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2019 Walker Cup

Sep 5, 2019

The 47th edition of one of the biggest events for amateur golfers will be held this weekend as Great Britain & Ireland play host to the United States at Royal Liverpool Golf Club. There is plenty to say about the venue with such a long tradition, but this preview will analyse the event more from a betting perspective of view. With the support of golf betting experts at bettingtips4you.com we have looked at this tournament and who is the possible winner.

What is Walker Cup?

It is a two-day tournament where top amateur golfers from the United States and Great Britain & Ireland battle it out for supremacy. The very first edition took place back in 1922 and it followed the inaugural transatlantic clash between these two sides a year before. Interestingly, the referred match was held just at Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Almost a century later, we are about to witness the 47th edition of the tournament named after the former president of the United States Golf Association, George Herbert Walker.  Walker was the great grandfather of the 43rd US President George W. Bush. 

Rules

There are 26 points up for grabs in a Walker Cup clash. It means 13.5 points will grant you the title, although we have to mention that the reigning champions can retain the silverware with 13 points. The tournament is played two days, across September 7th and 8th. Eight outings are played on the first day, ten on the second. Four foursome matches are held in the morning, while the afternoon sees a streak of singles.

USA Defend the Title

The United States will come to Merseyside as defending champions following an impressive 19-7 victory in a one-way street two years ago at Los Angeles Country Club in California. The mentioned clash only saw the continuation of the dominance by home teams. Away outfits have not claimed a single victory since 2007.

The United States stole a narrow 12.5-11.5 victory at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland back then. GB & Ireland have picked up back-to-back home wins (14-12 and 16.5-9.5) since then. The US team have been much more dominant in recent years on the home patch, though. They have not collected fewer than 16.5 points in any of three following affairs on the home soil, including the aforementioned 19-7 drubbing of their rivals two years ago in California. The team led by Spider Miller equalled the most points ever scored (19) in a Walker Cup tie on the occasion.

Great Britain and Ireland

Craig Watson will have the honour of captaining the home squad here. He will not be able to play, just like his colleague on the other side, Nathaniel Crosby. Watson, who became the 1997 Amateur Champion, should have captained the squad two years ago in Los Angeles, but had to withdraw. He is now leading a talented group of players led by a 17-year-old miracle Conor Gough.

Gough is the youngest player to feature this year’s tournament and the second youngest ever to play the Walker Cup. He is at the same time one of the most in-form lads in both teams. He has just recently won the English Amateur Championship beating Callum Farr of Northamptonshire 3-2. You can back Gough to be Great Britain & Ireland’s top performer this weekend at quite attractive 4/1 odds.

Next man to keep an eye on is Scotland’s Euan Walker. The 24-year-old member of the Kilmarnock Golf Cup won the African Amateur Championship this year. The Scotsman will no doubts have something to bring to the table with six successive top-ten finishes. These two likes are expected to lead the British squad here.  The rest of the team includes Alex Fitzpatrick, Harry Hall, Thomas Plumb, Conor Purcell, Caolan Rafferty, Sandy Scott, Tom Sloman, and James Sugrue. Two Irishmen, Purcell and Rafferty, are the only two men expected to contribute significantly for the hosts.

We find massive value in backing either Conor Gough or Euan Walker to be top combined points scorers (counting both outfits). You will get 10/1 odds for each of the two lads.

United States

The US team will be captained by the third-youngest winner of the US Amateur Championship, Nathaniel Crosby. Bing Crosby's (White Christmas' singer) son will have a top-notch squad on this journey to Liverpool.  It will include the only man who featured the 2017 Walker Cup clash, Stewart Hagestad as well as the World No 1 in the Amateur Golf Ranking, Cole Hammer. 

The 19-year-old Hammer will be the biggest star of the event. He won the 2018 Western Amateur Championship and kept his stellar form going this year as well as he claimed the NCAA Austin Regional Championship trophy as well. He works with Troy Van Biezen who is Jordan Spieth’s strength coach. Hammer is definitely worth backing to be the top combined points scorer at the 8/1 odds.

Apart from Cole Hammer, the United States have two more top-ten players in the likes of Akhsay Bhatia (5th in the world) and the aforementioned Stewart Hagestad (7th in the world). Moving forward, Brandon Wu holds the 11th place in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Final Verdict

Crosby has much more depth in his squad and it is hard not to see the United States as clear favourites to retain the crown. The tradition is something the hosts will rely on as visiting teams have not won a single match since 2007. We believe the time has come for such a trend to be ended and we will back the United States to win outright at 8/11 as the main betting option.