Walker Cup 2011: Great Britain & Ireland bid to regain trophy

Walker Cup 2011

Venue:
Balgownie Links of Royal Aberdeen Golf Club
Date:
10 September - 11 September 2011
Day 1 Coverage:
Live on BBC1 & BBC1 HD 1415-1630, BBC2 & BBC HD 1630-1815
Day 2 Coverage:
Live on BBC2 1130-1330, BBC2 & BBC HD 1515-1800. All times BST
Walker Cup

Tom Lewis will spearhead Great Britain and Ireland's bid to win back the Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen.

The 20-year-old, who hit the headlines when he grabbed the first-round lead at the Open in July, will partner Scotland's Michael Stewart against Peter Uihlein and Harris English in the opening foursomes match.

GB and Ireland captain Nigel Edwards knows a positive start will be vital.

"We've got a few strong players who are not afraid of the battle," he said.

Stewart reached the final of this year's Amateur Championship and is confident, despite facing what is regarded as one of the strongest American teams ever to play the Walker Cup.

"We are going to have a lot of support," Stewart said. "So when we start holing putts it will hopefully feed through the rest of the team. We are looking forward to the challenge and we are not going to be daunted by it."

As well as being the biggest name in the home side, Lewis has been the form player for GB and Ireland in practice this week.

"We played at Kingsbarns. We all enjoyed it and I enjoyed it because I took everyone's money as well," Lewis told BBC Sport.

"Then we went to Carnoustie and I was happy because I took their money there."

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Interview - Scottish amateur golfer Michael Stewart

Lewis will also lead off for the home team in the afternoon singles, when he will again face last year's US amateur champion Uihlein.

Stewart will play the anchor match against the world's top amateur Patrick Cantlay.

With four foursomes and eight singles to be played on the first day, Edwards has made sure all 10 members of his team will be in action on day one, as they try to win the trophy for the first time in eight years.

James Byrne and Rhys Pugh sit out the morning session, while Alan Dunbar and Stiggy Hodgson are rested for the singles.

American skipper Jim Holtgrieve also fields his entire side on Saturday, in a team which boasts the top four players in the amateur world rankings.

"They would look strong whatever line-up they put out," Edwards admitted.

But the Welshman remains confident his team can spring an upset.

"It comes down to who holes most putts," he said. "Some of our team are putting extremely well."

The match will be completed on Sunday when there are four more foursomes matches, followed by 10 singles.

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