USGA declares the 10-man U.S. Walker Cup staff that may compete at Seminole
There are fewer than 10 weeks left till the Walker Cup, and on Monday the USGA unveiled the 10-man staff that may characterize the U.S. within the Might 8-9 matches at Seminole Golf Membership in Juno Seaside, Florida.
Whereas former Georgia Tech standout Tyler Strafaci, the 22-year-old reigning U.S. Novice winner, had already been introduced as exempt into captain Nathaniel Crosby’s squad, the remaining seven gamers are actually formally launched. That included three gamers – Georgia senior Davis Thompson, Florida sophomore Ricky Castillo and Florida State senior John Pak – who certified through the World Novice Golf Rating on Feb. 10, in addition to six USGA working group picks: mid-amateur Stewart Hagestad, Texas juniors Cole Hammer and Pierceson Coody, Oklahoma senior Quade Cummins, Oklahoma State senior Austin Eckroat and Pepperdine sophomore William Mouw.
All 10 staff members are ranked No. 23 or higher within the WAGR, together with 4 within the prime 10 – Thompson (1), Pak (5), Castillo (6) and Coody (9).
Pak, Hammer and Hagestad have been members of the 2019 staff, additionally captained by Crosby, that defeated Nice Britain and Eire, 15.5-10.5, at Royal Liverpool, the primary American victory on international soil since 2007. Pak went 3-Zero that week.
Hagestad will play in his third straight Walker Cup, as he additionally was on the victorious 2017 squad. The 29-year-old Newport Seaside, California, native, who received the 2016 U.S. Mid-Novice, was low beginner on the 2017 Masters and final summer time reached the U.S. Novice quarterfinals at Bandon Dunes, is the primary three-time U.S. Walker Cup participant since Nathan Smith in 2013 and solely the fifth up to now 10 editions.
The U.S. holds a 37-9-1 all-time benefit within the Walker Cup, although the People are simply 9-7 towards GB&I since 1989.
This yr’s Walker Cup would be the first contested in Might. The choice, which was made as a result of Seminole is closed in early September, together with the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a singular qualifying course of. Usually, the summer time beginner schedule, which culminates with the U.S. Novice, carries heavy weight. Nevertheless, many such occasions have been canceled final summer time, and with a spring Walker Cup there wasn’t the chance for a participant to make a late run like Jordan Niebrugge or Cameron Champ in recent times.
That put extra emphasis on fall and winter beginner tournaments, together with a late summer time/early fall U.S. Open, a brand new Maridoe Novice, the South Seaside Worldwide Novice and Jones Cup, which was the final match thought of within the team-selection course of. Hammer received the South Seaside and was runner-up on the Jones Cup, two performances that probably solidified his place on the staff. Pak and Thompson made the minimize at Winged Foot, the place Castillo and Eckroat additionally teed it up.
Coody, Cummins and Mouw all had sturdy summers, with Coody profitable the Western Novice and Mouw reaching the Spherical of 16 at Bandon. Cummins received a GCAA Novice Sequence occasion after posting top-10s on the Southern and Sunnehanna amateurs final summer time.
Pak was the one present school participant on the staff that didn’t play school golf final fall due to the ACC’s pandemic resolution to not compete, although it’s not believed that school occasions have been tremendously thought of in choosing the staff. Strafaci determined to not return for his additional yr at Georgia Tech final fall and plans to show skilled after the Walker Cup.
SMU senior Mac Meissner and Oklahoma senior Garett Reband have been named first and second alternates, respectively. Meissner, who received the Southern Novice final summer time, is No. 22 within the WAGR whereas Reband, who missed final summer time’s U.S. Novice whereas recovering from a damaged proper hand, is No. 16.
The GB&I facet has but to introduced its staff, although it is anticipated that the visiting facet will characteristic a number of gamers from U.S. faculties, together with Texas Tech’s Sandy Scott, Minnesota’s Angus Flanagan and Wake Forest teammates Alex Fitzpatrick and Mark Energy.
2021 U.S. Walker Cup staff
Tyler Strafaci, 22, Davie, Fla., Georgia Tech (alum)
Davis Thompson, 21, St. Simons Island, Ga., Georgia (senior)
Ricky Castillo, 20, Yorba Linda, Calif., Florida (sophomore)
John Pak, 22, Scotch Plains, N.J., Florida State (senior)
Pierceson Coody, 21, Plano, Texas, Texas (junior)
Cole Hammer, 21, Houston, Texas, Texas (junior)
Stewart Hagestad, 29, Newport Seaside, Calif., USC (alum)
Quade Cummins, 24, Weatherford, Okla., Oklahoma (senior)
Austin Eckroat, 22, Edmond, Okla., Oklahoma State (senior)
William Mouw, 20, Chino, Calif., Pepperdine (sophomore)