The Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup Team has just been announced. Ten players ready to go to Aberdeen in early September and play for pride and glory against the Americans. Five of the players are English, one has played before, at Merion in 2009. In our little internal challenge I got 8 players right. My two competitors both got 9. Maybe I should look for another job?
Picking a team is never an exact science. On paper any team from the GB&I should get completely squashed by the American side. Maybe they will be, but yet again, maybe not. Two things could work in favour of GB&I side. One definite and one possible:
The venue is Royal Aberdeen in September. I think most know what that means in terms of weather. The kind of shot making that is required is usually better practised on British links than on American target courses.
The other thing is about whether this team can become a real team or not. That possibility is obviously there for the Americans as well but to level the playing field the GB&I management has just got to the get this right. There are some examples from history where this has happened. Last week in Ireland at the Home Internationals I would argue the English did just this. The TEAM way outperformed the capabilities of the individual players. Together Everyone Achieves More.
My all time favourite of this is the 1980 Olympic ice-hockey final. This made the movies but the reality is much better. The US beat the Soviet Union under the guidance of legendary coach Herb Brooks. I was 10 and remember it as if it had been yesterday. Perhaps there are a few Youtube clips there for Captain Nigel Edwards to tap into?