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Great Britain & Ireland ready for a tough battle in the Walker Cup

Scarsdale, New York, 9th August - Play in the 1997 Walker Cup begins at 8.00am EDT today at Quaker Ridge Golf Club, Scarsdale, New York with the Great Britain & Ireland team facing a determined US team.

There will be four foursome and eight singles matches scheduled for each day.

In the foursomes two players compete against two others in an alternate-shot format with each team plying one ball. Each match is worth 1 point which means one team needs 12 points to win.

The United States leads 30-4-1 in the series which is celebrating its 75th anniversary and are confident they can reverse the defeat by Great Britain & Ireland in 1995 at Royal Portrush Golf Club, Wales.

The G.B & Ireland team have won two out of the last four Walker Cup matches.and have a team of experienced players that should make it difficult for the US.

Both teams feature three players from the 1995 series. John Harris, Buddy Marucci Jnr and Jerry Courville Jnr for the US and Barclay Howard, Gary Wolstenholme and Graham Rankin on the British and Ireland side.

Barcaly Howard, a 44 year-old from Scotland, was 0-1-2 in 1995 but he was the leading amateur in the Open Championship last month at Troon.

Gary Wolstenholme, 36 year-old, split two singles matches with Tiger Woods in 1995 and has the disticnction of being one of the few players to beat Woods in match play.

31 year-old Rankin, one of five Scots in the team, lost both matches last time.

The Great Britain & Ireland team also includes Justin Rose, the youngest player ever in the Walker Cup competition.