14th April 2021 – Update
Sandy SCOTT (SCO) withdrew from the Great Britain & Ireland team due to a wrist injury which had prevented him playing since October 2020 and was not recovering as well as had been hoped.
His place in the line up went to Jack DYER (ENG) who was the first reserve.
Jake BOLTON (ENG) now moves up to be first reserve with Joe PAGDIN (ENG) added to the team as second reserve.
The GB&I 10-man team will now consist of 8 English players and 2 Irish players.
30th March 2021
The R&A Men’s Selection Committee announced their 10-man Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) team on 30th March 2021.
GB&I Team (Graphic: USGA)
Joe LONG (ENG) earned his place on the team by winning the 125th Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale G.C. in August 2020.
Sandy SCOTT (SCO) and Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) secured their places as the two highest ranked GB&I players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) at the time of selection.
The remaining seven players and two reserves were selected by the four-man Selection Committee.
Here is a list of the players with their nationalities, ages and current amateur rankings: –
Barclay BROWN – England (20) – SPWAR #65 / WAGR #134
Alex FITZPATRICK – England (22) – SPWAR #18 / WAGR #14
Angus FLANAGAN – England (21) – SPWAR #110 / WAGR #40
Ben JONES – England (21) – SPWAR #86 / WAGR #41
Matty LAMB – England (23) – SPWAR #113 / WAGR #85
Joe LONG – England (23) – SPWAR #31 / WAGR #48
John MURPHY – Ireland (22) – SPWAR #63 / WAGR #99
Mark POWER – Ireland (20) – SPWAR #52 / WAGR #29
Ben SCHMIDT – England (18) – SPWAR #78 / WAGR #31
Sandy SCOTT – Scotland (22) – SPWAR #241 / WAGR #8
Jack DYER – England (23) – SPWAR #42 / WAGR #225
Jake BOLTON – England (22) – SPWAR #73 / WAGR #60
GB&I Team (Graphic: The R&A)
Callum FARR (ENG), Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL), Joe PAGDIN (ENG) and Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL), who were all in the 15-man GB&I Walker Cup Squad announced on 2nd December, missed out.
Jack DYER (ENG) played his way into the picture from outside the Squad with a series of very good results in South Africa early in 2021.
The GB&I 2021 Squad (Graphic: The R&A)
The Covid-19 pandemic saw much of the 2020 European season cancelled. The loss of the St. Andrews Trophy, World Amateur Team Championship and Men’s Home Internationals were particularly damaging to the GB&I selection pathway.
Lockdowns, golf course closures and travel bans saw most GB&I-based players unable to play competitively from September 2020 to the May match date. Early 2021 trips to Australia, South Africa, Spain and Portugal were in most cases cancelled. The only exception being that a number of our leading players did manage to travel to USA for the Jones Cup Invitational.
GB&I players attached to US colleges were therefore handed a significant selection advantage in 2021. Barclay Brown (Stanford), Alex Fitzpatrick (Wake Forest), Angus Flanagan (Minnesota), John Murphy (Louisville), Mark Power (Wake Forest) and Sandy Scott (Texas Tech) were all selected.
The current GB&I Selection Committee comprises Pádraig HOGAN (Chairman / Ireland), Stuart WILSON (Captain / Scotland), Nigel EDWARDS (England) and Carl ROWE (Wales).
The GB&I home based players and officials are planning to fly out to Florida on Friday 30th April where the full team will meet up and begin their preparations.
GB&I Selection Notes
British golf before World War II was largely the preserve of the upper class and therefore GB&I’s early teams were frequently selected from Oxford and Cambridge Universities and the most prestigious golf clubs.
There were few amateur competitions to assist selectors in the early years too.
In this age of true amateurism funds were limited for both The R&A and many of the players. Indeed some players were forced to turn down selection invitations due to an inability to extract themselves from their day jobs.
A combination of being known to a selector and an ability to assist with the funding of the trip was a distinct advantage for a leading player up until the 1950s.
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