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Lloyd backs Welsh pair
5th May2007

Former Walker Cup star Lloyd Saltman has tipped Nigel Edwards for an incredible fifth Walker Cup, saying that if the Welshman could play his way in it would make him the “ultimate” team member.

Magners ambassador Saltman was helping to launch the Welsh Handicap Team Championship in Newport golf club, playing with Edwards along with Welsh Amateur champion Ben Westgate to see at first hand what sort of form they are in.

Westgate showed his good game with a 3, 3 finish to win the social Magners Day, with a bit of advice on Walker Cup selection from Saltman as well.

“They pick the team on results and results alone. They are looking for experience as well so someone like Nigel who can play himself onto the team and has all that experience is the ultimate,” said the Scot, who finished 15 th in the Open at St Andrews and was a colleague of Edwards in the 2007 Walker Cup team.

“With Nigel going for his fifth event that is 10 years of Walker Cup golf, which would be exceptional and hopefully he can do it.

“It is difficult to get into your first Walker Cup, but for people like Ben who are right on the fringes it is only going to take one good week.

“If you can have a big week in one of the bigger events then he will have his foot right in that door. The opportunity is there, the selection process for the Walker Cup is one of the best.

“Someone like Ben can just play himself in. There are about six of the top events, so it is a question of showing good form in a short period of time.

“For me the Walker Cup was a great part of my amateur career, the pinnacle. If you can achieve that then you have done something really well.

“People strive to play in it and it makes amateur golf very competitive and it proves itself because people come out of that and do very well at the highest level.

“One of the parts I miss in amateur golf is competing to play in something like that. As a professional the obvious thing is the Ryder Cup, hopefully the Walker Cup is a good preparation and will only help me achieve what I want in the professional ranks.”

Saltman is now plying his trade on the Challenge Tour, hoping to move up to the Race to Dubai next season.

He was in Wales to help launch the Magners Welsh Handicap Team Championship, an event that started in Scotland and which Saltman believes will have a big impact.

“It is a great thing obviously, I know this year they are trying to target younger players and getting people at colleges and universities to take part,” he said.

“It is a huge boost for club golf, It is club golf that has given me the opportunity to get to where I have in the game.

“This sort of competition is something that is needed and it is a great thing that Magners are backing it, it will only get bigger and bigger.

“My role in it can only help. I am involved because I believe in it to be honest. I obviously started at the bottom and came up through the system, this sort of thing is there for people of al levels who want to play competitive golf.

“You do not have to be a world class player to play in it, you can play at all levels which is the exciting thing.

“It will help golf in Wales and hopefully encourage more people to play.”

A record number of clubs entered the Magners Championship last year and it is hoped that all 162 clubs under the Golf Union of Wales umbella will participate, which would mean around 10,000 golfers taking part.

 

 


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