Golf: Donald can be the driving force for Britain

PREVIOUS CAPTAINS of Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup teams have always talked up their side's chances, the problem was, in the past, no one believed them. Things are different this year. When the current captain, Peter McEvoy, says his team will win this year's match, which starts today at Nairn Golf Club, it is hard to argue with him.

Home successes in the Walker Cup can be counted on one hand. America holds a commanding 31-4 advantage, with one match tied of the 36 played since it started in 1922. It is for that reason the match has often been called the "Walkover Cup". Last time around the Americans cruised to an 18-6 victory at Quaker Ridge, New York, in 1997. That was not quite as bad as the 19-5 drubbing Britain and Ireland received in 1993 in Minnesota.

Sandwiched in between those two huge defeats was a famous victory at Royal Porthcawl when Britain and Ireland beat an American team that included Tiger Woods.This year's American team is strong, too, and includes Matt Kuchar and David Gossett, winners of the 1997 and 1999 US Amateur Championships respectively.

Yet McEvoy feels the side he has assembled this year is better than the team that won four years ago, but he is having difficulty making that point. "It's at times like this I get so irritated with previous captains because they have all said this is the best team we've ever had," said McEvoy. "Then when I say it, it just seems like I'm saying the same as everyone else. The truth is that it is one of the best I've come across."

McEvoy defends his statement by pointing to the fact that his side contains the four players - Luke Donald, Paddy Gribben, Lorne Kelly and Gary Wolstenholme - who won the Eisenhower Trophy, the World Amateur Team Championship, in Chile last year.

"We do have champions in our team, we do have a long run of success aside from the Walker Cup and even in the Walker Cup," he said. "If we win this one we've won three of the last six and that's salad days for the Walker Cup relative to the previous record."

McEvoy's team is good blend of youth and experience. Besides Wolstenholme, 39, the 1991 British Amateur champion playing in his third Walker Cup, the team also includes Graham Rankin, the 33-year-old who was a member of the winning 1995 team. Rounding off the side are Simon Dyson (22), David Patrick (24), Philip Rowe (20), Paul Casey (22), Kelly (25), Storm (21), and 30-year-old Gribben, a former professional.

Then there's Luke Donald, the 21-year-old who attends Northwestern University in Chicago. Donald is currently the No 1 amateur player in the United States, an accolade that normally belongs to a member of the American side. The tables might have finally turned.

WALKER CUP (Nairn) Today's matches (GB and Irl names first): Morning Foursomes: G Rankin and G Storm v H Haas and J Miller; P Casey and L Donald v J Byrd and S Scott; P Gribben and L Kelly v D Gosset and T Jackson; P Rowe and G Wolstenholme v M Kuchar and B Molder. Afternoon Singles: G Rankin v E Loar; L Donald v T McNight; G Storm v Hunter Haas; P Casey v S Scott; D Patrick v J Byrd; S Dyson v D Gossett; P Gribben v B Molder; L Kelly v T Jackson.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'