Cameron Clark feels he has at his dispense one of the best Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup teams in recent years after his ten-man line-up for September’s clash in Texas against America was finalised.
Great Britain and Ireland are bidding to make history by winning three consecutive matches in the competition at Barton Creek Resort in Austin, Texas, from September 27-29.
Having already acquired experienced trio Robert Coles, Matthew Cort and David Dixon from last year’s PGA Play-Offs, Clark welcomed six new members to his team following the completion of the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship.
Former European Tour player Alastair Forsyth blew away the field at Hunstanton Golf Club last week, winning The PGA’s premier tournament by 11 shots with a record score of 263.
Forsyth will be joined on the plane to Texas by fellow Scot Paul O’Hara, who finished tied fourth alongside Jason Levermore and Alexander Wrigley who also qualified for the Clark’s team.
Richard Wallis played an integral role when Great Britain & Ireland won for the first time in America four years ago and he makes a welcome return to the team, with Jordan Godwin claiming the final place at Hunstanton.
With just one more spot available, Clark selected former European Tour player Craig Lee as his captain’s pick.
“We’ve added six incredible players from the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship,” said Clark. “After last year’s championship, we always knew it was going to be a very strong team.
“The performance by Alistair Forsyth at Hunstanton was phenomenal and the last rounds by Richard Wallis in particular just shows the strength and depth that we’ve got. I don’t want to take anything away from the guys who played in 2015 and 2017 but this is one of the strongest teams we’ve ever produced. We couldn’t be in a better place heading to America. We’ve now got a team get-together towards the back end of July which will be a team bonding exercise so we’ll try and make a really sociable couple of days and take a look at a few pairings.”
Having played in multiple Majors and tasted success twice during a 15-year stint on the European Tour, Clark knows importance of having a players of Forsyth’s experience in America.
He continued: “Everyone knows his pedigree. Nobody is not going to want him in their team, he’s a great person as well so he’s going to be a huge asset for us.”
Asked where playing in The PGA Cup ranks in his career, Forsyth commented: “Making the PGA Cup team was a goal of mine at the start of the season. I only qualified as a PGA pro last year so this was the first time I could play in this tournament.
“I can’t wait. I’ve been fitted with the team uniform so that’s really brought it home. There’s already a real buzz about it. I’m delighted.”
Captain’s pick Lee added: “One of my goals this year was to make the PGA Cup team and I fell just shy with my own score at Hunstanton during the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship. But I’m delighted that I’ve been given the opportunity to play for Great Britain & Ireland in America and I’m really looking forward to it. To be given the wild card is a privilege and an honour.”
2019 Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup team:
- Robert Coles (2017 W4, L1, T0), Maylands Golf & Country Club
- David Dixon (2015, W2, L1, T2), Enmore Park Golf Club
- Matthew Cort (2017 W2, L2, T0), Beedles Lake Golf Club
- Jordan Godwin (debut), Barnehurst Golf Club
- Jason Levermore (2015, W3, LO, T2), Little Channels Golf Centre
- Alexander Wrigley (2015, W2, L2, T0), Hartlepool Golf Club
- Richard Wallis (2013, W2, L1, T1), Canterbury Golf Club
- Alastair Forsyth (debut), Mearns Castle Golf Academy
- Paul O’Hara (debut), North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd
- Craig Lee (debut), Craig Lee Golf Studio
The PGA Cup was first played in 1973 and is a biennial contest between the Professional Golfers’ Associations of Great Britain & Ireland (PGA) and America (PGA of America). The matches are identical to the Ryder Cup format with foursomes, fourballs and singles.
The matches were first played in 1973 at Pinehurst Country Club, North Carolina, as an outgrowth of the PGA Club Professional Championship. The competition was held annually until 1984 when both countries agreed to hold it biennially at alternating sites. The teams began with nine players, but the rosters were expanded to 10 in 1988.
The 29th staging of the biennial PGA Cup will be played over three days from September 27-29 at Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas
The Americans lost the Llandudno International Trophy on home soil for the first time in 2015 at CordeValle in San Martin, California, and the Great Britain & Ireland team held onto the trophy two years later in 2017 with a victory at Foxhills Club & Resort.
Series History – United States 17 wins, Great Britain & Ireland 7 wins and 4 draws.
Pictured top (from left) Michael Watson, Jordon Godwin, Alistair Forsyth, Alexander Wrigley, Cameron Clark (captain), Paul O’Hara, Jason Levermore, Richard Wallis, Matthew Cort and David Higgins (vice-captain)