Yorkshire trio Alex Fitzpatrick, Barclay Brown and Ben Schmidt earn Walker Cup call-up

Second call: Alex Fitzpatrick.Second call: Alex Fitzpatrick.
Second call: Alex Fitzpatrick.
A strong Yorkshire makes for a strong Great Britain and Ireland squad – or words to that effect.

A phrase commonly associated with cricket can now be applied to golf following the announcement of the 10 players to represent GB&I at the 48th Walker Cup in Florida in May.

Three of those players hail from Yorkshire, from the Sheffield Union of Golf Clubs to be exact, and two come from the same club.

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Hallamshire will be represented at Seminole Golf Club by Barclay Brown, 20, and Alex Fitzpatrick 22, while Rotherham Golf Club sees 18-year-old Ben Schmidt selected.

Selected: Barclay Brown.Selected: Barclay Brown.
Selected: Barclay Brown.

Fitzpatrick is the younger brother of Matt, a six-time winner on the European Tour and a Walker Cup player back in 2013, the year he won the US Amateur.

Alex Fitzpatrick is currently on a golf scholarship at Wake Forest in North Carolina and won a tournament earlier this month.

Brown is also continuing his golfing education in the United States with a scholarship at Stanford in California.

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He won the Carris Trophy in 2018 and reached the semi-finals of the English Amateur last summer.

Cup pick: Ben Schmidt.Cup pick: Ben Schmidt.
Cup pick: Ben Schmidt.

“We’re absolutely delighted for both players,” said James Glover, the general manager at Hallamshire. “It’s an unbelievable achievement for them, especially for Alex, to be going to a second Walker Cup is special in its own right.

“The Walker Cup is the pinnacle of representative amateur golf and it continues our recent heritage with Matt in 2013, Alex two years ago and now both Alex and Barclay in 2021.

“But this is about the boys, we are extremely pleased for both of them.”

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Schmidt is the only teenager in the 10-man squad. Two years ago he was the youngest wnner of the Brabazon Trophy and has risen to No 31 in the amateur world golf rankings after a win at an event in Australia early last year.

“We are absolutely over the moon for him,” said Greg Roberts, the PGA professional at Rotherham. “As a golf club we’re incredibly proud. He’s done so much to earn his place and he’s extremely excited.

“I think he had a strong case for getting in the squad two years ago but he was only 16 at the time.

“I don’t think they could have overlooked him again, though.

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“For Rotherham to have had two Walker Cup players now is tremendous (Danny Willett, 2007), and for the Sheffield Union to have provided three has got to be unheard of.”

The rest of the GB&I team comprises Angus Flanagan, Ben Jones, Matty Lamb, Joe Long, John Murphy, Mark Power and Sandy Scott. Travelling reserves are Jack Dyer and Jake Bolton.

Stuart Wilson, GB&I captain, said: “The Walker Cup is the pinnacle of the amateur game for these players and we are delighted that they will have the opportunity to compete against their counterparts from the USA at Seminole.

“It gives them the opportunity to display their exceptional talent and will provide a lifetime of memories. After a difficult year with the Covid-19 pandemic, we are all looking forward to the match this year and I know the team will be doing their very best to win back the Walker Cup.”

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