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GOLF: Jordan will be up for the cup, says coach
BOWOOD teaching professional Simon Shanks says star pupil Jordan Smith will need his ice-cool temperament to withstand the heat of Walker Cup battle in New York this weekend.
Smith, 20, will become only the second golfer from Wiltshire to play for Great Britain & Ireland and they attempt to defend the Walker Cup – amateur golf’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup – against the United States.
The two-day match (Saturday and Sunday) takes place at the National Golf Links of America and Shanks, who has worked with Smith since he was 14, believes his man is in good shape ahead of the biggest challenge of his career to date.
“We were working on a few things before he went out (to America) last week, but he’s swinging really well,’’ said Shanks, who flew out to America today to watch his pupil in action.
“He’s full of confidence. The US Amateur (last month) could have gone a bit better for him, but getting the call (for the Walker Cup) has given him a lot of confidence.’’ He added: “He doesn’t let the occasion get the better of him, but this will be the big test.
“Being in America and in New York, when there won’t be many travelling supporters, will make it even harder.’’
Smith, 17th in the world amateur rankings, booked his place in a strong GB & I line-up that also included US Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick and British Amateur winner Garrick Porteous, with a consistent run of form that brought him the Brabazon Trophy (English Amateur Strokeplay Championship) this summer.
Shanks added: “Jordan finds swinging the club very easy, but the strength he has picked up since leaving school has been massive and he is now hitting a lot longer.
“He’s just a really solid player and, if he gets hot with the putter like at the Brabazon, he’s very difficult to beat.’’
- MARLBOROUGH teenager Ben Amor helped Great Britain & Ireland beat the Continent of Europe 15-9 to win the Jacques Leglise Trophy at Royal St David’s last weekend.
- Coverage of the Walker Cup is on Sky Sports from 9pm on Saturday and Sunday.
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