Cormac Sharvin shines in GB&I Walker Cup success

Great Britain and Ireland's  Cormac Sharvin and Jack McDonald walk to the first green during the fourballs on day two of the Walker Cup at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club
Great Britain and Ireland's Cormac Sharvin and Jack McDonald walk to the first green during the fourballs on day two of the Walker Cup at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club

Ardglass golfer, Cormac Sharvin, played a key role as GB&I reclaimed the Walker Cup at Royal Lytham on Sunday.

Leading the United States 10-6 after the morning foursomes at Royal Lytham, the home side required just three and a half points from the 10 singles to secure a fifth win in the last six contests on home soil.

And after doing so at the earliest possible opportunity thanks to victories for Ashley Chesters, Cormac Sharvin and Jimmy Mullen - who compiled a perfect 4-0 record - and a half from Paul Dunne in the top four matches, further wins from Grant Forrest and Gary Hurley sealed an emphatic triumph.

The final 16.5 to 9.5 scoreline meant both a record points tally and margin of victory, surpassing the 15-9 wins in 1999 and 2001 by sides featuring the likes of Paul Casey, Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell.

“This is by far the best experience of my life to date so far anyway,” said the Stirling University student who finished with three wins out of three.

“I have done some nice things in golf - I have won the Brabazon Trophy and it doesn’t even come close. It is just an unbelievable experience.

“I think the whole experience of playing as a team and playing for each other makes it even sweeter.”

​​For the first time in the 93-year history of the event, five Irish players made the team with Sharvin joined by Gavin Moynihan, Gary Hurley, Paul Dunne and Jack Hume.

“It’s unbelievable history for Irish golf. It just shows the strength that we actually have in the team,” added Cormac.

“And not just the strength that we have in the team. We are good golfers but the gelling we have - we are all really good mates.

“We talk to each other every now and again and have a drink together every now and again. We are all really good friends which makes it even better. We are all looking out for each other’s back which is nice.”

Five of the victorious team - Dunne, Mullen, Chesters, Hurley and Moynihan - will now turn professional, with Mullen signing off in style as the first GB&I player to win all four matches since Casey and Donald at Nairn in 1999.

Dunne, who led the Open after 54 holes before fading on the final day, added: “I will take winning over 30th place every day.

“It’s so much better to do it as a team.

“Nigel has been a fantastic captain and inspired us from start to finish.

“I am happy with my ball-striking and overall it has been a great week.

“I would have taken four losses for myself if the team could win so the end result has been good.”

Great Britain and Ireland captain Nigel Edwards hailed his side’s special achievement.

“Gosh. It’s great,” said the 47-year-old Welshman, who did not rule out a record fourth spell as captain in Los Angeles in 2017.

“At Royal Aberdeen (in 2011) we were up against it until the death but the boys at the top of the order went out fast as we needed them to do.

“There were tremendous performances in every session. There were some matches where the players had to dig really deep and they proved crucial. At the start of the week we wanted to do something very special and this is it.”

United States captain John Miller, who admitted he “acquiesced” to the wish of NCAA and US Amateur champion Bryson DeChambeau to go out last in the singles, said: “I am very proud of everyone to a man.

“They played hard and fought hard and lost with grace and dignity, and that’s not easy to do.

“Nigel and his boys outplayed us, simple as that. They earned it.”