Anger at Walker Cup snub for rising star

Walker Cup Trophy

Danny Willett’s caddie has hit out at the “baffling” decision by Walker Cup selectors to leave one of the rising stars of English golf out of the 2019 Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team.

Sam Haywood took to Twitter after the ten-man side for next month’s match with the USA at Royal Liverpool was confirmed.

Missing from the line-up was his Rotherham GC clubmate Ben Schmidt.

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Currently the second highest GB&I player on the World Amateur Golf Ranking sitting in eighth place, 17-year-old Schmidt has had a hugely impressive season.

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In June, whilst still 16, he became the youngest-ever winner of the Brabazon Trophy. He also won the Carris Trophy and Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters, finished third in the Fairhaven Trophy, and represented England in the European Boys’ Team Championship.

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However, none of that was enough to earn a nod from Walker Cup selectors who, instead, picked him as first reserve for next month’s match at Hoylake – much to the disappointment of Haywood.

GB&I captain Craig Watson said: “It has been a very difficult decision to select ten players for Great Britain and Ireland from a strong squad but we have been very impressed with the results of those we have picked and we believe they will give us the best chance of regaining the Walker Cup against a strong American team.”

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The ten chosen includes The Amateur champion James Sugrue, the English Amateur champion Conor Gough, and Conor Purcell who won the Australian Amateur Championship earlier this year.

Alex Fitzpatrick, the younger brother of Ryder Cup star Matt, is also selected alongside Scotland’s Euan Walker who finished runner-up in both The Amateur Championship and European Amateur Championship.

The side is completed by Harry Hall, Thomas Plumb and Caolan Rafferty, as well as Tom Sloman and Sandy Scott.

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