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Sensational Cormac Sharvin wins Brabazon Trophy

Ireland complete historic 1-2-3 and make Walker Cup statement

Ireland’s case for four, five or even six places in the 10-strong Walker Cup team were strengthened on Saturday when Cormac Sharvin led a sensational and historic 1-2-3 for the boys in green in the Brabazon Trophy at Notts Golf Club.

The Ardglass star dramatcially scrambled for par on the 18th at Hollinwell to win by one stroke on seven under 281 from The Island’s Gavin Moynihan (66) with Naas’ Jack Hume tied for third, two shots further back alonside American Charlie Danielson and Lancashire’s Paul Kinnear on four under par.

Sharvin, who has been threatening to win since April but come up tantalisingly short each time, joins David Long (1979), Niall Kearney (2009) and Ronan Rafferty (joint winner with Peter McEvoy in 1980) on what is a very short list of Irish winners of the English Amateur Open Strokeplay title.

As things turned out, Kearney was the only Irishman on the 2009 Walker Cup team while Rafferty joined Philip Walton on the 1981 team that lost at Cypress Point.

Both Raffery and Walton were exceptional and the Dubliner made another appearance in 1983 on a side that also featured Arthur Pierse.

How special the current generation of Irish amateurs turns out to be remains to be seen. But tournament wins are very often a good barometer and with Moynihan and Paul Dunne, who was ninth, set for the professional ranks this year, we will eventually find out how good they really are.

Walker Cup selection is also hit and miss — see Rory McIlroy in 2005 — but with the experienced Moynihan and Dunne clearly two of the best players in Great Britian and Ireland, Gary Hurley ranked third for GB&I in the WAGR and Sharvin No 4 and rising, it’s hard to see how Ireland can be denied four places in Nigel Edward’s team for Royal Lytham and St Annes.

And that’s before we even consider the merits of Hume or Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy. 

The forthcoming European Amateur Team Championships will decide their fate with around 15 players seriously battling for those 10 places.

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