31 August 2023
~3 minutes read
Galway’s Liam Nolan brings momentum to the biggest stage
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-year-old has already won twice in 2023 in the South American Amateur and Brabazon Trophy and he will become the first Galwegian to ever play in the 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.
“It’s very hard to keep your mind off the team during the year but I did a very good job of just focusing on one tournament at a time,” said Nolan.
“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.
“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 really 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 can ride the wave of confidence then after getting two wins early in the year.”
Nolan is one of four Irish players picked 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, as the Men picked up a bronze medal at the Europeans and were just edged out by England in the Home Internationals.
And Nolan is delighted to 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,” said Nolan.
“Everyone is just a really strong and a really good links player as well and its incredible to get four Irish on the team, it is really special that 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 even 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.
“So really looking forward to the challenge of playing the Americans and to win in St Andrews would be really, really special and we’re definitely all going to give it a really good go.”