- GB&I team enjoy first taste of Royal Lytham & St Annes
- First time the Open circuit venue has hosted the Walker Cup
- Past players already showing their support for the team
The GB&I Walker Cup team practiced at Royal Lytham & St Annes for the first time today as preparations ramped up ahead of this weekend’s match against the USA.
The ten-man squad, who were each presented with their own bag upon meeting up yesterday, took to the famed links for the first of two days’ practice at the course before they head down the road for a round at Hoylake on Wednesday.
And with only five days to go until the action gets underway, GB&I captain Nigel Edwards and his players have been suitably impressed with what they’ve seen from the Open circuit venue so far.
Edwards, who is captaining the side for a third successive time, tweeted:
While Gary Hurley, one of five Irish lads in the team, said: “Class day out on the links today! Course is in great shape looking forward to a good week! #WalkerCup #RoyalLytham&StAnnes.
The course has an impressive pedigree, hosting 11 Open Championships, four Women’s British Opens, two Ryder Cups, the Curtis Cup, four Amateur Championships and three Ladies British Open Amateur Championship in its 129-year history.
And in welcoming the Walker Cup to Royal Lytham & St Annes for the very first time, club secretary Charles Grimley is confident the venue will play host to an excellent match.
“The course is in really fine fettle at the moment and I’m sure the players are going to enjoy it,” said Grimley. “It has proven in the past, particularly with the two Ryder Cups it has staged, that it stands up well as a matchplay course, with the last few holes particularly challenging in that regard, so I’ve no doubts it will provide a great stage for this year’s Walker Cup.
“One of the beauties of this tournament is that you can go and follow the players up the fairway. There are typically no ropes and so you can get really close to all the action. Our course is really good for viewing so I’m sure everyone who comes along will have a great time.”
The GB&I team have also received their fair share of support on social media already, with Marc Warren, part of the winning side at Ocean Forest GC in 2001, tweeting:
While six-time Walker Cup player Gary Wolstenholme, a team-mate of Warren for the 15-9 victory, said: “Was always an honour for me to play @WalkerCup and wishing @nigeledwards68 and this year’s team the very best at @RoyalLythamGolf this week.”
The Walker Cup :: Who will win?
Can GB&I take back the Walker Cup at Royal Lytham & St Annes this week? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.