Malone golfer Matt McClean believes his experience playing in USA recently has been a help as he prepares for the Walker Cup.
The 30-year-old won the US Mid-Am last year and that transformed his calendar meaning appearances at The Masters and US Open in 2023.
More recently he has played in the Western Amateur and US Amateur and after a couple of strong showings he knows that experience could be crucial against USA this weekend.
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“It’s obvious that their team is ranked quite a distance ahead of us,” said McClean.
“But I don’t think anyone is going to be standing on the first tee afraid of the other team. You have got be realistic and know that you are coming up against a great team on paper but everyone on our team will be confident to get a point against anyone they are playing.
“Mark Power has been out to Uni there for five years. I’m sure he has come across a few of the guys and myself in the past year, I have come across the majority of the team.
“The same idea, anyone can play anyone and anyone can beat anyone. If I can go in and play good golf and qualify third in the Western Am a few weeks ago, you can go out and easily challenge against their players.
“Playing in America in the last few weeks has been good. Playing against those guys in the field and doing well is a confidence boost.”
GB&I last defeated USA in 2015 and are rank outsiders again this year with all of the opposition’s ten players inside the top 20 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
But with such a big prize at stake McClean knows GB&I can perform in St Andrews and write their names into the history books.
“It would be unbelievable,” said McClean.
“We played Home Internationals a couple of years ago where we won for Ireland and that was unbelievable. That’s the best winning feeling that I’ve ever had on a golf course.
“You can only imagine then winning a Walker Cup. It’s one of those ones where you want to give yourself the opportunity on Sunday in the Singles and be in to compete and play well.
“If you are on a winning team in the Walker Cup in St Andrews that’s writing yourself into the golf history books. Everyone would love to be on the winning side.
“It’s just taking it every match, every hole at a time, and giving yourself every opportunity to be in that position.”
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