Aug. 3, 2009
Chris Paisley was named Monday to the 10-man Walker Cup squad from Great Britain and Ireland for this fall's match against the United States. The Royal & Ancient Golf Association made the announcement from St. Andrews, Scotland.
Paisley just completed his golfing career at Tennessee, earning 2009 Ping All-America honorable mention and All-SEC first team honors after leading the Vols throughout the year in the No. 1 position. The Vols advanced to NCAA regional competition all four of Paisley's seasons and finished 12th in the most recent NCAA Championships.
"Chris has dreamed of playing in the Walker Cup since he was a junior golfer," UT head coach Jim Kelson said. "Our staff is overjoyed that he has been selected.
"Obviously, being chosen for such a team is quite an accomplishment -- the equivalent of being named to an Olympic team. And he certainly is very deserving of such a tremendous accolade."
Paisley scored par or better in 15 of his 36 rounds and compiled five top-10 finishes, including medalist honors at the Arizona Invitational in February. His 2008-09 stroke average of 72.53 was tops on the team and eighth in the SEC.
The Newcastle, England, native already participated in the 2009 Palmer Cup earlier this summer, contributing to Europe's 13-11 victory over the Americans in the Ryder Cup-style competition for top collegiate players.
For the upcoming Walker Cup, slated for Sept. 12-13 at Merion Golf Club in the Philadelphia suburbs, Paisley has been joined on the GB&I team by Wallace Booth, Gavin Dear, Tommy Fleetwood, Luke Goddard, Matt Haines, Stiggy Hodgson, Sam Hutsby, Niall Kearney and Dale Whitnell, with reserves Paul O'Hara and Rhys Enoch.
This group ultimately will be named as the confirmed team subject to no British or Irish player winning the U.S. Amateur (Aug. 24-30 at Tulsa's Southern Hills) and claiming automatic selection to the team via that route. The announcement of the final team of 10 to compete at Merion will immediately follow the conclusion of the U.S. Amateur, or the point in time at which no eligible British or Irish player remains in that championship.
The squad will make a trip to Valderrama Golf Club in southern Spain on Aug. 9-12 as part of advance preparations for the match.