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« 2013 Walker Cup Saturday Morning Session Photos, Wrap | Main | W Provides Much Needed Levity To Walker Cup Flag Ceremony »

Walker Cup: GB&I "Here To Win," USA "Building Relationships"

Both teams and captains represented themselves beautifully in the pre-Walker Cup press conferences, but upon further probing there was definitely one huge difference.

USA Captain Jim Holtgrieve repeatedly referenced the importance of "building relationships" for his team, and as Ryan Herrington explains, GB&I Captain Nigel Edwards has a different take (granted after pausing and thinking about it for about 10 seconds).

"I'm here to win," said Nigel Edwards who hopes to keep his record as captain unblemished after leading GB&I to an upset win over the Americans at Royal Aberdeen in 2011 and will be aided by the reigning U.S. Amateur (Matt Fitzpatrick) and British Amateur (Garrick Porteous) champions. 
The same is true for Jim Holtgrieve, although the U.S. captain doesn't make it his first priority. While leaving Scotland two years ago disappointed his 10-man squad ended the U.S. three-match win streak, Holtgrieve came away with a renewed sense that the biennial competition was about more than the end result.

So it was that Holtgrieve inspired the USGA's new mandate that at least two mid-amateurs be part of future Walker Cup teams, convinced their presence would lead to a richer experience for the entire team on the personal level in terms of developing attachments and life-long bonds.

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Reader Comments (9)

Having two, mature in years, mid-ams on the Walker Cup team is the right policy - GB&I should adopt a similar approach. It's about amateur golf, after all. Mid ams are the true amateurs and the backbone of the game unlike full-time, teenage golfers who are really 'proams.'
09.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
Both of the two US Mid-Ams are failed pro's I think (I know White is). But clearly giving nods to people over those who have done more to earn it is how sporting events should be conducted. It must be awful nice though to have the funds as an adult to practice and travel as much for golf as Smith and White do.

I would posit that the true "backbone" of the game is the teaching pro's and folks out at the local golf course, who if offered money for golf would take it, because you know why wouldn't you? And they can use the money for things like education, food etc

Why is taking money for something bad? or less pure? or more accurately I guess why should be elevate somebody who doesn't take money?
09.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
If you want to have a mid-Am event, have a mid-Am event. But don't take spots away from more deserving younger players - some of whom delayed turning pro this summer in order to have a shot at representing their country in the Walker Cup.
09.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
Actually, elf, I agree that the best should be selected no matter what age they are as long as they are ams. Once someone is reinstated, I guess they are ams. And, no, I wouldn't take the money......and didn't when I had the chance and, no, I was not so rich that I could travel more than once or twice a year to test my game against the best. What would you say if your national open amateur champion wasn't picked for his national side because it was felt he was too old and his job got in the way of his commitment to full time golf? It happened this year in Ireland.
09.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
@Ivan I to think the best should be taken regardless of age, which is why I am against the mid-Am policy that you supported. No argument exists that White was one of the top 10 Amateurs in the United Stats. And while I agree many of the young players are pro's in training, they to are still amateurs (and unlike in GB&I don't get government funding).

So if you think that the best should be taken regardless of age why do you think their should be a mid-Am policy? Those two statements are rather contradictory?

And why did you turn down the money? (I am assuming you have a rational reason, in that you valued something else more than the monetary value).
09.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
As a friend of Ivan I will do the dangerous and guess that Ivan did not think I can grab the money and just go back and be an amature as is allowed today.
09.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPABoy
I accept I am being contradictory but still think it is the correct policy. Mid-Am golf should be elevated and recognised. I might compromise and select only one! I hold the old fashioned attitude of amateurs being 'pure.' In this day and age, I could find a way to support 'open golf' but not sure where that would leave the Walker Cup!
09.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
@Ivan - well at least you admit that you're being contradictory! :) I covered the US Am and talking to those kids, I know how much making the Walker Cup teams meant to them. Several of them put off turning pro for the chance to make the team, some who did (Jordan Thomas) and others who didn't (Sean Dale). This might have been their only shot at it, hard for me to explain to them why a mid-Am who isn't as good, and had a shot at a pro career and failed should make the team over them for for some random idea of "pure".

As to amateur being "pure", I really hate that concept. Maybe it's because I know the idea comes from golfs exclusionary past - where the rich were trying to keep the game for themselves. Was Vardon's golf less pure than Ouimet's? Essentially you're saying that those who are more talented at golf are therefore less pure, because they have the ability go pro and get paid for it. And if they want to be "pure" in your eyes they shouldn't go pro and make a living at it?

Is a Doctor who is paid to be a Doctor less "pure" a Doctor then one who does it for free in their spare time? (prob bc they weren't good enough to make it a full time job?) Isn't the idea to make what you love into your profession? But then if you're able to, you're less pure?
09.8.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf

Watch yourself there elf as Ivan may send someone around to your flat or place of business to harass you. The wanker did it before and then ran off from GCA with tail tucked between legs when taken to task. Disappear again loser.
09.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul M.

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