Walker Cup: Pugh hopes for repeat of 2011
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Rhys Pugh, of Mid Glamorgan, Wales, is the only returner from the winning Great Britain and Ireland Team that took down the United States at Royal Aberdeen, 14-12, in 2011.
At that Match, Pugh defeated 2013 USA Walker Cup returnee Patrick Rodgers, former No. 1 amateurs in the world Patrick Cantlay and Chris Williams when he teamed up with James Byrne in the final-day foursomes match and the 2011 U.S. Amateur champion Patrick Kelly.
He went 3-0 for GB&I. That was big for a player who was only 17 years old at the time, three years younger than anyone else on the GB&I squad and the youngest player from both teams.
Since 2011, Pugh has crossed over to the American style of living and golf life. He is about to start his junior year at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn.
PHOTOS: 2013 Walker Cup (Thursday)
View images of National Golf Links in Southampton, N.Y. as well as some players for the USA and GB&I.
After his mediocre freshman year at ETSU, Pugh won the 2012 European Amateur Championship, which guaranteed him a spot in the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield.
He came on strong at the end of his sophomore season, finishing second at the Atlantic Sun Championship. He added a victory this summer at the Welsh Amateur Open Stroke Play Championship and also played in the Irish Open on the European Tour.
Returning for his second Walker Cup, Pugh is the lowest ranked player on either roster according to the World Amateur Golf Rankings at No. 344.
After gaining experience in 2011, Pugh is ready for another GB&I victory this year.
“It would be even better to be on the winning team, especially on American soil,” Pugh said.
The team is looking for its first back-to-back Walker Cup Match victory since the 2001 and 2003 Matches, and its first win on American soil since 2001.
Pugh, who describes his game as “patient and confident,” will need to employ both characteristics this week for his GB&I counterparts to come away with a victory on U.S. territory.