The United States will be the hunter in search of a trophy as it sends five veterans and five rookies to face Great Britain & Ireland in the 28th PGA Cup, to be conducted Sept. 15-17, at Foxhills Club & Resort in Ottershaw, Surrey, England.
The 10-member U.S. Team in the premier international showcase for a PGA Club Professional was determined Saturday morning following the delayed second round of the 99th PGA Championship. The selection process includes a two-year points system that comprises the past two PGA Professional Championships and two PGA Championships. Two players – two-time PGA Professional Champion Matt Dobyns of Glen Head, New York, and Josh Speight of Locust Hill, Virginia – completed the team after final points were determined.
They will join the following eight members who secured berths on June 21, at the 50th PGA Professional Championship in Sunriver, Oregon: reigning PGA Professional Champion Omar Uresti of Austin, Texas; 2016 PGA Professional Champion Rich Berberian Jr. of Hooksett, New Hampshire; 2013 PGA Professional Champion Rod Perry of Port Orange, Florida; Jamie Broce of Indianapolis, Indiana; Mark Brown of Oyster Bay, New York; Paul Claxton of Claxton, Georgia; Dave McNabb of Newark, Delaware; and Adam Rainaud of Chester, Connecticut.
Broce, Brown, Dobyns, Perry and Uresti have played in a combined six PGA Cups and own a combined 10-10-6 record. They will face a Great Britain & Ireland Team composed of eight rookies and two returnees from the 2015 GB&I Team that defeated the U.S. to a 13½ to 12½ at CordeValle in San Martin, California. Great Britain & Ireland owns a 5-6-2 all-time record at home.
“The last two matches have been very close. It’s never easy to win on their soil, much like the Ryder Cup,” said PGA of America President Paul Levy of Indian Wells, California, who will Captain the U.S. Team. “We have a group of veterans and some talented first-timers. Just like any team event in golf, it is a matter of personalities and desires of the players to arrive at partnerships that will help us win. I will continue to work with the players to find whose games complement each other.
”We know that GB&I will have a very competitive team and we have to play well to have a chance to win. Our players are determined to go over, win and bring that cup home.”
Albert MacKenzie, a PGA Professional from Saunton Golf Club in Devon, England, will debut as Captain for Great Britain & Ireland on a layout that his team knows well. Mackenzie was a vice captain in 2015 as GB&I posted its first victory in the United States.
“I feel that we are formidable and robust,” said Mackenzie, following the PGA Professional Championship in Ireland. “I could not be more pleased with the 10 players that have made the PGA Cup team this year. We have a team of strength, a team of experience and we’re going to be seriously competitive in September.”
The U.S. owns a 17-6-4 advantage in a competition that began in 1973. The Americans last won the Llandudno International Golf Trophy on the road in 2009, at The Carrick in Loch Lomond, Scotland.
GB&I continued a selection process to feature two past National Championships, the PGA Playoffs from last October, and a Captain’s Pick. The 2017 Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship, which concluded June 16, at Luttrellstown Castle Golf Club in Castleknock, Ireland, determined six members of the GB&I PGA Cup Team.
The PGA Cup will be contested on Foxhills Resort’s Longcross Course, a 6,751-yard, par-72 layout that was designed in 1975 by Fred Hawtree, and earned a spot among Golf World’s top 100 courses in England.
The Great Britain & Ireland Team features 2016 PGA Professional Champion David Higgins of Kerry, Ireland and Matthew Cort of Leicestershire, England, the 2016 Titleist Playoffs Champion. They are joined by Phillip Archer of Cheshire, England; Robert Coles of Essex, England; Christopher Currie of Renfrewshire, England; Garry Houston of Cheshire, England; Greig Hutcheon of Kincardineshire, England; Christopher McDonnell of West Sussex, England; Damien McGrane of County Meath, Ireland; and Andrew Raitt of Roehampton, England.