Nigel Edwards: British team has the focus to retain Walker Cup

 

The Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup captain, Nigel Edwards, has praised his players for their focus on preparation after a less than straightforward build-up to this weekend’s showdown on the eastern shore of New York’s Long Island.

Edwards, a veteran of four consecutive Walker Cup matches from 2001 through to 2007, had to return home earlier in the week after his father fell ill. However, having been assured by doctors that his dad was on the mend, Edwards flew back to New York to find his players fully concentrated on their task of retaining the historic trophy.

“I knew they’d be fine; they’re good lads, and they’d be very professional about preparing,” Edwards said. “I had a chat with a couple of the senior players. They’ll get on with it. The golf course is here and they know that they’ve got to focus on the short game because at the end of the day this week will be won with a putter.”

After leading GB&I to victory in Aberdeen two years ago, Edwards will be playing in his fifth Walker Cup, having made his debut in the same team as Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell in 2001. The amateur event returns to the National Golf Links of America, where the first Walker Cup was held in 1922, with GB & Ireland looking to end a two-match losing streak on US soil.

They will be led on the course by Sheffield’s Matt Fitzpatrick, who  became the first Englishman since 1911 to win the US Amateur Championship – propelling him to No 1 in the world amateur rankings – and also won the silver medal for best amateur at July’s Open Championship at Muirfield.

“We’ve got a great team and, of course, I can’t wait to get back with them,” said Edwards. “But we’re going to have to work very, very hard for it.”

Returning US captain Jim Holtgrieve has tried not to put too much pressure on his team as they bid for a 35th title having ended a run of three successive wins last time, at Royal Aberdeen in 2011.

“Everybody wants to win but that’s not the ultimate goal,” Holtgrieve said. “The ultimate goal is to do what we did in Scotland, which is to enjoy the  experience of playing for our country and being a member of the Walker Cup team. We did not win the match, but let me tell you, afterwards I heard so many positive remarks about our American team and the way we  handled ourselves. That was good for golf. How can you do any better  than that?”

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game