Yorkshire has made golfing history after three players from the county were named in the GB&I Walker Cup team to play the USA in May.
All hail from the Sheffield Union of Golf Clubs and two come from the same club, Hallamshire. It is the first time in the near 100-year history of the event that one county has supplied three team members, and another feather in the cap for golf in Yorkshire.
Hallamshire will be represented at Seminole Golf Club in Florida by Barclay Brown, 20, and Alex Fitzpatrick, 22, while Rotherham Golf Club sees 18-year-old Ben Schmidt selected.
The precocious Schmidt (pictured) is the only teenager in the 10-man squad. Two years ago, he was the youngest winner of the Brabazon Trophy which was played at Alwoodley Golf Club in Leeds. Fitzpatrick and Brown are both on golf scholarships at top universities in the USA and will be very familiar with many of the players they will face over the two days.
Fitzpatrick is also 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 at Brookline. He’s at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, which counts Arnold Palmer amongst its alma mater, while Brown attends Stanford in Southern California, the former school of Tiger Woods.
“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 who will be playing for the second time.
“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.”
Schmidt is the second Rotherham golfer to make the team, joining Yorkshire’s first Major winner Danny Willett who played in 2007.
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.”