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Walker Cup prelim squad announced

THE players who are in the running to take part in this year’s Walker Cup at Royal Liverpool have been named by the R&A.

An initial squad of 26 players has been announced with the final Great Britain and Ireland team to be revealed after the summer’s competitions.

The 47th match against the United States takes place over the Hoylake links on Saturday and Sunday, September 7-8.

GB&I are aiming to win back the trophy after losing 19-7 at the Los Angeles Country Club in the biennial match.

The squad includes Ben Chamberlain, from Padeswood & Buckley Golf Club.

Craig Watson, GB&I captain, said: “We have selected a talented group of players who are all in contention for a place in the team to play the United States of America and will be continuing to monitor the form and results of these players over the course of the season.

“We will also be looking closely at the performances of other players who have not been included in the squad and there is still time for them to play their way into our plans ahead of the final team selection later this year.”

Last year’s R&A Boys Amateur champion, Conor Gough, leads a strong contingent of 12 players from England included in the squad. Tom Sloman, who won the 2019 Copa Sotagrande recently, and SANLAM Cape Province Open champion, Thomas Plumb, also feature in the group.

Six players from Scotland have been chosen, including 2019 African Amateur champion, Euan Walker and reigning Scottish Amateur champion, Euan McIntosh. Sandy Scott, who won the El Macero Classic earlier this month, Marquette Intercollegiate champion Ryan Lumsden, Kieran Cantley and Jamie Stewart are also in Watson’s plans.

Conor Purcell, who won the 2019 Australian Amateur Championship, is among five players from Ireland to feature in Watson’s squad. He is joined by 2019 West of Ireland Amateur champion Caolan Rafferty, 2018 Eisenhower Trophy player John Murphy, Mark Power and James Sugrue.

2018 Irish Boys Amateur champion Archie Davies, Chamberlain – who finished fifth in the European Nations Cup in Sotogrande – and Jake Hapgood are the three players from Wales.

“This is a great honour for these three players and shows their performances at international level have been recognised by the GB and I selectors,” said Wales Golf director of performance Gillian O’Leary.

“Of course this is just a start for them, while other players still have time to force their way into contention with their performances this season.”

The players selected for the GB&I squad are:

Jake Burnage, Saunton, 23; John Murphy, Kinsale, 20; Kieran Cantley, Liberton, 21; Joseph Pagdin, Lake Nona, 17; Ben Chamberlain, Padeswood & Buckley, 21; Thomas Plumb, Yeovil, 20; Archie Davies, Carlisle, 17; Mark Power, Kilkenny, 18; Alex Fitzpatrick, Hallamshire, 20; Conor Purcell, Portmarnock, 21; Bailey Gill, Lindrick, 21; Caolan Rafferty, Dundalk, 26; Conor Gough, Stoke Park, 16; Sandy Scott, Nairn, 20; David Hague, Malton & Norton, 22; Tom Sloman, Taunton & Pickeridge, 22; Harry Hall, West Cornwall, 21; Jamie Stewart, Old Course Ranfurly, 19; Jake Hapgood, Southerndown, 22; James Sugrue, Mallow, 22; Benjamin Jones, Northamptonshire County, 19; Tom Thurloway, Chartham Park, 21; Ryan Lumsden, Royal Wimbledon, 22; Euan Walker, Kilmarnock (Barassie), 23; Euan McIntosh, Turnhouse, 50; Robin Williams, Peterborough Milton, 17.