Tuesday 24 April 2018

Dunne to monitor the Walker Cup class of 2017

 

Ireland's Paul Dunne. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ireland's Paul Dunne. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

Paul Dunne, a star of the winning Walker Cup team two years ago, will take a keen interest in the outcome of the 46th staging of the biennial GB & Ireland v USA match which begins at Los Angeles Country Club today.

Dunne, Gary Hurley, Gavin Moynihan, Cormac Sharvin and Jack Hume combined to give Ireland an unprecedented five representatives on the ten-man team which beat the Americans at Royal Lytham in 2015.

Today, the Greystones golfer's first priority is to seek some altitude in the Alps as he bids to improve on his opening 36 holes in the Omega European Masters.

Dunne carded a level-par 71 at Crans-sur-Sierre to make the cut by a shot with a level-par 140 total.

That leaves him 13 shots adrift of overnight leader Scott Hend of Australia, who blistered the course with a 63 for a one-stroke lead over of Darren Fichardt.

Dunne has a big challenge if he is to progress up the leaderboard but once he finishes round three today, he will monitor the performance of the 2017 Walker Cup side which this time includes only one Irishman - Paul McBride of the The Island.

McBride and his fellow top-ranked amateurs from these islands need to play their best if they are to win the cup on American soil for the first time since 2001, a team which included Graeme McDowell.

Student

A student in Wake Forest University, Arnold Palmer's alma mater, McBride is well acquainted with the American scene.

"It's bittersweet to be the only Irishman, to be honest. But the team itself is great," he said

"Looking through the names, you realise that the lads have had great summers and there have been a lot of wins."

British Amateur champion Harry Ellis and European Amateur title-holder Alfie Plan, who also won the Silver Medal at the Open Championship, are in that category of notable winners this year.

The team's preparations were hit by an illness in the family of captain Craig Watson, so chairman of selectors Andrew Ingram takes charge.

The format is four foursomes this morning and tomorrow morning, with eight singles this afternoon, and ten tomorrow afternoon.

∂ Lurgan teenager Annabel Wilson missed out on the chance of clinching the biggest win of her fledgling career - the British women's open stroke-play title - when she bogeyed three successive holes on her final round yesterday at North Berwick in Scotland.

The Irish international had gone to the top of the leaderboard but ended with a two-under par 71, one-under overall, three strokes adrift of new champion Linn Grant from Sweden.

This meant Wilson finished joint second with English golfer Hannah Screen and captured the under-18 award.

GB& Ireland Walker Cup team: David Boote (Walton Heath), Wales; Jack Davidson (Llanwern), Wales; Harry Ellis (Meon Valley), England; Scott Gregory (Corhampton), England; Matthew Jordan (Royal Liverpool), England; Paul McBride (The Island), Ireland; Robert MacIntyre (Glencruitten), Scotland; Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park), England; Jack Singh Brar (Remedy Oak), England; Conor Syme (Drumoig), Scotland.

Omega European Masters

Live, Sky Sports Golf 12.30pm

The Walker Cup

Live, Sky Sports Golf, 5.0pm

Irish Independent

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