Sheffield golfers selected for Walker Cup in 'very strong position' for pro careers
Two promising young golfers from Sheffield are in a “very strong position” for turning professional after being picked for “the amateur equivalent of the Ryder Cup”.
Alex Fitzpatrick, 22 and younger brother of former British Masters champion Matt, and Barclay Brown, 20, who have both been members at Hallamshire Golf Club since the age of eight, are in the 10-man Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) team for next month’s Walker Cup in Florida.
The competition is contested against the United States every two years and has been described as “the pinnacle of the amateur game”.
"It’s brilliant news,” said James Glover, Hallamshire’s general manager, "They are really, really great young men and get on really well with the members.
"You couldn’t ask to meet a nicer two.”
Barclay’s parents Seb and Jayne also play at Hallamshire as well as his older brother, Elliot, while Alex’s dad Russell is also a member along with Matt.
"They are very proud of the recognition and selection, and looking forward to it,” James said.
Another Hallamshire member, Dan Walker, also congratulated the pair. The broadcaster and journalist is a keen golfer.
Former Tapton School pupil Alex was previously picked to represent GB&I in 2019. He is currently in the third year of a golf scholarship at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, the same college Arnold Palmer attended.
Last month he earned a place at The Valspar Championship – a PGA Tour event – after he won a prestigious collegiate event contested by some of the best-ranked college teams in the country.
Meanwhile, Barclay is following in the footsteps of Tiger Woods and Tom Watson at Stanford University, having previously attended Birkdale School.
"There’s thousands of American colleges with top golf programmes but they are at the top of the them which says a lot about their ability,” said James, general manager at Hallamshire since 2018.
"Turning pro is difficult – you never know until you experience it – but I would suggest that they are in a very strong position and this experience will only enhance that.”
Ben Schmidt from Rotherham has also been named in this year’s team and is the only teenager selected.
"The Walker Cup is the amateur equivalent of The Ryder Cup,” James said.
"It’s the absolute pinnacle of representative golf for male amateurs.”