Moynihan takes on US

by Gazette Reporter

WHEN the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team was announced earlier this week, there was a big shock for the Island’s Gavin Moynihan.
That shock wasn’t his own inclusion, but rather the fact he would be joined over at Royal Lytham & St Anne’s Golf Club on September 12-13 by another four of his fellow Irishmen.
“I couldn’t believe it when the full team was announced; five Irishmen in a 10-man team is outrageous,” said Moynihan when he spoke to GazetteSport.
“I was pretty confident of making the team myself as I’ve had a good year, but I couldn’t believe that half of the team would be Irish, it’s brilliant.”
The other four homegrown talents on the team are Paul Dunne, Jack Hume, Gary Hurley and Cormac Shervin.
The Walker Cup is similar to the Ryder Cup but for amateur players, and instead of Team Europe, it is Team Great Britain and Ireland who face America every two years. Both foursomes and singles feature across the two days and 26 matches.
Moynihan featured in the 2013 event as an 18-year-old, which the US won 17-9. That year, Moynihan was joined by just one other Irishman, Kevin Phelan, on the team, which shows how far the amateur game has come in the country in just a short time.
“It was the best week I’ve ever had,” Moynihan recalled of the 2013 cup. We’ve a really strong side this year, including the English and Scottish lads. We’ve also got home advantage which can prove massive.
“Lytham is a seriously tough course and I think it’ll suit us more than the Americans, who are used to shooting big under-par scores. If the weather plays up it’ll become even more difficult, but I can’t wait to get over.”
The squad will get over on September 6 to get a week’s practice in before the tournament tees off the following Saturday. “We get over nice and early, some of the lads will get specific practice sessions in but I reckon I’ll just play a few rounds in the days leading up and get as comfortable on the course as possible,” Moynihan added. “It’s also important to bond as a team as much as we can leading up to it.”
There will no doubt be a lot Irish eyes watching this year’s event with the following Paul Dunne received for his effort at this year’s Open Championship.
If team Great Britain and Ireland are successful, we may even see an amateur replica of that famous Ryder Cup photo of McGinley, Harrington, McDowell, McIlroy and Clarke holding their prize, but replaced with Moynihan, Dunne, Hume, Hurley and Shervin holding theirs.

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