Nolan brings momentum to the biggest stage

From the shadows to the Walker Cup

Liam Nolan of Ireland tees off  on the 2nd hole during Round One of Matchplay on Day One of The Amateur Championship at Hillside Golf Club on June 21, 2023 in Southport, United Kingdom.

Liam Nolan of Ireland tees off on the 2nd hole during Round One of Matchplay on Day One of The Amateur Championship at Hillside Golf Club on June 21, 2023 in Southport, United Kingdom.

Galway golfer Liam Nolan is keen to make a good year great when he joins up with his GB&I Walker Cup teammates in St Andrews this weekend.

The 23-years-old has already won twice in 2023 in the South American Amateur and Brabazon Trophy, and he will become the first Galwegian to play in this famous match.

It is the 49th renewal of the event, and with GB&I looking for their first win since 2015, Nolan will hope he can continue his fine season on the Old Course.

Nolan says it will be a special time for family, friends, and Galway Golf Club.

“For the last three weeks it's kind of all I've been thinking about because it's so hard not to, the year that’s in it. When I got the call, I was just absolutely thrilled and a little bit relieved as well."

“For the family and all my friends to be able to come and experience a Walker Cup in St Andrews is just really special. The golf club in Galway have been so supportive of me all year as well, it's not just my own efforts that went into it, it was a collective goal for everyone."

Nolan says it was difficult to keep his mind off the team during the year, but he did a "very good job of just focusing on one tournament at a time".

“I went from being in the shadows to getting on the panel for the Walker Cup, and then to win in South America so shortly after just set up the year for me really nicely in terms of confidence and getting my name on the radar nice and early.

“That was such a nice boost to get at the start of the year, and then winning again early in the summer really just kind of put me in the spotlight, which was really good. I could ride the wave of confidence then after getting two wins early in the year.”

Nolan is one of four Irish players selected on the team, with Alex Maguire (Laytown & Bettystown ), Mark Power (Kilkenny ) and Matt McClean (Malone ) also getting the nod.

Meanwhile, Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk ) is a reserve, and it marks another great year for Irish golf at that level with the men having picked up a bronze medal at the Europeans, while just edged out by England in the Home Internationals.

Nolan is delighted he will be joined by some familiar faces as they look to take down a star-studded USA team.

“The team that’s been picked is really, really strong,” Nolan says," and are really good links players as well. It's incredible to get four Irish on the team - it is really special we have the most from any country and all the lads deserve it so much.

“Sometimes you forget because it’s such a long week and such an honour to get picked. Sometimes you might forget that there's a tournament to go and win at the end of the week, you're out there, but everyone on the team is so focused.

Nolan is now looking forward to the challenge of playing the Americans.

"To win in St Andrews would be really, really special, and we’re definitely all going to give it a really good go.”

 

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