On 2nd December The R&A announced a 15-man Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup Squad for the match at Seminole G.C. in May 2021.
The GB&I 2021 Squad (Graphic: The R&A)
The R&A Men’s Selection Committee are expected to confirm the final 10-man GB&I team on 19th April 2021 following completion of the R&A Men’s Home Internationals event.
England’s Joe LONG (ENG), winner of the 125th Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale G.C. in August 2020, beating compatriot Joe Harvey by 4&3 in the Final, is guaranteed a place on the GB&I team.
Given the small number of events scheduled to be played between now and April it is going to take something exceptional for a player outside the initial squad to break into the GB&I team.
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.
The current Selection Committee comprises Andy INGRAM (Chairman / Wales), Stuart WILSON (Captain / Scotland), Nigel EDWARDS (England) and Padraig HOGAN (Ireland).
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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