JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (August 18, 2011) – ETSU incoming freshman men’s golfer Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales) has been named to the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup squad, it was recently announced by the R&A.
The 17-year-old product is by far the youngest member of the GB&I team named to face the United States at Royal Aberdeen on September 10 and 11. In addition to being the youngest player on the squad, Pugh becomes the first Welshman to appear in the Walker Cup since former ETSU star Rhys Davies in 2007. Being selected to the Walker Cup team is considered to be one of the top honors for an amateur golfer.
Pugh will arrive at ETSU after a storied amateur career. In 2010, he won the Peter McEvoy and Fairhaven trophies. Pugh became the youngest player to represent Wales at the senior level in the Men’s Home Internationals (15 years old). He also represented Wales in the European Men’s and Eisenhower Trophy, while also leading the under-18 Great Britain and Ireland Team as the captain.
Perhaps his biggest golfing accomplishment was winning the Irish Amateur Open earlier this year. He was only the second Welshman to win the title in the 119-year history of the event. Pugh has earned two British under-18 Championships, three Welsh Order of Merit titles, two Clwyd Open titles, and a title at Aberconwy. He was named Welsh Amateur of the Year in 2009.
Pugh is not the only one with ETSU ties on the Walker Cup team as former Buccaneer Michael Stewart was selected to the squad after a stellar year on the amateur golf scene. Stewart finished as the runner-up at the famed British Amateur over the summer. He also took home the South African Amateur Championship earlier this year and was last year’s Scottish Amateur champion.
ETSU has been well represented over the years in the Walker Cup as Davies played in the Walker Cup in both 2005 and 2007. In addition, former Buccaneers Niall Kearney, Noel Fox, and Keith Nolan have represented the Great Britain and Ireland squad.
The Walker Cup is contested in odd-numbered years between leading amateur golfers from the United States and Great Britain and Ireland. The United States leads the all-time series 34-7, although the series has been closely contested in recent years.
For more information on ETSU men’s golf please go to ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s golf link.