing the largest comeback victory since the 36-hole final was introduced in 2001.
– Hagestad was the low amateur in the 2017 Masters Tournament, becoming the first invited Mid-Amateur champion to make the 36-hole cut.

Ben James, 19, of Milford, Connecticut
– James advanced to the quarterfinals of this week’s U.S. Amateur, falling in 19 holes to Parker Bell.
– He is coming off an accolade-filled freshman year at the University of Virginia, where he was named winner of the 2023 Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman Award, a First-Team Ping All-American, ACC Freshman of the Year and a finalist for both the Haskins and Jack Nicklaus Awards.
– He finished sixth at the NCAA Championships, set the UVA record with five first-place finishes and finished in the top six in 11 of 13 tournaments.
– James was also selected to the 2023 U.S. Palmer Cup Team.

Dylan Menante, 22, of Carlsbad, California
– Menante is a fifth year senior at the University of North Carolina.
– He was previously a member of the Pepperdine team that captured the 2021 NCAA Championship
– He has competed in five U.S. Amateurs (2018,

Gordon Sargent, 20, of Birmingham, Alabama
– Ranked #1 in WAGR and winner of the 2023 Mark McCormack Medal
– The low amateur at the 2023 U.S. Open Championship at Los Angeles C.C.
– Sargent is a rising junior at Vanderbilt University. He won the NCAA Division I Championship in 2022 as a freshman.
– Played in the USA’s World Amateur Team in 2022 (3rd place) and has already been selected for the 2023 team.

Preston Summerhays, 21, of Scottsdale, Arizona
– Summerhays won the 2019 U.S. Junior Amateur.
– He won the 2020 Sunnehanna Amateur, becoming the youngest champion in tournament history.
– In 2022, Summerhays was named Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Year after recording eight top 10s during his first year at Arizona State University.

Caleb Surratt, 19, of Indian Trail, North Carolina
– Runner-up to Dunlap at the 2023 Northeast Amateur.
– Caleb is a rising sophomore at the University of Tennessee.
– Runner-up in the the 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur and winner of the 2021 Western Amateur.

Here are the current World Amateur Golf Rankings with the full USA team overlayed on it: –

WAGR Top 20 16th August 2023 Release (Graphic: WAGR)


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

161. Gough and Brown Earn GB&I WAGR-Based Selection

16th August 2023

In line with The R&A’s stated selection policy John GOUGH (ENG), 24, and Barclay BROWN (ENG), 22, have today been confirmed as the first members of the 2023 Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) team.

The R&A’s Selection Policy (Graphic: R&A Walker Cup Website Page)

John Gough is ranked 11th and Barclay Brown 25th in today’s World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) making them eligible for the two WAGR-related automatic selections.

John follows in the footsteps of his younger brother Conor, 20, who represented GB&I in the 2019 match at Royal Liverpool G.C.

Nobody would question these selections as the two players are seasoned GB&I and England internationals with plenty of Championship experience. Both represented GB&I in last year’s St. Andrews Trophy match and were in The R&A’s initial 2023 Walker Cup squad.

Whilst both fully deserve their places in the team they will both arrive in St. Andrews with some question marks against them.

John Gough

Gough has enjoyed an outstanding last 18 months winning the Spanish Amateur, Lytham Trophy, the Australian Master of the Amateurs and the Irish Amateur Open.

However, since the Irish win in mid-May he has struggled to reach these heights and will need to regain his top form quickly if he is to play the leading role everyone has expected of him at St. Andrews for some time.

Barclay Brown

Brown, a rising 5th year senior at Stanford University in California, enjoyed a fairly uninspiring 4th season in U.S. collegiate golf. His 2022/23 performances were ranked 108th in the GolfWeek Sagarin ranking and 81st in the GolfStat ranking.

To his credit Barclay peaked superbly in late May and early June finishing tied 14th in his NCAA Regional, tied 4th in the NCAA Championship Stroke Play and then qualifying for this year’s U.S. Open Championship at Los Angeles C.C.

He hasn’t played that much over the summer and when he has his form has been a little bit patchy. It is also a little concerning that he has only played two competitive rounds of links golf in the last 12 months – a 78 and 73 (+7) for tied 60th in The Open Championship’s Final Qualifying event at West Lancashire G.C.

     Brown’s 2023/24 Collegiate Record (Graphic: Stanford University)

The other GB&I players ranked in the latest WAGR top 100 are Calum SCOTT (SCO) 35th, Matt MCCLEAN (IRL) 52nd, Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) 60th, James ASHFIELD (WAL) 71st, Max KENNEDY (IRL) 79th, Jack BIGHAM (ENG) 88th and Mark POWER (IRL) 94th.

The full GB&I team is expected to be announced next Monday (21st August) following the completion of the U.S. Amateur Championship and the R&A Boys’ Amateur Championship.


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

160. Thorbjornsen Withdraws From The USA Team

9th August 2023

Michael THORBJORNSEN has announced on his Instagram account that he has withdrawn from the 2023 USA Walker Cup team due to a stress fracture in his back.

Michael Thorbjornsen (Photo: Stanford University)

Thorbjornsen, who is a rising senior at Stanford University and the #2 ranked player in the current World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), has been advised to take a 4-8 week break from the game so that the injury can hopefully heal naturally.

Thorbjornsen had been in the three-man group, alongside David FORD and Gordon SARGENT, who had been automatically selected for the 2023 USA team due to them having the three best American WAGR’s on 21st June 2023.

As one of the world’s leading amateurs his loss is equally a blow for the United States team and the match itself where he would have been one of the big draws for the supporters at St. Andrews.

Thorbjornsen’s Instagram Post


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

159. USA Adds Dunlap And Surratt To Their 2023 Line-Up

31st July 2023

The USGA’s International Team Selection Working Group (ITS) have added Nick Dunlap and Caleb Surratt to USA’s 2023 Walker Cup team.

Nick Dunlap and Caleb Surratt (Photo: USGA)

Nick Dunlap, 19, of Huntsville, Alabama has enjoyed an excellent early summer highlighted by back-to-back wins at the Northeast Amateur and the North & South Amateur. As a result he is currently leading the 2023 Elite Amateur Golf Series standings. He is a rising sophomore at the University of Alabama and previously won the 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.

Caleb Surratt, 19, of Indian Trail, North Carolina came into the summer after a consistent collegiate season where he enjoyed seven top-10 finishes and garnered first-team All-American honours. A rising sophomore at the University of Tennessee he was runner-up to Dunlap at this year’s Northeast Amateur. In 2022 Surratt won the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, became the first back-to-back winner of the Terra Cotta Invitational and won the 2022 Elite Amateur Golf Series.

Whilst Surratt attended the USA’s Squad practice session in Florida in December 2022 Dunlap was not considered in the running at that time so has had to play his way onto the team in 2023.

“Nick and Caleb are excellent additions to further solidify this year’s team,” said Mike McCoy, captain of the USA Team. “These two players have worked tirelessly to put themselves in a position to be selected to this team and I’m thrilled to see their hard work be rewarded. I look forward to having them on our side at the Old Course.”

The pair join David Ford, Gordon Sargent and Michael Thorbjornsen who earned automatic selections to the 10-player roster on 21st June 2023 as the three highest-ranked American players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).

All five of the selected players are in the current WAGR top 10 (26th July 2023 Release). The ITS met in the week commencing 17th July to make this decision so Dunlap and Surratt were even more highly ranked at the time.

WAGR Top 10 26th July 2023 Release (Graphic: WAGR)

Click here to view the current – WAGR Men’s Ranking

The winner of the 2023 U.S. Amateur Championship, set to take place on 14th-20th August at Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado, and the recipient of the 2023 McCormack Medal, provided they are American, will earn the final automatic spots on the team.

The ITS working group will name final selections to the team and alternates immediately following the U.S. Amateur Championship on 20th August 2023.

The USA Team will compete against Great Britain and Ireland in the 49th Walker Cup Match on 2nd-3rd September 2023 at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Click here to view my earlier articles concerning the USA Team Selection: –
‘155. USGA Provides 2023 Walker Cup USA Team Selection Timetable’
‘157. USA’s Three 2023 WAGR Picks Are Confirmed’


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

158. Lahinch G.C. To Host The 2026 Walker Cup Match

10th July 2023

The R&A have announced that Lahinch Golf Club, located on the west coast of Ireland, will host the 51st Walker Cup match on 5th-6th September 2026.

The biennial match is moving to even years from 2026 so that it is not held in the same year as the World Amateur Team Championships. It will therefore follow on quickly from the 2025 contest being played at Cypress Point G.C. in California.

It will be the third occasion that the match has been played in Ireland with Lahinch following in the footsteps of Portmarnock (1991) and Royal County Down (2007).

The choice of Lahinch by the R&A ties in nicely with the rumours surrounding Paul McGinley as a likely future GB&I Walker Cup captain.

Lahinch Golf Club (Photo: Lahinch G.C.)

The famous links course was originally laid out by Old Tom Morris before Dr. Alistair Mackenzie re-designed it solely in the sandhills in 1926/27. Dr. Matin Hawtree completed a sympathetic restoration in the early 2000’s to bring it fully up to date.

Lahinch is the long standing home of the South of Ireland Amateur Championship which has been played annually since 1895. As such it is well known to the Irish amateur golfing community.

More recently it hosted the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in 2019, an event won by Spain’s John Rahm. This Championship was hosted for the DP World Tour by McGinley.

As a precursor the 2024 Arnold Palmer Cup match between a mixed team of International and USA collegiate golfers is also being played at Lahinch.

Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A, said, “Lahinch is widely regarded as being one of the finest links courses in Ireland and so there will be great excitement at the prospect of the Walker Cup being played there for the very first time. 

“Whenever we have staged a championship or international match on the island of Ireland, we have always been fortunate to have Irish fans turn out in great numbers to support the competing golfers and generate a fantastic atmosphere.

“We look forward to enjoying another special occasion in 2026 when many of the world’s best men’s amateur golfers will represent Great Britain and Ireland and the United States of America to compete for this historic trophy.” 

Click here to read The R&A Announcement – ‘The 51st Walker Cup Match to be played at Lahinch in 2026’


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

157. USA’s Three 2023 WAGR Picks Are Confirmed

21st June 2023

In line with the USGA’s International Team Selection Working Group’s (ITS) guidance provided in May we now know the first three members of USA’s 2023 Walker Cup team.

David Ford, Gordon Sargent & Michael Thorbjornsen (Photo: USGA)

The three highest ranked American players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) on 21st June 2023, namely Gordon SARGENT (20) #1, Michael THORBJORNSEN (21) #2 and David FORD (20) #3, have all secured automatic selections.

All three play in the U.S. college system. Next season Sargent will be a junior at Vanderbilt, Thorbjornsen a senior at Stanford and Ford a junior at University of North Carolina.

Sargent who currently has 16 PGA TOUR University Accelerated points will gain 2 more when he represents USA at the Walker Cup. When a player reaches 20 points and has completed their junior season (as a minimum) they become eligible for a full PGA Tour card for the rest of that season and the one after that. With other amateur and pro events coming up this summer ahead of his September trip to St. Andrews Sargent looks very likely to become the first player to complete this route to the Tour.

The three selectees all attended the USA’s Squad practice session in Jupiter, Florida in December 2022.

The ITS will name a second set of additional players to the 10-man team in late July and then round things off following the completion of the U.S. Amateur Championship on 20th August 2023.

WAGR Top 10 21st June 2023 Release (Graphic: WAGR)

Whilst the match is never played on paper USA players currently occupy nine places in the latest WAGR top 10 and fifteen in the top 20.

Click here to view the current – WAGR Men’s Ranking

Click here to view my earlier article – ‘155. USGA Provides 2023 Walker Cup USA Team Selection Timetable’


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

156. Notes From The St. Andrews Links Trophy

12th June 2023

The St. Andrews Links Trophy took place at The Home of Golf on 9th-11th June 2023.

There were three main stories from the events of last week: –

Squad Session

With 17 players from his 20-man GB&I squad competing captain Stuart Wilson arranged his second squad session at St. Andrews, inviting his players to practice together ahead of the competition.

I am sure Wilson will have been pleased to see many of his U.S. college based contingent back home and building team spirit with the rest of his squad.

Alongside the golf the squad were all fitted for their team clothes and given some basic media training during their time together. Fanny Sunesson, who was again caddying for 17 year old Frank KENNEDY (ENG), also shared some of her experiences with the players at a team dinner.

The missing squad members were Barclay BROWN (ENG), Josh HILL (ENG) and Matthew MCCLEAN (IRL). Brown, who came through Final Qualifying in California last Monday, and McClean, the reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, are both playing in this week’s U.S. Open Championship.

The only other notable player that was missing was Max KENNEDY (IRL), our leading player on the U.S. college circuit in 2022/23, who having been selected for the International team was obliged to play in the Arnold Palmer Cup in Pennsylvania. He tied one match and lost the other three. As a non-squad member I hope he doesn’t come to regret this choice in the coming weeks.

Selection Winners & Losers

Alex MAGUIRE (IRL), a player outside of the initial squad, was the big Walker Cup selection winner.

Having retained the East of Ireland Open Amateur last Monday the Laytown and Bettystown member confirmed his status as GB&I’s most in-form player by running away with the prestigious St. Andrews Links Trophy. After an opening round of 70 on the New Course he shot 66, 66 and 64 on the Old to win on -21 by 5-shots.

Whilst nothing can be taken for granted – ask Jake Burnage who won this event with a similar total in 2019 – this was a very persuasive statement.

I would argue that given the venue and the strength of field the St. Andrews Links Trophy is arguably the most important event, from a Walker Cup perspective, that our leading amateurs will play this season.

Alex Maguire (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

Other players to enhance their selection prospects on the 2023 host course were Calum SCOTT (SCO) -15 3rd, Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) -12 7th, Frank KENNEDY (ENG) -11 8th, Charlie CROCKETT (ENG) -11 9th, Archie DAVIES (WAL) -8 16th and Jack BIGHAM (ENG) -8 18th.

Whilst making the top 40 and ties cut at the Links Trophy from a field of 144 players should never be dismissed Rob MORAN (IRL) -6 22nd, Gregor TAIT (SCO) -5 28th, Will HOPKINS (ENG) -4 29th, Sean KEELING (IRL) -3 32nd, Dylan SHAW-RADFORD (ENG) -2 34th, Paul CONROY (IRL) +1 39th and Mark POWER (IRL) +2 40th all arguably needed more to push their individual cases.

Whilst there were selection winners there were also losers too and sadly this included quite a few players who would, pre-tournament, have considered themselves to be very much in the mix. Matt ROBERTS (WAL) -1, Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) -1, James CLARIDGE (ENG) Ev, Josh BERRY (ENG) Ev, Tyler WEAVER (ENG) Ev, Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL) Ev, James ASHFIELD (WAL) +1, Harley SMITH (ENG) +1, recent winners Liam NOLAN (IRL) +3 & Connor GRAHAM (SCO) +4, Hugh FOLEY (IRL) +4 and  John GOUGH (ENG) +4 all missed the 36-hole cut.

As things stand, and I accept it is still relatively early days, the 2023 GB&I Walker Cup team is going to be one of hardest selections for many years with only a small number of players showing any sort of consistency as we enter the home straight.

I have been maintaining my own Walker Cup selection spreadsheet covering all of the events played in 2023. Based on this here’s how I rank my current team / top 20 after the St. Andrews Links Trophy: –

My GB&I 2023 Walker Cup Selection Spreadsheet (Graphic: Golf Bible) 

The Old Course, St. Andrews

Whilst the history and tradition of the Old Course is second to none the St. Andrews Links Trophy, where the final three rounds were played around the 7,171 yard par 72 course, once again confirmed that it no longer presents a challenge worthy of a Championship unless the weather is particularly poor.

The scoring on the Old Course throughout was excellent with 68 or 69 seemingly the effective par and red figures emblazoned across the leaderboard in each round. Alex Maguire shot -20 for his final 54 holes, all played on the Old.

Click here to view the – 2023 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results

I have feared from the minute it was announced that the selection of the Old Course by The R&A may come back to haunt the GB&I team and play into the hands of an always outstanding USA team. I foresee them getting to grips with this course very quickly in September thus negating some of our home advantage.


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

155. USGA Provide 2023 Walker Cup USA Team Selection Timetable

17th May 2023

The USGA’s International Team Selection Working Group (ITS) has this week confirmed the 2023 USA Walker Cup team’s selection timetable.

This process is in line with the USGA’s selection policy announcement of July 2018 which the ITS have followed for the last two matches.

The three highest ranked American players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) on 21st June 2023 will receive automatic selections onto the team.

As at 17th May 2023 the three eligible players under this category would be Gordon SARGENT #2, Michael THORBJORNSEN #3 and David FORD #4. All three attended the USA’s Squad practice session in Jupiter, Florida in December 2022.

If an automatic selection declines their spot it will be offered to the next ranked USA player on WAGR.

A second set of players, which I assume will be three to five in number, will be confirmed by the ITS in mid-to-late July.

The remaining players will then be announced immediately following the Final of the U.S. Amateur Championship at Cherry Hills C.C. in Colorado on 20th August. This is because the 2023 U.S. Amateur champion and the recipient of the 2023 McCormack Medal, should they be American, also earn automatic spots onto the team.

At least one mid-amateur (25 years and older) player, will be included in the USA team by the ITS. It seems likely that Stewart HAGESTAD, currently WAGR #15, will pick up this berth, making it four matches in a row at St. Andrews.

Click here to view the USGA’s full press release – Automatic USA Walker Cup, WATC Team Selections Set For June 21


Copyright © 2015-2023, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

154. GB&I Squad Practice At St. Andrews

31st March 2023

10 Great British & Irish (GB&I) players met in St Andrews on Thursday 30th and Friday 31st March for a two day practice session on the Old Course.

From the original squad, announced in December 2022,  Josh BERRY (ENG), Hugh FOLEY (IRL), John GOUGH (ENG), Connor GRAHAM (SCO), Liam NOLAN (IRL), Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL), Dylan SHAW-RADFORD (ENG), Harley SMITH (ENG) and Tyler WEAVER (ENG) all attended.

Gregor TAIT (SCO), who performed well in Australia and South Africa in early 2023, has been added to the squad and was also invited to Fife by Captain Stuart Wilson.

Gregor Tait Practices at St. Andrews (Photo: The R&A)

10 members of the original squad were unable to attend.

Thanks to the Faldo Series James ASHFIELD (WAL), Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) and Robert MORAN (IRL) have all been playing on the Challenge Tour in India over the last two weeks. Edwards-Hill encouragingly made the cut in both events.

Barclay BROWN (ENG), Archie DAVIES (WAL), Josh HILL (ENG), Mark POWER (IRL) and Calum SCOTT (SCO) continue to represent their colleges in the United States. They will return to these shores in June.

Frank KENNEDY (ENG) lives in Florida and U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Matt MCCLEAN (IRL) is also over in the States preparing for his Masters appearance next week.

Captain Wilson said “It’s a good opportunity for us to get together, bond and gel as a team. The majority of the guys know one another but it’s a different dynamic coming together as a team. It’s about trying to foster all the good relationships and team spirit.”

“It’s also giving them familiarisation with St Andrews, the golf course and the places we might eat at during the week. We also had some local caddies to give us some more insight into how they might play the Old.”

“I think in any sport, whether it is football, golf, rugby, home advantage is something you would always like to have. We’re delighted it’s here at St Andrews and I would think the GB&I support will be pretty strong. Hopefully the guys feel comfortable playing in their own backyard.”

The final ten-man team will be announced in mid-August.


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

153. Walker Cup Ticket News – St. Andrews 2023

13th April 2023 Update

Tickets went on sale to the public on Thursday 13th April 2023.

Click here to – Purchase Walker Cup 2023 Tickets



9th March 2023

The R&A has announced that tickets for the 49th Walker Cup match being played on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland on 2nd-3rd September 2023 will go on sale in April.

The R&A website now invites spectators to register their interest to be pre-advised of the sale date and to qualify for early bird offers / discounts.

Here is the direct link to submit your contact details – Register For 2023 Walker Cup Tickets


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

152. R&A Clubhouse To Be Closed For 2023 Walker Cup

9th March 2023

Scottish golf magazine ‘Bunkered’ reported on 8th March that the iconic R&A clubhouse that sits behind the 1st tee of the Old Course will be closed during this year’s Walker Cup match and that building work on the new extension will still be ongoing.

Work started on a new basement changing room, increasing locker numbers from 120 to 450, adding an enlarged bag store and for the first time a separate women’s area, under the Club’s car park in October 2022. 

Planning permission for the project was originally granted by Fife Council in December 2020 but the work delayed until after the playing of the 150th Open Championship last July, which itself was pushed back a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The work is being carried out in two phases. The first of those was due for completion by 14th August, ahead of the Walker Cup match on 2nd-3rd September, allowing the re-opening of the clubhouse. Phase 2 was then to be completed by 31st December.

The biggest development to the building since its original construction in 1853 was placed in the hands of Robertson Construction Tayside Ltd but the project has been beset with delays. Phase 1 is now not expected to be completed before 22nd November, whilst Phase 2 is not scheduled to be finished before the end of March 2024.

The R&A has this week written to its members advising them that the ongoing refurbishment work would not be completed on time and that the facility would be closed for both the Walker Cup and the Club’s Autumn Meeting which commences shortly afterwards.

In the email The R&A explained that the main causes for the delay have been the “extensive underpinning” of the building’s south walls. The extent of work required was not anticipated during the tender stages, with structural weaknesses found in the staircase requiring “remediation” and admitted that “This is clearly disappointing news but we can assure you that the ramifications and re-scheduling of works have been researched in detail.”

The timetable was clearly too tight given the age of the building and the nature of the work proposed and the various parties under-estimated the degree of contingency necessary.

I wonder how The R&A would have reacted if another GB&I hosting club had commenced such work and then failed to complete it so close to hosting the Walker Cup ?

Whilst the condition of the course is of primary importance the existence of a screened building site just a few yards away from a closed clubhouse and 18th green will be an embarrassment to The R&A.

I am sure the players (and to a lesser degree their families and all of the supporters) will still thoroughly enjoy the occasion. However, they will no doubt be equally disappointed that they will now miss out on the opportunity for a once in a lifetime visit to the clubhouse and panoramic photos up the 18th fairway.

Members have been using nearby Forgan House on The Links road as the club’s temporary clubhouse and it appears the Walker Cup teams will now have to follow suit.


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.