A team bonding session has helped fire up Great Britain & Ireland’s PGA Cup players ahead of their quest to win on US soil for the first time next month.
Captain Jon Bevan and his 10-man team gathered at The Belfry ahead of the California clash against the United States at CordeValle, California, from September 18-20 with the aim of strengthening camaraderie and spirit among the group.
GB&I have the weight of history against them with no team managing to win in America since the biennial event’s inception in 1973 and with only one victory (2005) in the past 14 matches although they tied two years ago at Slaley Hall.
Bevan, based at Rhos-on-Sea Golf Club in North Wales and a two-time PGA Cup player who nearly won in Georgia in 2007 when GB&I were narrowly defeated 13.5-12.5, described the get together as an important step in the preparations.
“The concept of getting the guys together was always a good idea,” he said. “We feel that every little extra thing we can do, every one per cent extra improves our chances of winning.
“I’m under no illusions about the task ahead of us but equally I’ve no doubt about the quality of players and the character of my team. They all got on like a house on fire and have really bought into what we are trying to achieve.
“Ultimately it all comes down to how they play but following the get together they have a better idea of how well they have to play, a better idea of the standard they will have to perform at and a better idea of what we expect from them and what they need to expect from each other.”
As part of the preparations they played foursomes and fourballs over the PGA National Course and the iconic Ryder Cup Brabazon Course.
“They loved the Brabazon, it was in outstanding condition and they liked the challenge,” added Bevan. “In fact the greens were not too dissimilar pace wise to what they can expect at CordeValle with similar slopes. The boys were having to work hard on the greens but as I expected they are top players and they can adapt.”
The 2015 team comprises Cameron Clark (Moor Hall), Lee Clarke (Beeston Fields), David Dixon (Enmore Park), Graham Fox (Clydeway Golf), Paul Hendriksen (Dinnaton), Niall Kearney (Royal Dublin), Jason Levermore (Channels), Michael Watson (Wessex Golf Centre), Gareth Wright (West Linton) and Alex Wrigley (Hartlepool).
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