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Team GB&I names finalists for Walker Cup squad

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The R&A announced Monday a roster of 19 amateurs who have been selected as the initial Walker Cup team for Great Britain & Ireland, 10 of whom will compete against the U.S. squad in September.

Leading the way for Team GB&I are British Amateur champ Scott Gregory, Irish Amateur champ Colm Campbell and former Stanford product David Boote, who hails from Wales. The team will be captained for the first time by Craig Watson.

"We have identified a strong group of players who are all in contention for a place on the team, and we will be monitoring their performance and results over the coming season," Watson said in a release.

Other finalists include Alfie Plant, Daniel Brown, Bradley Moore, Marco Penge and James Walker from England; Robert MacIntyre, Craig Howie, Barry Hume, Craig Ross, Sandy Scott and Connor Syme from Scotland; Paul McBride, Conor O'Rourke, Alex Gleeson and Stuart Grehan from Ireland as well as Welshman Owen Edwards.

The 10 players ultimately chosen for the team will be announced in August.

The Americans hold a 35-9-1 all-time edge in the biennial matches, which pit top amateurs against each other in match-play format akin to the Ryder Cup. But the GB&I contingent has won two of the last three matches, including two years ago at Royal Lytham, and the tally since 1989 sits at a 7-7 tie.

This year the matches will be held Sept. 9-10 at future U.S. Open site Los Angeles Country Club. The U.S. has not lost a Walker Cup on home soil since 2001 at Ocean Forest Golf Club.