‘Magnificent Seven’ for Scots in GB&I squad

Ewen Ferguson and Grant Forrest (R). Picture: Getty
Ewen Ferguson and Grant Forrest (R). Picture: Getty
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The current strength of Scottish amateur golf has been reflected with a ‘Magnificent Seven’ from the game’s cradle making the 2016 Great Britain & Ireland squad.

The sizeable representation is the biggest in an 18-man squad, with England providing five players, Ireland four and Wales two.

Scotland’s three members of last year’s winning Walker Cup team - Ewen Ferguson (Bearsden), Grant Forrest (Craigielaw) and Jack McDonald (Barassie) - have all retained their places.

The squad also includes Kirkhill’s Craig Ross and Drumoig Golf Centre’s Connor Syme, winners of the South African and Australian Amateur Championships respectively this year.

Completing the ‘Tartan Army’ are Scottish champion Bob MacIntyre (Glencruitten) and Thornhill’s Greig Marchbank.

All seven Scots are currently sitting inside the top 70 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

The squad is for the St Andrews Trophy, a match against the Continent of Europe, at Prince’s Golf Club in Kent on July 20-21.

The GB&I side will be captained for the first time in that by East Renfrewshire’s Craig Watson, who was named as the successor to Nigel Edwards, a two-time winning Walker Cup captain, earlier this year.

GB&I are bidding to retain the St Andrews Trophy following their 14-10 victory at Barsebäck in 2014 - their first win in the match since 2008.

“I’m very much looking forward to the match and want to build on the success that Nigel and the team enjoyed two years ago in Sweden,” said Watson.

“We have a strong group of players to call upon again this year and there is a good mixture of experience and youth in the squad.

“We know we will be in for a tough match at Prince’s so we have to pick the best team we can and the players will be working hard throughout this season to impress the selectors.”

The squad contains a fourth player from last September’s winning Walker Cup at Royal Lytham - Irishman Jack Hume.

The St Andrews Trophy has been played alternately on British/Irish and mainland European courses since 1956. GB&I has won on 25 occasions and the Continent of Europe has won five times, including the 2010 and 2012 matches.

GB&I squad:

Jamie Bower (Meltham), Scott Gregory (Corhampton), Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park), Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood), Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park), Jack Hume (Naas), Stuart Grehan (Tullamore), Alex Gleeson (Castle), John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead), Ewen Ferguson (Bearsden), Grant Forrest (Craigielaw), Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie), Robert MacIntyre (Glencruitten), Greig Marchbank (Thornhill), Craig Ross (Kirkhill), Connor Syme (Drumoig), David Boote (Walton Heath), Owen Edwards (Llanwern).