30th March 2021
The R&A have today announced their 10-man Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) team for the 48th Walker Cup match to be played against USA on 8th-9th May at Seminole G.C. in Florida.
GB&I Team (Graphic: The R&A)
Here is a list of the players with their nationalities, ages and current amateur rankings: –
Barclay BROWN – England (20) – SPWAR #65 / WAGR #134
Alex FITZPATRICK – England (22) – SPWAR #18 / WAGR #14
Angus FLANAGAN – England (21) – SPWAR #110 / WAGR #40
Ben JONES – England (21) – SPWAR #86 / WAGR #41
Matty LAMB – England (23) – SPWAR #113 / WAGR #85
Joe LONG – England (23) – SPWAR #31 / WAGR #48
John MURPHY – Ireland (22) – SPWAR #63 / WAGR #99
Mark POWER – Ireland (20) – SPWAR #52 / WAGR #29
Ben SCHMIDT – England (18) – SPWAR #78 / WAGR #31
Sandy SCOTT – Scotland (22) – SPWAR #241 / WAGR #8
Jack DYER – England (23) – SPWAR #42 / WAGR #225
Jake BOLTON – England (22) – SPWAR #73 / WAGR #60
Here is my analysis of the 2021 selection: –
There are 7 English, 2 Irish, 1 Scottish and 0 Welsh players in the 2021 GB&I team.
Joe LONG (ENG) earned his place on the team by winning the 125th Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale G.C. in August 2020.
Sandy SCOTT (SCO) and Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) secured their places as the two highest ranked GB&I players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) at the time of selection. They are also the only two players to return from the 2019 match at Royal Liverpool G.C.
The remaining seven players and two reserves were selected by the four-man Selection Committee which comprised Pádraig HOGAN (Chairman / Ireland), Stuart WILSON (Captain / Scotland), Nigel EDWARDS (England) and Carl ROWE (Wales).
The Covid-19 pandemic has complicated the selection process with home-based players largely unable to make their cases with few competitive opportunities in the last 6 months.
It is therefore no surprise to see six of the ten-man team made up of US college players, namely, Barclay Brown (Stanford), Alex Fitzpatrick (Wake Forest), Angus Flanagan (Minnesota), John Murphy (Louisville), Mark Power (Wake Forest) and Sandy Scott (Texas Tech).
Callum FARR (ENG), Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL), Joe PAGDIN (ENG) and Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL), who were all in the original 15-man GB&I Walker Cup Squad announced on 2nd December, missed out.
Jack DYER (ENG) played his way into the picture from outside the Squad with a series of very good results in South Africa early in 2021.
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