GB&I's Walker Cup stars to turn pro

2013 08 Byrne

Several members of winning side to test talents on tour




Stepping up: James Byrne has revealed that, following the Walker Cup, he will be turning pro in the coming days


A host of GB&I's Walker Cup stars have declared their intentions to build on their tremendous success at Royal Aberdeen by graduating to the professional ranks.

Scotland's James Byrne, who earned a vital two points from a possible three against the United States, has confirmed that he will make the step up to the paid game in the coming days. The 2010 Amateur Championship runner-up, who has just graduated from Arizona State University, will now focus his attention on earning invites to European Tour events before a tilt at Q-School in Portugal. .

Byrne's fellow Scot and successor as runner-up in this year's Amateur Championship, Michael Stewart, has decided to retain his amateur status until the end of November since as South African Amateur champion, Stewart is eligible to compete in European Tour event, the South African Open.

2011 Walker Cup - Previews

The 21-year-old  will join Scotland teammate Byrne at the first of stage of European Tour Q-School, though Stewart will compete at Crewe as an amateur. The Troon Welbeck ace, who earned two and a half points from four at Royal Aberdeen, has decided to turn pro immediately after taking up his invitation to South Africa.

GB&I's top-ranked player Andy Sullivan and Lytham Trophy victor Jack Senior have also made the decision to test their talents on tour following their Walker Cup heroics.

The pair have signed to renowned management company Wasserman, who currently handle the likes of Jason Day, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler. Agency vice president & head of golf Brendan Taylor expressed his delight at having secured the English duo.

"We are delighted to welcome both Andy and Jack to Wasserman," said Taylor. "They are both extremely talented individuals with great futures ahead of them, and we're looking forward to helping them achieve their goals".

Warwickshire based Sullivan, 24, has enjoyed a fantastic few years on the amateur circuit. As well as his success at the Walker Cup, his career highlights to date include finishing 2nd in the 2010 Titleist Footjoy EGU Order of Merit, shooting a record 1st round 10 under par on his way to winning the prestigious Hampshire Salver and finishing 2nd at the Lee Westwood trophy.

Sullivan said, "I'm thrilled to be joining Wasserman. Their global sports client list is one of the best in the world and being part of a company who successfully manage the likes of Jack Wilshere, Steven Gerrard as well as obviously Jason Day and Ricky Fowler can only be beneficial to me in the long term. I'm looking forward to really pushing on with my golf and making a name for myself in the future under Brendan's guidance".

Senior, 23, won the Egyptian Amateur in 2010, allowing him to qualify for the Egyptian Open - a European Challenge Tour event - in which he powered his way to a Top 20 finish. He started the 2011 season in spectacular fashion by winning the prestigious New South Wales Matchplay Championship, the Lytham Trophy as well as the Hampshire Hog.  In August 2011, Senior reached the semi-finals in the US Amateur Championship - playing some superb golf in the process.

On signing for Wasserman, Senior commented, "Brendan and his team have a proven track record in Golf and I'm looking forward to working with them. I'm really excited about the future and am confident that I can achieve great things with Wasserman."

Open Silver Medallist Tom Lewis has also turned professional following GB&I's 14-12 victory over the US.

 

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