Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan believes home advantage will be “huge” as Great Britain and Ireland seek to regain the Walker Cup at Royal Lytham this weekend.
All five of Ireland’s representatives are in in foursomes action this morning, including Ardglass golfer Cormac Sharvin who is making his debut in the event.
Sharvin will be playing alongside his Stirling University team mate Jack McDonald while Gary Hurley partners Paul Dunne and Moynihan pairs up with Jack Hume.
The United States have won 35, lost eight and halved one of the previous 44 biennial contests between the top amateur players from either side of the Atlantic, although their advantage is only 7-6 since 1989.
Great Britain and Ireland have also won four of the last five contests on home soil and Moynihan, one of a record five Irish players on the 10-man team, believes the fast, dry conditions will again benefit Nigel Edwards’ young side.
“Home advantage is huge this week I think because the Americans have never seen Lytham like this ever,” said the 20-year-old, who is the sole survivor from the side beaten 17-9 at National Golf Links in 2013.
“It was very firm at National two years ago, but it’s a different level since we got here on Monday. It was green on Monday and now it’s like bronzy.
“You see the 18th, once you hit the fairway it’s gone, 80, 90 yards of run. I think that’s a huge thing for us as we play in it a lot. Most of the boys are members at links courses, as well.
“A lot of tournaments over here are won with two, three over par and Americans are used to shooting four, five, six under. I think that type of golf suits us and we are in a better mindset.”
Meanwhile, Ireland’s women were beaten 5-4 by England on the final day of competition at the Home Internationals.
After winning the morning foursomes 2-1, Ireland’s hopes of winning the title for the first time since their back-to-back wins in 2003 and 2004 were dashed in the singles, won 4-2 by an England team who had lost five singles the previous day in doing down to Scotland.
Walker Cup Day One
Foursomes (US names first): Maverick McNealy/Hunter Stewart v Ashley Chesters/Jimmy Mullan; Beau Hossler/Denny McCarthy v Paul Dunne/Gary Hurley; Jordan Niebrugge/Robby Shelton v Cormac Sharvin/Jack McDonald; Lee McCoy/Mike McCoy v Jack Hume/Gavin Moynihan
Bryson DeChambeau v Ashley Chesters; Hunter Stewart v Paul Dunne; Scott Harvey v Grant Forrest; Denny McCarthy v Jimmy Mullen; Maverick McNealy v Ewen Ferguson; Robby Shelton v Gary Hurley; Beau Hossler v Jack Hume; Jordan Niebrugge v Gavin Moynihan
p Overnight leader Marilyn Henderson (Royal Belfast) battled wet and windy conditions to card a final round 85 to win the Irish Senior Women’s Open Strokeplay by two strokes from Mary Dowling (New Ross) at Rosslare.
Defending champion Minna Kaarnalahti (FIN) slipped to joint fifth after an 87 while Pat Doran (Donabate) and Helen Jones (Royal Portrush) leap-frogged the field to finish joint third after both signed for 80.
Final Day results:
Ireland 4 England 5
Foursomes: Olivia Mehaffey & Annabel Wilson lost to Sophie Lamb & Inci Mehmet 3&2; Maria Dunne & Chloe Ryan beat Sophie Keech & Samantha Giles 4&2; Paula Grant & Julie McCarthy beat Hollie Muse & Gemma Clews 2&1
Singles: Olivia Mehaffey lost to Holly Muse 5&4; Julie McCarthy lost to Sophie Lamb 3&1; Niamh McSherry lost to Inci Mehmet 1up; Chloe Ryan lost to Gemma Clews 4&2; Sarah Helly beat Bethan Popel 1up; Maria Dunne beat Sophie Keech 3&2