129. USGA Announces 2021 USA Walker Cup Team

1st March 2021

The USGA’s International Team Selection working group have announced their 10-man USA Walker Cup Team.

The statement puts to bed rumours, admittedly largely instigated by myself, that the match may be postponed due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) team’s preparations.

The team will comprise (in alphabetical order): –

Ricky CASTILLO 20 (b. 19/02/01) of Yorba Linda, California
– WAGR 10/02/21 selection (#4).
– Florida sophomore.
– 24/02/21 WAGR #6.

Pierceson COODY 21 (b. 07/01/00) of Plano, Texas
– Committee selection.
– Texas junior.
– 24/02/21 WAGR #9.

Quade CUMMINS 24 (b. 06/03/96) of Weatherford, Oklahoma
– Committee selection.
– Oklahoma senior.
– 24/02/21 WAGR #18.

Austin ECKROAT 22 (b. 12/01/99) of Edmond, Oklahoma
– Committee selection.
– Oklahoma State senior.
– 24/02/21 WAGR #15.

Stewart HAGESTAD 29 (b. 10/04/91) of Newport Beach, California
– Committee selection (Mid-Amateur).
– USC graduate.
– 24/02/21 WAGR #11.

Cole HAMMER 21 (b. 28/08/99) of Houston, Texas
– Committee selection.
– Texas junior.
– 24/02/21 WAGR #19.

William MOUW 20 (b. 05/09/00) of Chino, California
– Committee selection.
– Pepperdine sophomore.
– 24/02/21 WAGR #23.

John PAK 22 (b. 18/12/98) of Scotch Plains, New Jersey
– WAGR 10/02/21 selection (#7).
– Florida State senior.
– 24/02/21 WAGR #5.

Tyler STRAFACI 22 (b. 23/07/98) of Davie, Florida
– 2020 U.S. Amateur champion.
– Georgia Tech graduate.
– 24/02/21 WAGR #13.

Davis THOMPSON 21 (b.05/06/99) of St. Simons Island, Georgia
– WAGR 10/02/21 selection (#2).
– Georgia senior.
– 24/02/21 WAGR #1.

Reserves

1. McClure MEISSNER 22 of San Antonio, Texas
– Committee selection.
– SMU senior.
– 24/02/21 WAGR #22.

2. Garett REBAND 21 of York, South Carolina
– Committee selection.
– Oklahoma senior.
– 24/02/21 WAGR #16.

All 12 of the above USA players were ranked in the top 23 of the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) at the time of the announcement.

USGA Graphic / Photo

Hagestad, Hammer and Pak are returning players from the 2019 USA Team, which defeated GB&I 15.5-10.5, at Royal Liverpool G.C., England. Hagestad was also on the victorious USA team at Los Angeles C.C., California in 2017.

The USA team will be captained for the second time by Nathaniel Crosby, of Jupiter, Florida. “It is once again a great privilege to serve as the USA captain and to work with a group who represent the best of amateur golf,” said Crosby. “The 10 team members have a notable list of accomplishments on the collegiate, national and international levels. They will represent the United States in the spirit and tradition of the Walker Cup Match.”

The 2021 match against GB&I will be played at Seminole G.C. in 68 days time on 8-9 May.

The USGA confirmed that due to health and safety guidelines “attendance at the Match will be limited.”

Please click here to read the Official USGA Team Announcement which includes full player profiles.

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2021, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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127. Thompson, Castillo and Pak Secure USA Team Places

10th February 2021

Davis THOMPSON #2, Ricky CASTILLO #4 and John PAK #7 were the three highest ranked USA players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) released on the 10th February 2021.

In line with the USGA’s announcement on 21st December 2020 they therefore received automatic exemptions onto the 2021 USA Walker Cup team.

World Amateur Golf Ranking – 10th February 2021 Release

Pierceson COODY #8, who has been swapping third place with Pak in recent months, dropped out of the USA top three with the finishing line in sight. As is sometimes the way with WAGR it appears he was penalised for playing in last week’s Jones Cup Invitational which Castillo and Pak both missed. Coody should not worry overly as he is very likely to be selected by the USGA when the remaining places are confirmed.

The USA team is now taking shape.

Tyler STRAFACI, the U.S. Amateur champion, secured his place at Bandon Dunes G.C. in August 2020.

Stewart HAGESTAD is as close to a certainty as there can be to make his third successive appearance in the match, once again picking up the mid-amateur berth. Hagestad reached the Quarter Finals of the U.S. Amateur in Oregon and finished a creditable tied 11th in last week’s Jones Cup Invitational. No one can question his status as the USA’s No. 1 mid-amateur.

In addition to Pierceson COODY I am confident that Cole HAMMER, Austin ECKROAT and Quade CUMMINS will also be selected based on their recent performances.

The remaining spot is a little harder to determine at this stage with William HOLCOMB, Mac MEISSNER, William MOUW, David PERKINS, Garrett REBAND seeming to have the strongest cases. All accept Holcomb were in the USGA’s original practice squad.

If Hagestad and Hammer do get the nod to join Pak then that will mean USA will have an unusually high three players returning from the last match.

Captain Nathanial Crosby suggested at the Jones Cup Invitational last weekend that a full team announcement may surprisingly be made by the end of February so it seems we won’t have long to wait for the final USA team.

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2021, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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124. Sixteen Players Selected For USA 2021 Walker Cup Practice Session

24th November 2020

Sixteen players have been invited to attend a USA Walker Cup practice session on 16-18 December 2020 by the USGA’s International Team Selection Committee.

The session will be overseen by captain Nathaniel Crosby and held at Bay Hill Club & Lodge and the nearby Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, both in Orlando, Florida.

Bay Hill Club & Lodge

The sixteen players, with their current SPWAR’s and home towns, are: –

Ricky Castillo – #13 – Yorba Linda, California
Pierceson Coody – #5 – Plano, Texas
Quade Cummins – #2 – Weatherford, Oklahoma
Cooper Dossey – #32 – Austin, Texas
Austin Eckroat – #8 – Edmond, Oklahoma
Stewart Hagestad – #64 – Newport Beach, California
Cole Hammer – #18 – Houston, Texas
McClure Meissner – #16 – San Antonio, Texas
William Mouw – #12 – Chino, California
John Pak – #9 – Scotch Plains, New Jersey
David Perkins – #14 – East Peoria, Illinois
Garett Reband – #35 – York, South Carolina
Cameron Sisk – #31 – San Diego, California
Tyler Strafaci – #6 – Davie, Florida
Davis Thompson – #3 – St. Simons Island, Georgia
Michael Thorbjornsen – #267 – Wellesley, Massachusetts

Mid-amateur Stewart Hagestad (2017-19), Cole Hammer (2017) and John Pak (2019) have all represented the USA in previous Walker Cup matches.

Michael Thorbjornsen, the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, has the highest SPWAR and there are 123 other American players above him in this particular ranking. However, he did recently reach the quarter finals of the 2020 U.S. Amateur and he does enjoy a WAGR of #32 which goes someway to explaining his inclusion.

Trey Winstead #18 in the SPWAR, Trent Phillips #21, Travis Vick #24 and Parker Coady #29, twin brother of Pierceson, can all consider themselves unlucky to miss out on an invite.

Lake Nona Golf & Country Club

Eight of the sixteen players invited are competing in the Arnold Palmer Cup, also being played at Bay Hill on 21-23 December, so the USGA is sensibly limiting travel for the invitees during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is also an advantage to the visiting GB&I team as USA’s leading players will not be gaining the early look at Seminole that they may have been expecting.

Seven of the sixteen players from the 2019 Walker Cup practice session ultimately made the 10-man USA Team.

The 48th Match will be played at Seminole Golf Club, in Juno Beach, Florida on 8-9 May 2021.

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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112. USA Announce Their Final 7 Team Members

18th August 2019

The U.S.G.A.’s International Team Selection Committee announced the remaining members of their 2019 Walker Cup team shortly after the conclusion of play at the U.S. Amateur Championship on Sunday 18th August 2019.The following players were added to the U.S.A roster for the match at Royal Liverpool G.C. on 7-8 September 2019: –

John AUGENSTEIN (21) – U.S. Amateur runner-up
Steven FISK (22)
Andy OGLETREE (21) – U.S. Amateur champion
John PAK (20)
Isaiah SALINDA (22)
Alex SMALLEY (22)
Brandon WU (22)

They join: –

Cole HAMMER (19)
Akshay BHATIA (17)
Stewart HAGESTAD (28)

who were all selected on Wednesday 24th July 2019 based on their World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR). They were the three highest ranked U.S.A. players on that date.

Chandler PHILLIPS (22) and Ricky CASTILLO (18) are the first and second alternates respectively.

2019 U.S.A. Walker Cup Team (photo: Fox Sports / USGA TV Graphic) 

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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