English Golf Courses

Marsh hopeful of Walker Cup spot

Exclusive Nick says it would be ‘lovely’ to be part of side for USA clash at Royal Lytham

English Amateur champion Nick Marsh believes selection for this year’s Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team will ‘take care of itself’ if he can perform to the level he knows he is capable of.

Set to be played at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in September, the Walker Cup has been where many of today’s British tour pros have made a name for themselves, including former world No.1 Luke Donald, and Marsh says making the team is his main target for the year.

PRESSURE

He isn’t putting too much pressure on himself, though, as he believes not playing in the Walker Cup ‘wouldn’t be the end of the world’, with a number of players on tour making the grade without playing in the historic match.

“It would be lovely to be part of that team,” he said. “The Walker Cup doesn’t define anyone’s career so I’m not putting myself under too much pressure. It’s not like if I don’t get picked I won’t ever make it as a professional or anything like that, but it’s a goal of mine, of course, and it would be great to be part of it. It would be a massive amateur achievement to get picked for that Walker Cup squad.”

For now, Marsh is focussing on qualification and he has some targets in mind for the coming months that he believes would be enough to ensure his place in the side.

He added: “I would like to retain the English Amateur, which is at Alwoodley this year and is pretty much in my back garden. I want to play well in most of the major events and hopefully get another win under my belt.

“I’d like to do well in the British Amateur, too, because of where it’s being played this year at Carnoustie and Panmure. I played at Panmure last year and I know I can play well around the course so, like I say, if I can play to the standard I know  I can play to, then Walker Cup selection will take care of itself.”

Marsh’s experience of success in the  St Andrews Trophy last year shows he has the ability to play and win as part of a team and it is no surprise he thinks that will prove invaluable when the Walker Cup comes around, even though he had been expecting to play in the Eisenhower Trophy team instead.

“To get selected for the St Andrews Trophy was great,” said the Huddersfield man. “It was nice because I had won the English Amateur a couple of weeks before and I was on form, but unfortunately I didn’t get picked for the Eisenhower Trophy in Japan, which was a bit of a disappointment if I’m going to be totally honest.

“I wasn’t really thinking about playing in the St Andrews Trophy at the time that I won the English Amateur. I was just focussing on playing well. If I can approach the Walker Cup with that attitude then that will be good, but being part of that elite circle is critical because you’re playing against the best players in the world.”

When it comes to the match itself at Royal Lytham & St Annes, Marsh believes the American side won’t know what’s hit them when they turn up to play the Open Championship venue, and reckons that will give the GB&I team a great chance to stop the USA making it five wins in the last six matches.

SHOCK

“If the GB&I Walker Cup squad can prove that we can play round Lytham, whether that was in the Lytham Trophy or proving we can play links golf elsewhere, I think we’ll have a great chance of winning,” he added. “The Americans don’t play links golf, so I think they’ll the shock of their lives when they come to Lytham. It’s a different kind of beast. It’s probably the toughest course I’ve ever played and foursomes pairings will be a key for us.”

Pic: © LeaderboardPhotography.com

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