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Monday
Jan142013

U.S. Walker Cup Team To Require Two Mid-Ams

This would have bordered on scandalous a few years ago, but with the change to Q-School the teams may see fewer top players stick around for the Walker Cup.

Plus, now the captains will have someone to talk with on the team bus about preferred dandruff shampoos, hemorrhoid creams and top hedge funds.

For Immediate Release...

2013 USA WALKER CUP TEAM TO INCLUDE MID-AMATEUR PLAYERS

Far Hills, N.J. (Jan. 14, 2013) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced that a minimum of two mid-amateurs (players age 25 and above) will be part of the 10-member 2013 USA Walker Cup Team that will compete against a team from Great Britain and Ireland. This year’s Walker Cup Match will be contested Sept. 7-8 at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y.

“In proposing the Walker Cup in 1921, George Herbert Walker’s original intent was to have a competition that fostered international goodwill between the USGA and The R&A,” USGA Vice President and Championship Committee Chairman Thomas J. O’Toole Jr. said. “Mid-amateurs, who are seasoned players, are likely to bring a unique perspective to a team and demonstrate, as well as appreciate, the characteristics of leadership and generosity of spirit that are central to the Walker Cup. It is the positive influence mid-amateurs will have on the Walker Cup experience and our strong commitment to amateur golf that causes us to reach this determination.”

Last month, the USGA International Team Selection Committee invited 16 golfers, including three reigning USGA champions and two mid-amateurs, to participate in an informal practice session in Naples, Fla., during which USA captain Jim Holtgrieve observed potential team members. Golfers who were not invited to the session are still candidates for the team.

“I applaud the decision made by the USGA to include mid-amateurs in the Walker Cup,” said Holtgrieve, who played in three Walker Cups and was captain of the 2011 USA Team. “I have seen firsthand, like other past captains, the impact the mid-amateur player can have on a team. Mid-amateurs can provide the leadership and maturity that helps build team chemistry.”

The 44th Walker Cup Match returns to National Golf Links of America for the first time since it hosted the first playing of the biennial competition in 1922.

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Reader Comments (15)

About fifteen years ago David Eger said "The USGA has to decide what they want because there will always be 10 college kids better than any mid am."

They made their decision and I think it's a good one.
01.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSun Mountain Man
Great that they will recognize committed amateurs and give them the thrill of international competition on a grand historic scale.

I will make it a point to get out to NGLA to see them play a different game then I play over my favorite golf course.
01.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGeoffreyC
do we think the R&A follows? I don't.
01.14.2013 | Unregistered Commentersmails
Because, of course, 10 fine players 24 or under have no "characteristics of leadership and generosity of spirit that are central to the Walker Cup."

Does Tom O'Toole know how snooty that sounds?
01.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGolden Bell
Smails-you might well be right-but I hope you are not.
I think it would be a great thing for both teams to do.
01.14.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchico
Golden Bell

Is it your opinion that the spirit and generosity that is central to the Walker Cup as envisioned by its founders way back when has anything to do with being a true amateur player?

How many of those youngsters spent any time actually working for a living and not playing golf full time while attending a few classes?

What percentage of them will still be amateur by the time they are 25?
01.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGeoffreyC
Having been to three Walker Cups, I have to say in my opinion it is the best event in golf. Take a look at the courses they have been to over the last 50 years, all fantastic. The players are usually those you've heard of (at least on your own side) but probably never seen play. No money involved, no invite to other events (Master's, US Open, etc) on the line, just pure golf between players that they have rarely, if ever met. As much as I don't want to reference it, it is the closet thing to the match in Bagger Vance as you can get...the crowd is very golf knowledgeable and fans of the two sides are in general very polite (none of the Ryder Cup type razzing), there are no ropes (at least there weren't for the ones I was at) so you can just walk alongside/just behind the players and really get a feel for their game. You get to see a number of players that will be on tour later. All in all a fantastic event if you get the chance to see.
01.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve
Back in the day all players from both sides (including alternates) got Masters invitations.

@Steve-

I have heard from many that it is the best event in golf, looking forward to going to my first one this Sept. @ NGLA.
01.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSun Mountain Man
Imagine the GB&I will follow the lead of the USGA but you never know.

All the methods of basically paying amateurs to be amateurs, ie following all the rules :), has basically made the highest skilled amateurs professionals for all purposes.

The GB&I side has a national academy version of developing golfers and many GB&I already attend US schools on golf scholarships.

And writing all the golf regulations and rules for amateurs has amounted to something like writing your name backwards looking in the mirror.

Let the tours have their college and national academy minor leagues. Would probably be best for US and GB&I to cut to Hecuba and just announce all Walker Cuppers have to be above 25.
01.14.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjstiles
"Let the tours have their college and national academy minor leagues. Would probably be best for US and GB&I to cut to Hecuba and just announce all Walker Cuppers have to be above 25."

Yes, indeed. Just because you don't play for prize money outright doesn't make you an amateur. And the USGA its own self recognized this until some time in the 1950s(?) IIRC.
01.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Makes sense when playing overseas because it was very apparent at Aberdeen the US had very little experience and a very tough time playing links golf. Merion was the best golf event I have ever been to. Aberdeen was a notch below with too many ropes. I do hope the GB&I side follows our Mid Am suit or even one ups us by adding a Senior Am player or two.
01.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
So, Nathan Smith and then who?
01.15.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy
Calling Trip Kuehne... are you still golfing?
01.15.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
As a once elite mid am, I say good on the usga. The walker cup is a celebration of amateur status and those of us who can achieve great golf and keep a separate career or job deserve greater chance to play for the country.
01.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe O
Bus services or Shuttle buses are very much important for the mass transit. Particularly, the case of Sports people or Any Sports team, they generally use luxury buses for their transportation. These people travel to their match venue or practice venue by the help of luxury buses. Because, by the help of buses, All the Sports Persons, Sports Officials, Technical Staffs etc can easily travel at a time to the match venue. Similarly, the case of several teams for several different sports, all they use bus services for their transportation.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrand Elliot

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