Nine players in initial GB&I squad
Double European Amateur champion Ashley Chesters leads a strong English contingent named in the initial 20-man squad for this year’s Walker Cup match against the USA.
Chesters, from Hawkstone Park, is joined by South of England Open Amateur champion Adam Champion and US-based Sam Horsfield in the squad announced recently by the R&A.
Tomasz Anderson of Brocket Hall, Daniel Brown of Bedale and Paul Howard of Southport &Ainsdale are also included, as are Nick Marsh of Huddersfield, Royal North Devon’s Jimmy Mullen and Rushmore golfer Ben Stow.
They will join the rest of the squad for a get-together at the Lancashire club ahead of the Lytham Trophy in May and, again, in July. It is reckoned that the players named in the squad by team captain Nigel Edwards will form the basis of the final ten-man team to take on America from September 12-13 as GB&I seeks to regain the title they last won in 2011 at Royal Aberdeen.
Announcing the line-up, Nigel Edwards, who will captain the side for a third successive time this year, commented: “We have selected a strong squad of players and they will all know that they are in contention for a place on the team and it is up to them to perform this season.
“As the season progresses, I am sure that a number of players who do not form part of this current squad will challenge for places on the team as has happened in previous years with the likes of Steven Brown and Danny Willett playing their way on to the 2011 and 2007 teams. Players who do not form part of this squad can still play their way on to the team for September.”
Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan is the only player in the squad with previous Walker Cup experience. The reigning Scottish Strokeplay champion played in the 2013 match at the National Golf Links of America, where he earned two points in GB&I’s 17-9 defeat. He is joined by fellow Irishmen Gary Hurley, Jack Hume, Cormac Sharvin and Paul Dunne.
Five Scots have made the short-list - Amateur champion Bradley Neil, Graeme Robertson, Grant Forrest, Jack McDonald and Jamie Savage - whilst David Boote, who enjoyed a top ten finish in last year’s European Amateur Championship, is the sole Welshman included.