After busy week, GB&I ready at Merion

ARDMORE, Pa. - It’s been an interesting week for the GB&I team as it prepares for the Walker Cup.

It started last Thursday when the team was invited to Buckingham Palace for tea and a pep talk from Prince Andrew. His royal highness played Merion a few years ago and told the chaps to, “Hit it straight and below the hole,'' but to also make sure they send his regards to Mr. Bush.

According to a few GB&I players, though, the chocolate biscuit cake was the most satisfying part of their day.

The team also was invited to be guests in the audience of “Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.” The comical chat show is the British version of the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

On Friday, the team played at Sunningdale Golf Club, which hosted the Walker Cup in 1987. The next day, it arrived in the States and played at Pine Valley on Sunday and Monday.

For the past three days, however, the team has been strictly business at Merion. The team played five matches Thursday and is eagerly awaiting the first match on Saturday.

Several GB&I players remarked about how the wind has started to strengthen throughout the week.

“I hope the wind does get stronger. It will only make us feel more comfortable,” said Tommy Fleetwood, 18, winner of this year’s Scottish Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship and runner-up at the 2008 British Amateur Championship.

It has been a long week for these guys, but one thing is certain: They are ready to tee it up. And so am I.

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