9th September 2015
The United States of America (USA) will start as firm favourites to win the Walker Cup when the 2015 match is played this coming weekend.
The 45th match in the biennial series is being played at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, just south of the famous seaside town of Blackpool in Lancashire, England.
However, with plenty of links experience, a good knowledge of the Lytham course, a little bit of rain and wind forecast and the support of thousands of home fans who’s to say Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) can’t pull off an upset. Recent matches on these shores – at Ganton, Royal County Down and Royal Aberdeen – have all been close and no one should be surprised if this one follows suit.
Over the two days there will be 26 matches played in the following order: –
Saturday Day 1 – Four foursomes (AM) and eight singles (PM).
Sunday Day 2 – Four foursomes (AM) and ten singles (PM).
With one point awarded for each win and a half point for a draw the winning team will be the first to achieve 13.5 points.
Both teams were finalised in late August following the playing of the United States Amateur Championship. The two Teams that will contest the Walker Cup are: –
Great Britain & Ireland
Ashley Chesters (England) 26
Paul Dunne (R. Ireland) 22
Ewen Ferguson (Scotland) 19
Grant Forrest (Scotland) 22
Jack Hume (R. Ireland) 21
Gary Hurley (R. Ireland) 22
Jack McDonald (Scotland) 22
Gavin Moynihan (R. Ireland) 20
Jimmy Mullen (England) 21
Cormac Sharvin (N. Ireland) 22
Back Row (l-r) – E Ferguson, A Chesters, C Sharvin, J Mullen and G Hurley
Front Row (l-r) – J McDonald, G Forrest, J Hume, [P McGinley], N Edwards (Captain), P Dunne and G Moynihan
United States of America
Bryson DeChambeau (California) 21
Scott Harvey (North Carolina) 37
Beau Hossler (California) 20
Denny McCarthy (Maryland) 22
Lee McCoy (Georgia) 21
Mike McCoy (Iowa) 52
Maverick McNealy (California) 19
Jordan Niebrugge (Wisconsin) 22
Robby Shelton (Alabama) 19
Hunter Stewart (Kentucky) 22
Back Row (l-r) M McCoy, L McCoy, B Hossler, S Miller (Captain), J Niebrugge, S Harvey, B DeChambeau, R Zalzneck
Front Row (l-r) – R Shelton, H Stewart, D McCarthy and M McNealy
The GB&I team will be captained, for the third consecutive time, by Nigel Edwards, a four time player (2001-03-05-07) whilst the USA team will be captained for the first time by John “Spider” Miller, who competed in 1999 at Nairn, Scotland.
Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club
One of the most famous links courses in the world, Royal Lytham was founded in 1886. It was laid out in 1897 but then re-designed in 1919 by the great Harry S. Colt. It is a strategic, heavily bunkered course where accuracy nearly always overcomes length.
An Aerial View Of Royal Lytham & St. Annes GC
Off the blue championship tees Royal Lytham is a 7,118 yard par 70. The front nine plays 3,437 yards, a par 34, whilst the longer back nine, being 3,681 yards, is a par 36.
18th Hole, Clubhouse and Dormy House – Royal Lytham & St. Annes GC
The Walker Cup is contested by ten male amateur players from both the USA and GB&I. The former team is selected by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the latter by The R&A.
The first official Walker Cup match was played in 1922. It was the brainchild of George Herbert Walker, the maternal grandfather of President George H.W. Bush. Walker was the President of the USGA in 1920 and offered to donate the trophy that is still played for today. It should be noted that it was the American press that christened the trophy the Walker Cup rather than the far more modest Mr. Walker.
The USA leads the series W35-L8-D1. However, in recent years the match has been more even – each side winning five of the last ten matches since 1995. Having said that the USA are building up some momentum again winning four of the last five.
This far out there still remains some uncertainty about this weekend’s forecast.
Updated – as at 16.00 on 11th Sept. 2015: –
Sat. 12th Sept. – AM Showers / PM Cloudy. Wind 16 mph (NE). Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 13°C.
Sun. 13rd Sept. – AM / PM Cloudy. Wind 12 mph (NW). Temp. Max. 17°C / Min 11°C.
Watch It Live
The opportunity to watch some of the best amateur golfers in the world up close shouldn’t be missed for those that can make it to Lytham. There is free public car parking close to the course and day tickets costing £30 can be acquired on the gate.
Internet (GB&I) – News and score links will be available here on the R&A’s website – Walker Cup
Internet (USA) – Other news can be found on the USGA website – www.walkercup.org
Twitter – @RandA / @WalkerCup / #WalkerCup, not forgetting @GolfBible !
Television – BBC2 (GB&I) / ESPN (US) – Sat. 12th Sept. 2.00 – 6.45pm / Sun. 13th Sept. 1.30 – 6.00pm (GMT)
Copyright © 2015, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.