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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

147. Dr. Ed Updegraff Has Died Aged 100

26th December 2022

Dr. Edgar (Ed) Rice Updegraff, the former USA Walker Cup captain and player, sadly passed away at the age of 100 on Friday 23rd December 2022.

Dr. Ed Updegraff Receives The Bob Jones Award in 1999 (Photo: USGA)

Of German descent Updegraff was born on 1st March 1922 in Boone, Iowa. The family lived near to Boone G.&C.C. so it was natural that he would start to take an interest in the game, first caddying for his grandfather and then playing as a junior.

He showed early promise winning the 1938 Iowa state high school championship and three Northwest Amateurs (1940-’41-’47).

Updegraff earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Iowa State University and a medical degree from the University of Iowa in the 1940s. He then enlisted in the Navy, becoming a urologist at the Naval Hospital in Florida.

Attracted by the all year round golf in Arizona he moved to Tucson in 1951 to set up his medical practice and remained in the area for the rest of his life.

Updegraff won the Western Amateur in 1957 and 1959, the Sunnehanna Amateur in 1962 and the inaugural Pacific Coast Amateur in 1967, where he held off Hale Irwin and Johnny Miller. Since 2010 The Dr. Ed Updegraff Trophy has been presented to the winner of the Pacific Coast Amateur.

As one of their leading amateurs in the 1950s and ’60s he was selected to represent USA in three Walker Cup matches; at Turnberry G.C. in 1963 (won 8-12), at Baltimore C.C. 1965 (tied 11-11) and finally at Milwaukee C.C. in 1969 (won 13-11).

He won three, lost three and tied one of his seven games. The highlight being his 4&3 win against Joe Carr in the Day 2 Singles at Turnberry.

Ed captained the 1975 USA Walker Cup side to a 8.5-15.5 victory on the Old Course at St. Andrews. He was fortunate in that the USA team was exceptionally strong that year with Vinny Giles, Jay Haas, Gary Koch, Jerry Pate, Craig Stadler and Curtis Strange amongst his line-up.

Updegraff also participated in the short-lived America’s Cup golf team match contested by Canada, Mexico and USA between 1952 and 1967. He played in 1963 and captained in 1967 with USA winning both.

He played in 17 U.S. Amateur Championships during his career. His best finish came in 1969 at Oakmont C.C. when he ended up 7th during the short period when it was played as a 72-hole stroke-play competition.

Updegraff played in one Amateur Championship, the one held the week after the 1963 Walker Cup match. He lost by 1 Hole in the semi-finals at St. Andrews to the eventual champion Michael Lunt.

He also competed in six Masters Tournaments, with his best finish a tie for 44th in 1966.

Dr. Ed Updegraff Tees Off In January 1962 (Photo: Tucson Citizen)

Updegraff remained a lifelong amateur and continued to play to a high level well into his early 80’s. It is said that he shot his age over 2,500 times.

Aged 59 he won the 1981 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship defeating Dale Morey 2&1 in the 18-hole final at Seattle G.C. Updegraff also reached the final the following year at his home club, Tucson C.C., but this time lost out by 2 Holes to Alton Duhon.

He won 27 club championships at Tucson C.C., 12 Tucson City Amateurs and 5 Arizona Amateur titles.

Updegraff was inducted into the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame in 1969. The Arizona Golf Association, of whom he was President in 1981-82, also honoured him by establishing The Ed Updegraff Award in 1990. It is given annually in recognition of those who, by their actions and accomplishments, exemplify the spirit of the game.

He was the recipient of the USGA’s highest honour, The Bob Jones Award, in 1991. This is awarded for distinguished sportsmanship in golf. Bill Campbell said in his nomination speech that “Whether winning or losing, he was the same unassuming, modest and courteous person, which is why his circle of good and lasting friends grew wider wherever he played. His dry wit adds to the fun of being with him, on and off the course.”

Dr. Ed Updegraff Bob Jones Award Video (Photo: Oregon Golf Association)

The Iowa Golf Association inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 2006.


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

146. The R&A Announce A 19 Player Squad For The 2023 Walker Cup

16th December 2022

The R&A have announced an initial squad of 19 players for the Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) team to play the USA in the 49th Walker Cup match.

Here is a list of the players with their ages, golf clubs, nationalities and current world rankings (in alphabetical order): –

James ASHFIELD (21) – Delamere Forest, Wales
– SPWAR #204 / WAGR #195 *

Josh BERRY (17) – Doncaster, England
– SPWAR #199 / WAGR #960

Barclay BROWN (21) – Hallamshire / Stanford University – England
– SPWAR #80 / WAGR #34

Archie DAVIES (21) – Carlisle / East Tennessee State University – Wales
– SPWAR #64 / WAGR #65

Arron EDWARDS-HILL (23) – Chelmsford – England
– SPWAR #37 / WAGR #135

Hugh FOLEY (25) – Royal Dublin – Ireland
– SPWAR #62 / WAGR #142

John GOUGH (24) – Beaconsfield – England
– SPWAR #25 / WAGR #20

Connor GRAHAM (16) – Blairgowrie – Scotland
– SPWAR #146 / WAGR #249

Josh HILL (18) – Trump International Dubai – England
– SPWAR #322 / WAGR #55

Frank KENNEDY (17) – Trump National Jupiter – England
– SPWAR #274 / WAGR #127

Matthew MCCLEAN (29) – Malone – Ireland
– SPWAR #53 / WAGR #75

Robert MORAN (23) – Castle – Ireland
– SPWAR #70 / WAGR #101

Liam NOLAN (22) – Galway – Ireland
– SPWAR #135 / WAGR #335

Peter O’KEEFFE (41) – Douglas – Ireland
– SPWAR #155 / WAGR #298

Mark POWER (22) – Kilkenny / Wake Forest University – Ireland
– SPWAR #233 / WAGR #125

Calum SCOTT (19) – Nairn / Texas Tech. University – Scotland
– SPWAR #49 / WAGR #59

Dylan SHAW-RADFORD (17) – Huddersfield – England
– SPWAR #318 / WAGR #360

Harley SMITH (17) – The Rayleigh Club – England
– SPWAR #154 / WAGR #255

Tyler WEAVER (17) – Bury St Edmunds – England
– SPWAR #309 / WAGR #477

* Amateur rankings as at 16th December 2022.

Nine players from England, six from Ireland and two each from Scotland and Wales have been selected.

Barclay Brown and Mark Power are both aiming to play in their second Walker Cup having previously been selected at Seminole in 2021.

The final ten-man GB&I team will be announced in August just a few weeks before the match starts.

Whilst there are no major surprises in this squad announcement players who may consider themselves unlucky not to be included, assuming they haven’t unbeknown to me expressed an intention to turn pro shortly, include (in alphabetical order):-

Jack BIGHAM (ENG) – SPWAR #339 / WAGR #308

Jack BROOKS (ENG) – SPWAR #124 / WAGR #423

Paul CONROY (IRL) – SPWAR #162 / WAGR #724

Charlie CROCKETT (ENG) – SPWAR #161 / WAGR #421


Will HOPKINS (ENG) – SPWAR #217 / WAGR #625

Alex MAGUIRE (IRL) – SPWAR #137 / WAGR #486

Gregor TAIT (SCO) – SPWAR #179 / WAGR #763

GB&I captain Stuart Wilson said, “We have selected a talented group of players who are key to our preparations for the Walker Cup and share our determination to win back the trophy from the United States of America.”

We will be getting together in St Andrews so that the players can really get to grips with the Old Course, understand its subtleties and learn from those individuals who have vast experience of the links.”

Our aim is to select a team which will give us the best chance of winning the match next year. In that regard, we will continue to monitor the players’ performances in amateur events over the coming months and provide them with support and advice. There is also still time for golfers not included in the squad to play their way into our plans and we will be keeping a close eye on their results too.”

The 2023 match is scheduled to be played on the Old Course in St. Andrews on the weekend of  2nd – 3rd September.

The second Walker Cup match, and first in Great Britain, was played on the Old Course on 18th and 19th May 1923 so the forthcoming fixture will mark the anniversary of this occasion.


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

144. Chicago G.C. To Host The 2036 Walker Cup Match

1st November 2022

The USGA has announced that the 2036 Walker Cup match will be played at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Illinois.

Chicago Golf Club (Photo: USGA / Fred Vuich)

The USGA made the announcement alongside confirmation that Chicago would also be staging the 2033 U.S. Women’s Open.

Founded in 1892 and one of the five founding member clubs of the USGA Chicago G.C. has previously hosted 12 USGA championships, namely the U.S. Open (1897, 1900 and 1911); U.S. Amateur (1897, 1905, 1909 and 1912); U.S. Women’s Amateur (1903); Walker Cup (1928 and 2005); U.S. Senior Amateur (1979) and U.S. Senior Women’s Open (2018).

USA won both of the Walker Cup matches played at Chicago G.C.; 11-1 in 1928 and 12½-11½ in 2005 to reclaim the Cup after three straight defeats.

“Hosting the best players in the world – men, women, amateur and professional – for USGA events is a point of pride for our club and a significant part of our long history,” said Herb Getz, Chicago Golf Club president. “We very much look forward to building upon that history and continuing our valued partnership with the USGA on an even larger stage well into the future.”


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

140. Mike McCoy and Nathan Smith Named US Captains

9th March 2022

The USGA has announced the selections of Mike McCoy and Nathan Smith as USA Team captains for the 2023 and 2025 Walker Cup matches respectively.

McCoy, 59, is from Des Moines, Iowa where he works in the insurance industry. He played in the 2015 Walker Cup at Royal Lytham & St. Annes where he became the third-oldest Walker Cup competitor in history aged 52. He won the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, becoming the second-oldest champion in the event’s history at age 50. He has competed in a total of 65 USGA championships, including 20 U.S. Amateurs during his career.

Nathan Smith and Mike McCoy (Photo: USGA)

Smith, 43, is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He played in three Walker Cups in 2009, 2011 and 2013. He has won a record four U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships (2003, 2009, 2010, 2012) as well as the inaugural 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, with partner Todd White. He has competed in 48 USGA championships in his career.

The 49th match will be played on the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland on 2nd-3rd September 2023 whilst the 50th match will take place at Cypress Point Club in Pebble Beach, California, USA on 6th-7th September 2025.

“Both Mike and Nathan have long, exceptional histories with the USGA and outstanding amateur golf resumes,” said Stu Francis, USGA president. “Given the historic nature of the next two matches being staged at St. Andrews and Cypress Point, we wanted to give both of them the time to enjoy this leadership opportunity and plan their next few years accordingly.”

This is the first time the USGA has announced two captains concurrently. It is also the first time since the early 1990s that a USA captain will not have been awarded a two match term of office. Back then Vinny Giles (1993 only) followed Jim Gabrielsen (1991, although he had previously done the job in 1981 too).


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

139. Oakmont C.C. To Host The 2032 Walker Cup Match

11th August 2021

The USGA has announced that the 2032* Walker Cup match will be staged at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania.

The USGA made the announcement during the U.S. Amateur Championship which is currently being played at Oakmont.

Oakmont Country Club

Following recent commitments to both Pinehurst Resort and Bandon Dunes Golf Resort the USGA has now also undertaken to bring a number of its future Championships to Pennsylvania and in particular the state’s two premier courses, Oakmont C.C. and Merion Golf Club.

Oakmont has to date hosted 20 major Championships, more than any other course in USA, except for Augusta National Golf Club, the permanent home of The Masters. The 2021 U.S. Amateur being its 17th USGA Championship – nine United States Opens (1927, 1935, 1953, 1962, 1973, 1983, 1994, 2007, 2016), five U.S. Amateurs (1919, 1925, 1938, 1969, 2003, 2021) and two U.S. Women’s Open (1992, 2010). In addition it has also staged three U.S. PGA Championships (1922, 1951, 1978).

Oakmont and Merion are iconic in every sense of the word – they’re in rare company in golf and continue to test the best in the game,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director, Championships. “We’re making history and kicking off a new era for our national championships in Pennsylvania, and we couldn’t be more excited for what lies ahead.”

*On 21st March 2022 The R&A and USGA announced that the Walker Cup match would move to even years from 2026 to avoid future conflicts with the World Amateur Team Championships, which will be played in odd years beginning in 2023. The USGA had already announced its venues for 2029 and 2033 at this point so these two matches were brought forward by a year.


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

138. Bandon Dunes To Host The 2028 Walker Cup Match

20th July 2021

The USGA has announced that the 2028* Walker Cup match will be staged at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon.

Neither the course – Bandon has five – or the match dates have been confirmed.

18th Hole, Bandon Dunes Course (Photo: Bandon Dunes Golf Resort)

The USGA has entered into a partnership with Bandon Dunes which will see 13 of its championships / international matches staged at the resort between 2022 and 2045.

The Walker Cup will be played in 2029 and the Curtis Cup in 2038.

Bandon Dunes has previously hosted the 2006 Curtis Cup (Pacific Dunes), the 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur (Bandon Dunes), the 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links & U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links (Old Macdonald & Bandon Trails), the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four Ball (Pacific Dunes), the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball (Old Macdonald & Pacific Dunes) and the 2020 U.S. Amateur (Bandon Dunes & Bandon Trails).

John Bodenhamer, USGA Senior Managing Director of Championships, said “With five championship-caliber courses and incredible support from the resort’s ownership, Bandon Dunes is the perfect location for these USGA championships. Mike Keiser has been an incredible advocate for amateur golf and his ongoing support for the USGA and our mission served as the vision for this partnership. We are excited to work together for years to come.”

*On 21st March 2022 The R&A and USGA announced that the Walker Cup match would move to even years from 2026 to avoid future conflicts with the World Amateur Team Championships, which will be played in odd years beginning in 2023. The USGA had already announced its venues for 2029 and 2033 at this point so these two matches were brought forward by a year.


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

137. 2021 Walker Cup – Day 2 Results

Sunday 9th May 2021

USA ran out 14-12 winners against GB&I in the 48th Walker Cup match played at Seminole GC in Florida. It was USA’s third consecutive win in the biennial contest.

The USA’s narrow advantage was primarily secured due to the efforts of 20-year-old Ricky Castillo and second time Walker Cupper Cole Hammer. Castillo was unbeaten becoming just the seventh player on either team to post four wins in a single Walker Cup match this century. Meanwhile Hammer, the University of Texas junior standout, won three and halved one of his games.

From GB&I’s perspective Matty Lamb, Mark Power and Jack Dyer put up the most resistance, all taking the fight to the Americans. Perhaps critically Alex Fitzpatrick, their highest ranked player and the only one with Walker Cup experience, lost all four of the games he played in.

Sunday saw great playing conditions with temperatures peaking in the mid 80°’s. The wind was slightly stronger than yesterday with gusts as high as 22mph seen.

Day 2 Foursomes (USA Team first)
Par 72 – 7,212 yards

Game 1 – 8.20am
Pierceson Coody / John Pak lost to Mark Power / John Murphy by 1 Hole

The Irish pair made a great start to their foursomes game on Sunday, opening with two birdies and an eagle to a take a 3Up lead. It was a lead they held until the 17th, the par 3 whose green has proven almost impossible to hold throughout the match. As has happened more often than not to date USA were able to get up and down whilst GB&I were not. Nevertheless Power and Murphy were not to be beaten, the former hit the 18th fairway before Murphy hit a clutch 5 iron to the heart of the green. After Coody missed the green left, rolling down the steep incline on to the range, the best they could do was a 5. Power judged his 20 foot downhill putt to perfection to enable GB&I to pick up the first point of the day whilst also maintaining his 100% record.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 2 – 8.35am
Ricky Castillo / William Mouw beat Alex Fitzpatrick / Barclay Brown by 1 Hole

Taking his individual record to P3-W3 Ricky Castillo is proving to be the surprise star man for USA at this Walker Cup. The Yorkshire pairing of Fitzpatrick and Brown did well to fight back having gone 3Down after six holes. Unfortunately having taken a 1Up lead on the 16th Fitzpatrick missed both the 17th green and 18th green and despite excellent recoveries by his partner was unable to hole putts to save the day when it was most required.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 3 – 8.50am
Davis Thompson / Cole Hammer halved with Angus Flanagan / Ben Schmidt

If GB&I do go on to make a real match of this in the Singles later today it will be this Foursomes that will be seen as the turning point. 3Down with four holes to play most observers had already given the point to the American side. However, Flanagan and Schmidt had other ideas and a storming finish saw them miraculously secure a half. It must be said that the Americans found really poor lies on the final two holes but it is one thing having a bit of luck, it’s another to be good enough to take advantage of it. Flanagan’s bunker shot and pitch on the final two holes were top class in this regard.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 4 – 9.05am
Stewart Hagestad / Tyler Strafaci lost to Matty Lamb / Jack Dyer by 6&5

GB&I’s Lamb and Dyer pairing, who had lost on the opening day, played beautifully this morning to thrash Hagestad and Strafaci by 6&5, the biggest winning margin seen in the match to date. I am confident the four birdies and no bogeys in their opening 13 holes would have been too good for any of the American pairings.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Players Rested
USA – Quade Cummins, Austin Eckroat 
GB&I – Ben Jones, Joe Long

In another tight Foursomes series GB&I will be delighted to have come out on top. With a number of the American players looking nervy down the stretch this morning and their lead now reduced to just 1-point it’s certainly all to play for going into the final 10 Singles.

Day 2 Foursomes Score: USA 1.5 – GB&I 2.5


Day 2 Singles (USA Team first)
Par 72 – 7,198 yards

Game 1 – 2.15pm
Austin Eckroat beat Mark Power by 7&6

A disappointing finish to the match from Kilkenny’s Mark Power who had previously been unbeaten. Perhaps mentally and physically exhausted after his earlier exertions the fresher Austin Eckroat, who was rested in the morning, got off to a good start and to his credit kept pushing with some very solid play.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 2 – 2.26pm
Pierceson Coody beat Alex Fitzpatrick by 3&1

Pierceson Coody was too good for Alex Fitzpatrick for the second day running. Whilst the Englishman, who has now lost all four of his games, battled to the end he was found wanting down the stretch with a number of mistakes that enabled Coody to see the match out in relative comfort.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 3 – 2.37pm
John Pak lost to Joe Long by 1 Hole

2up with two holes to play the reigning Amateur Champion Joe Long made hard work of securing GB&I’s first point in the Singles. It took an unbelievable 18th hole for the Gloucestershire man, playing in his only game of the match due to illness, to secure his point. Having won the 17th Pak confidently hit the middle of the 18th fairway. In reply Long duck hooked his into the shoreline cabbage. Having taken a drop he then found the green side bunker in three. With a half virtually in his hands Pak misjudged the wind with his won approach and found the lateral hazard to the left of the green. Having taken a drop the experienced American then duffed his chip into a bunker before taking three to get down. A disbelieving Long gratefully secured a half in six to take the point for GB&I. If only Long had been able to play a few mores sessions wondered the GB&I supporters.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 4 – 2.48pm
Davis Thompson lost to Matty Lamb by 2 Holes

Matty Lamb won GB&I’s second point in the Singles with an impressive win over an out of sorts Davis Thompson. His magnificent tee shot and birdie on 17, the hardest hole on the course, and controlled par on 18 should give him a great deal of confidence for his future career in the pro ranks. Lamb was one of the few GB&I players to look comfortable in these rarefied surroundings, largely in control of both himself and his game throughout.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 5 – 2.59pm
Quade Cummins halved with Barclay Brown

A half was arguably the right result in this close game albeit Brown who had won three holes in a row from the 15th to take the lead on the 17th will be disappointed to have given up a full point with a bogey on the last. Nevertheless the Stanford player should be pleased with his unbeaten Singles record over the weekend.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 6 – 3.10pm
William Mouw lost to Angus Flanagan by 1 Hole

Despite holding the the lead throughout his match against the competitive William Mouw Angus Flanagan had to dig deep to finally get the job done. 2Up with two to play he needed a clutch 35 foot par putt on the home hole to close out the Californian.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 7 – 3.21pm
Ricky Castillo beat John Murphy by 2&1

Ricky Castillo finished the match as the only player to record a 100% record, played 4, won 4. Like his compatriot Mark Power, Murphy look spent from his earlier exertions. He quickly handed Castillo the advantage in the opening holes and never really looked like being able to turn it around against an opponent playing with confidence and freedom.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 8 – 3.32pm
Tyler Strafaci lost to Jack Dyer by 1 Hole

Jack Dyer made it two wins out of two on Sunday with a memorable win against the 2020 US Amateur champion. Tyler Strafaci reported that he had lost 15lbs as a result of the virus in the last few days. The Essex player, who only made the starting line up when Sandy Scott withdrew due to injury, took control early in the back nine. However, despite being 3Up with four holes to play it looked like he would end up halving after losing both the 15th and 17th and then hitting a poor tee shot on 18. Thankfully he was ultimately able to scramble a half in bogey to seal the full point.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 9 – 3.43pm
Cole Hammer beat Ben Schmidt by 4&3

Having lost to Ricky Castillo by 5&3 in the Saturday Singles Ben Schmidt was again soundly beaten; this time 4&3 by Cole Hammer. As the scores below show Schmidt doesn’t appear to have played that badly but Hammer was simply at his imperious best. 18 year old Schmidt’s lack of experience and recent competitive play was always going to make this Walker Cup a tough ask for him.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 10 – 3.54pm
Stewart Hagestad beat Ben Jones by 4&2

Despite being handed the early initiative Ben Jones sadly lost his way on the back nine against Stewart Hagestad who was clearly determined to contribute at least one point to the USA team’s cause in his third Walker Cup match. Like Schmidt in the preceding game Jones looked undercooked. Perhaps the virus that had hit them both particularly badly meant they were simply unable to summon the fight that is normally required to be competitive at this level.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Day 2 Singles Score: USA 5.5 – GB&I 4.5

Day 2 Score: USA 7 – GB&I 7

Final Result: USA 14 – GB&I 12 


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

136. 2021 Walker Cup – Day 1 Results

Saturday 8th May 2021

Play on Saturday took place in near perfect conditions with temperatures quickly rising to 80°. Winds speeds were relatively modest for Seminole rising from 5mph to 15mph as play progressed throughout the day.


Day 1 Foursomes (USA Team first)
Par 72 – 7,272 yards

Game 1 – 8.20am
Cole Hammer / Davis Thompson beat Alex Fitzpatrick / Barclay Brown by 1 Hole

Amazingly after halving the first two holes the following 15 were all won outright in what became a see-saw game. Having won the 8th and 9th the GB&I pair turned 1Up but three bogeys on the first four holes of the back nine saw the advantage quickly handed back to Hammer and Thompson. However, just when it looked like the game may peter out Yorkshire’s Brown and Fitzpatrick got on a roll themselves winning the next three holes. However, Thompson then found the difficult 17th green and, despite a superb fairway bunker shot from Fitzpatrick on the last, Hammer holed out for birdie from 25 feet to secure an opening win for the home team.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 2 – 8.35am
Quade Cummins / Austin Eckroat lost to Mark Power / John Murphy by 1 Hole

The Irish pairing of Mark Power and John Murphy showed great resilience to come back from 3 Down after 10 holes to secure GB&I’s first point at Seminole. 1-under for their last 8 holes proved too much of an ask for the Americans. Power was quick to praise Murphy afterwards: “The old head in the group, he calmed me down and just said, look, just hit the fairways, hit greens and we’ll wear these guys down, and that’s what we did.”

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 3 – 8.50am
Mac Meissner / Ricky Castillo beat Jack Dyer / Matty Lamb by 2 Holes

Due to the virus USA called upon their first alternate Mac Meissner in the Saturday foursomes. Paired with University of Florida debutant Ricky Castillo the pair secured a second point helped in no small part by three birdies in their last five holes. A delighted Meissner said after the match: “I was so nervous on that first tee ball that I hit it on to the second hole, but after that we both calmed down and we played some awesome golf coming in.”

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 4 – 9.05am
Stewart Hagestad / William Mouw lost to Angus Flanagan / Jake Bolton by 1 Hole

This was the fourth foursomes game that required the full 18 holes to reach a result. However, it proved to be a much tighter affair than those that had proceeded it with just 7 holes changing hands. In the end the difference proved to be the determined GB&I 1st reserve Jake Bolton. His clutch left-to-right swinging 30 foot par putt on 17 and towering iron into the 18th to 8 feet from the adjacent driving range secured the point that enabled GB&I to head into lunch level in the match at 2-2.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Players Rested
USA – Pierceson Coody, John Pak, Tyler Strafaci
GB&I – Ben Jones, Joe Long, Ben Schmidt

Day 1 Foursomes Score: USA 2 – GB&I 2

The Saturday Foursomes was the first time in the history of the match that reserves or alternates had been used during a Walker Cup match. Interestingly they both contributed to their respective sides winning a point in the opening session.

With such tight matches Captain Wilson was frustrated with some of his team’s course management: “Three of our guys knocked it in the water at No. 10 and all the matches went up the last. That may have changed the outcome.”


Day 1 Singles (USA Team first)
Par 72 – 7,188 yards

Game 1 – 2.30pm
Pierceson Coody beat Alex Fitzpatrick by 2 Holes

In a competitive opening match Alex Fitzpatrick made a great start before being reeled in by Pierceson Coody, one of the strongest players on the American team. The key hole proved to be the par 3 17th where Coody pulled his tee shot into one of the left hand green side bunkers. With the players all square and the door ajar Fitzpatrick failed to find the green and after two bunker shots his double bogey five was never going to be good enough. A wild tee shot from Coody on the home hole briefly offered some hope before a superb recovery closed the door on the Sheffield man.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 2 – 2.41pm
Davis Thompson lost to Mark Power 3&2

An outstanding result from Mark Power who took down the current WAGR #3 and former #1 to record his second win of the day. Power played beautifully, hitting fairways and greens and holing numerous long putts. Having created a 3Up lead after birdies on 10 and 11 the Wake Forest sophomore ultimately saw out the match comfortably.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 3 – 2.52pm
Ricky Castillo beat Ben Schmidt by 5&3

Ricky Castillo recorded his second win of the day against a clearly under the weather Ben Schmidt. The 18 year old Yorkshireman struggled to get anything going and was easily taken down by the Californian by the biggest score of the match so far.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 4 – 3.03pm
William Mouw beat Ben Jones by 4&3

Shortly after the announcement that Joe Long would not be able to take part in Game 5 it became clear that Tyler Strafaci was also not feeling well enough to play this afternoon. William Mouw was drafted in as his late replacement. Mouw bounced back well from his morning foursomes defeat and as Jones unwound on the back nine he pulled away to record an impressive 4&3 win.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 5 – 3.14pm
Quade Cummins lost to Matty Lamb by 2&1

Joe Long was initially selected for GB&I for this game but due to continued illness he was deemed unfit to play. Matty Lamb, who had lost his foursome earlier, was called up and after Quade Cummins got off to a slow start he went about earning a notable victory. A 12 foot par putt on the 17th saw him home.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 6 – 3.25pm
Austin Eckroat beat Angus Flanagan by 1 Hole

Angus Flanagan did exactly what Alex Fitzpatrick had done on the 17th an hour or so before him. Followed his opponent into a bunker on the par 3 and then found it impossible to get the ball back on the green. After a nervous start which saw him bogey three of his first four holes Flanagan settled well and a string of pars got him back into the match. He fought all the way to the end but GB&I’s nemesis, the 17th, proved too much for him.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 7 – 3.36pm
John Pak lost to Barclay Brown by 2&1

Barclay Brown beat John Pak with some great play this afternoon. Pak, who won all three of his games at Hoylake in 2019, was clearly not 100% but nevertheless this was a notable scalp for the Stanford sophomore. What was particularly impressive was his ability to come back again over the closing holes having lost a 3Up lead early on the back nine.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Game 8 – 3.47pm
John Murphy lost to Cole Hammer by 3&1

Starting with two birdies out the gate Cole Hammer built up a 5Up lead by the turn against Kinsale’s John Murphy who had enjoyed foursomes success earlier in the day. Murphy battled back well on the back nine reducing the deficit to 2Up before once again the 17th hole struck.

Walker Cup 2021 Score Report (Photo: USGA)

Players Rested
USA – Stewart Hagestad, Mac Meissner (Reserve), Tyler Strafaci
GB&I – Jake Bolton (Reserve), Jack Dyer, Joe Long

Day 1 Singles Score: USA 5 – GB&I 3

One can’t help feeling that the match just started to slip away from the GB&I team this afternoon. A 5-3 Singles loss is by no means disastrous against a strong USA team but it could have been better. The defeats of Fitzpatrick and Flanagan in tight games may prove to be the difference between having a chance and having no chance. I expect USA to get stronger tomorrow so the challenge for GB&I is only going to get tougher. It will be interesting to see who is up for the fight.

Day 1 Score: USA 7 – GB&I 5


Copyright © Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

135. Best Quotes From The 2021 Walker Cup Press Conferences

Friday 7th May 2021

Due to the food poisoning the pre-match press conferences have been limited in scope. Here’s the most interesting stuff that has been said at Seminole to date: –


The preparation hasn’t been what we were hoping for. The season was pretty much decimated as far as a full schedule of events, and not just a full schedule of events but events where all the guys would be playing together.  

A number of years ago the whole plan was to — I was the Chairman of Selectors for the boys team and that was a bit of succession planning in there that hopefully I would take over as the Walker Cup captain and have had experience working with the guys before and bringing similar guys into the team. So 50 percent of the team we’ve had playing together in the past on Jacques Leglise teams, have played for GB&I together, and we’re all very familiar with each other to the point that it’s like old friends meeting up in some respects.

We arrived Saturday, and we started to assemble the team from all corners of America and the UK. The first time we were all truly together was Sunday, and that’s when we came up to Seminole for our first look. We played nine holes, and since then we’ve been doing a lot of work with our team preparations on the course and within the team room. It’s been really good so far. 

Everybody is coming together, bonding well, and we’ve had a few kind of special guests along the way. We had a little visit from Matt Fitzpatrick on Monday, so Matt walked the course with the guys, gave us a lot of good constructive feedback, and we had the same yesterday with Paul McGinley. Great resources to tap into and hear what they’ve got to say about the best way to kind of tackle things, not just the course but the match itself. So the prep so far has been really good.

I’m just getting to know the course, I suppose, and getting familiar with our teammates. Thankfully we’ve had a great week so far. Everybody is getting on great. The atmosphere in the team room is amazing. So I think we’re all kind of on the same page where we’re just trying to prepare for the course as best as possible. 

I think it’s such a long week to start with. From the last time at Hoylake, it was kind of like I tried to go out and play most days, and I think I ended up preparing in a way that probably best didn’t suit me, just sort of playing too much golf, and I feel like this time around, I learnt that it’s not all about playing 18 as many times as you can but pacing yourself and maybe playing nine here and there and just making sure that you don’t overdo yourself because by the time come Saturday and Sunday, you’re playing 36 a day, especially in the heat, it’s going to be tough, and you don’t want to be burned out before you even start. 

I think the thing I took from the last one was to understand that there’s going to be a lot of people out there. There’s going to be cameras behind you and there’s going to be people applauding you and there are probably going to be people speaking on your backswing, and I think that’s something you’ve got to realize and get used to. There’s going to be 36 holes a day of all of that, and especially this week rather than last year, there will be a lot more supporters against us than with us, so probably a little less applauding for good shots for our team and more for theirs.


This year’s Walker Cup has been a lot different to the one at Hoylake. COVID is such an unfortunate thing. The experience has still been phenomenal and it’s still everything I could have asked for, but just little things like having to sit six feet away from people at dinner and not being able to be with your team all the time is frustrating, but it’s something that you have to do and you have to live with, and the week itself is still going to be amazing.

(I’m) really just trying to get the guys fired up to compete for their country because I remember standing on the first tee last time and how cool of an experience it was. I also remember how fast it was over. So I want to kind of encourage the guys to really sit there and soak it in and enjoy it because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and to be ready to go out and represent the United States. 


A lot of these (GB&I) guys, if not all of them, have all played some form of match play before, so everyone is used to either playing foursomes or singles, and everyone is used to being in that environment, and I think that’s what’s good about our team is that we’ve all played that, and I feel like some of the Americans just haven’t been in that format and obviously playing foursomes together. 


There’s obviously a lot of tricks out there. The greens are fairly slopey and wouldn’t be anything like what we’re used to, so we’re just going to try to get a feel for that. We’ve got two days left; I think we’ve put in some great practice so far, so we’re all just getting ready for that first tee shot on Saturday morning. 

(The greens running at 14 on the stimpmeter) is certainly going to add an element of excitement I would say. None of us are used to it. I’d say a lot of Tour pros aren’t even used to it, and then adding wind on top of that slope and green quickness is going to be pretty interesting. Might be a bit of carnage out there at times, so looking forward to that, as well, and hopefully we can manage it to the best of our ability. 

It’s a second-shot course. You’ve got to be really smart with your approach shots into the green. It has been windy every day we’ve been here. It’s been pretty much the same wind for all the practice days so far, so they’re getting to know it playing this way. There is talk of the wind having a complete shift over the weekend from one day to the next, so that will make it really interesting because we won’t have played it in that condition.

The greens are fast. Like lightning fast. But as far as playing the course, windy, a little bit firm. We’re not too unfamiliar with those kind of conditions, so the guys are coping with it pretty good. 

Yeah, I love it here personally. I’ve been lucky enough to have been invited to play here a couple times, so I feel like I have got the experience of playing here a lot. It sets up great for me, and I know it sets up great for a lot of other guys on our team, and it’s a lot of bombs-away drivers really, which makes me a little happy.

Seminole is obviously one of the most well-known, and for a good reason, best golf courses in the world. I cannot think of a better course to play a Walker Cup match on. I mean, the strategy involved in it, the little intricacies around the greens, short game is vital. It’s just going to test every aspect of our game, and it’s in unbelievable shape right now, so kudos to the superintendent and his staff for getting it in this good of shape, especially after the rain we had last night. The golf course is going to hold up well, and it’ll be a big part of the storyline. 


The torrential rain that happened yesterday was crazy. We couldn’t get out of our team room. We were stranded in there for about two hours, and we were looking out the window and seeing that the whole course was underwater. Being out there today we were spinning chips back and you could just tell that the course was just a little damp and I’d say it will make it a bit more for target golf, but at the same time that can be a bit dangerous with all the runoffs. Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how much it’s affected play with what you prepared for at the start of the week and what today (Friday) has been.


We know there’s only been two teams that have been successful over here, which shows it’s not impossible. But we’ve had a look at the numbers, and yeah, there’s been 310 (GB&I) Walker Cup players, 84 of those have played on winning sides but only 20 have played on a winning side in America. We’re trying to make that 30 basically. 

We’d never say we’re outsiders because certainly with the format of the match and how 18 holes of match play, everybody knows anything can happen at any time. 

As far as kind of being up against it, you’re always up against it when you come, it doesn’t matter what school you generally play in, America is always going to be strong.

We’re going to have very, very few GB&I spectators here cheering us on, so we can use that to our advantage, as well, to kind of spur the guys on to not so much prove a point but use it as a motivation to do as well as they can. 

Putting points on the board early is probably the most important thing you can do, making sure that the guys behind you can all see that you’re getting that blue on the board as early as you can and getting the points, and I guess just trying to rack up enough points to make sure that you win. 

Golf is a funny game, and all you can do is go out there, and if you give your best, that’s all you can do really. So yeah. 

Once that first tee shot comes around it doesn’t really matter who you are or what you’ve done, just a matter of going head-to-head with whoever you’re against, so yeah, we’re looking forward to that. 


JOHN MURPHY (speaking on Thursday): 
Yeah, there were a couple of us that have been unwell a couple of nights ago, but thankfully we’re all good now. Myself and Angus. I don’t know what it was to be honest with you. I think we’re both back feeling okay and ready to play some golf today, and get ready.

It’s a stomach bug, and I guess it’s gone around both teams. It’s a little bit of adversity to deal with, but I think it only lasts for 12 to 24 hours or something, so hopefully we have the full team back by tomorrow (Saturday). 

I think it (started) around Tuesday or Wednesday. We had a couple of guys sort of fall ill and I guess we weren’t sure what it was to start with. It was weird, we had two guys from each team apparently go, and the next day we thought people would get better and then suddenly four guys were out.

It’s obviously unfortunate. All 20 guys have worked really hard over the last two years to make this team, and to kind of have an issue like this is no fun. But everybody is making the most of it. We’re pushing through, and we’re just kind of having to make some decisions on the fly here. 

You know, it’s all been happening so fast that one guy goes down, the next guy goes down. But we’re all trying to rally around each other. But we’ll be just fine. I promise we’ll be ready to go tomorrow no matter what the deal is.


It’s now time for the talking to stop and the playing to start.


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