English-heavy GB&I team named
English golfers dominate this year’s Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team. Seven Englishmen have been selected to try to help GB&I captain Colin Dalgleish regain the Cup at Merion Golf Club on September 12-13.
Two Scottish players and an Irishman fill out the lineup, with no place in the GB & I line-up for a Welsh player. All ten members of the team are rookies.
Tommy Fleetwood (18), Luke Goddard (21), Matt Haines (19), Stiggy Hodgson (18), Sam Hutsby (19), Chris Paisley (23) and Dale Whitnell (19) are the English players. Ireland’s Niall Kearney (20) is the lone Irishman, while Scots Wallace Booth (24) and Gavin Dear (25) fill out the team.
These ten players will form the GB&I team on the basis that no GB&I player not in the above named 10 wins the US Amateur. Any British or Irish player winning the US Amateur not already in the squad automatically gets in the team and one of the 10 players above will be dropped.
This is the first year since 1999 that no Welsh player has been named to the team. It was widely expected that veteran Welshman Nigel Edwards would be selected, but he misses out on a fifth consecutive match.
Booth and Dear were members of the Scottish side that won the World Amateur Team Championship last year.
Kearney briefly attended East Tennessee State before quitting to concentrate on full-time amateur golf at home. He won this year’s Brabazon Trophy, the English Amateur Stroke Play Championship.
Hutsby reached the final of the British Amateur Championship this year. Goddard is the reigning English Amateur champion. Haines won the 2008 Lytham Trophy and began this season with four victories in the Berkhamsted Trophy, the Hampshire Hog, Hampshire Salver and the Duncan Putter. Fleetwood won this year’s Scottish Amateur Stroke Play Championship. Whitnell is the current Portuguese Amateur champion. Hodgson was a semifinalist in this year’s British Amateur and finished second in the South of England Championship. Paisley, meanwhile, has just graduated from University of Tennessee. He finished this season 34th in the Golfweek/Sagarin College rankings.
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The Great Britain & Ireland Team
Wallace Booth (24) Scotland
Gavin Dear (25) Scotland
Tommy Fleetwood (18) England
Luke Goddard (21) England
Matt Haines (19) England
Stiggy Hodgson (18) England
Sam Hutsby (19) England
Niall Kearney (20) Ireland
Chris Paisley (23) England
Dale Whitnell (19) England