Nathaniel Crosby, who turns 58 on 29th October, has been re-appointed as captain of the USA Walker Cup team for the 2021 match which will be played at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida.
Crosby was always expected to be given the now customary second term after leading his USA team to a 15.5-10.5 away victory at Royal Liverpool G.C. last month and given the fact he lives close to and is a member of the famed Seminole club.
Upon confirming the captaincy Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman, said “Nathaniel’s previous Walker Cup experience and guidance proved to be the right mix to lead the 2019 team to victory. Our players experienced life lessons from a true gentleman and competitor and we are excited to have him lead the team again at Seminole.”
“The 2019 Walker Cup experience was an unbelievable journey from start to finish, and I am honored to be allowed to once again guide an outstanding group of young men in 2021” said Crosby.
In an interview with the Silver Club Golfing Society Podcast on 16th September 2019, shortly after returning home from England, he spoke in more detail about the possibility of being re-appointed for 2021, saying, “It would be an incredible privilege to be picked again. I know that has been a tradition with the USGA over the last three decades. I worry about a (former) player or two who could be passed over. The funny thing about Seminole is that if you’re a Walker Cup captain you are one of ten people. I don’t even want to think about it and the possibilities at this point. It’s a definite commitment of time and effort and I don’t know how any experience could match what’s just happened for me. That being said I don’t want to take myself out of the running ! This privilege was a lifelong memory and a highlight of my life. It would be greedy to want another one.”
The 48th Walker Cup Match is scheduled for 8th – 9th May 2021 and will mark the first time that the biennial team competition will be held in the spring in the U.S.
The USGA’s International Team and The R&A Men’s Selection Committees have invited various players to attend 2019 Walker Cup practice sessions in December.
The U.S. gathering is scheduled to take place between December 14th– 18th at Seminole G.C. in Florida.
16 players will be in attendance (current SPWAR / WAGR): –
John AUGENSTEIN – Owensboro, Kentucky (6 / 27) Akshay BHATIA – Wake Forest, North Carolina (104 / 29) Will GORDON – Davidson, North Carolina (9 / 37) Stewart HAGESTAD – Newport Beach, California (80 / 15) Cole HAMMER – Houston, Texas (15 / 11) Brandon MANCHENO – Jacksonville, Florida (39 / 50) Bryson NIMMER – Bluffton, South Carolina (11 / 38) Kevin O’CONNELL – Cary, North Carolina (270 / 21) Matt PARZIALE – Brockton, Massachusetts (130 / 155) Chandler PHILLIPS – Huntsville, Texas (22 / 12) Trent PHILLIPS – Inman, South Carolina (105 / 37) * Isaiah SALINDA – South San Francisco, California (13 / 32) Alex SMALLEY – Wake Forest, North Carolina (16 / 24) Tyler STRAFACI – Davie, Florida (21/ 75) Matthew WOLFF – Agoura Hills, California (14 / 5) Brandon WU – Scarsdale, New York (19 / 47)
* Davis RILEY – Hattiesburg, Mississippi (10 / 8) withdrew on 25th November having decided to forego his final semester of eligibility at Alabama University and turn professional. He was replaced by Trent PHILLIPS.
Stewart Hagestad is the only member of the 2017 USA Team who will attend the practice session and one of three mid-amateurs invited; the others being Matt Parziale and Kevin O’Connell.
The absence of Collin Morkikawa (2 / 2), Braden Thornberry (3 / 3) and Justin Suh (4 / 1) suggests all three have made their intentions to turn Pro at the end of the current U.S. College season known to the USGA.
Zachary Bauchou (12 / 18) and Philip Knowles (20 / 69) are two of the more noteworthy U.S. players missing from the list.
John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director of Championships said: “This practice session presents an excellent opportunity for the players, the captain (Nathaniel Crosby) and the USGA to become familiar with each other as we begin the process of team selection. While these 16 talented individuals represent the first pool of potential team members, we expect many others will be considered as the selection process moves toward its conclusion next August.”
Looking back at recent Walker Cup practice sessions six of the 16 players named in 2017 made the final 10-man USA Team whilst nine of the 16 did so in both 2013 and 2015.
The final 2019 USA Walker Cup team will potentially include five automatic selections drawn from: –
– the top 3 USA players in the WAGR (as of early August).
– the 2019 U.S. Amateur champion (if eligible);
– the Mark H. McCormack Award winner (WAGR world No.1 immediately after U.S. Amateur – if eligible);
The remaining five to seven U.S. players will be decided by the USGA’s International Team Selection Committee after the U.S. Amateur concludes.
The R&A, who chose not to make a formal announcement, have also recently invited a group of players to a practice session to be held at the 2019 venue Royal Liverpool G.C. on 18-19 December 2018 *.
Unfortunately the dates clash with the South Beach International Amateur which a number of Great British and Irish players have already committed to. Amongst those planning to be in South Florida and high in the rankings are Jake BURNAGE (ENG), Conor GOUGH (ENG), David LANGLEY (ENG), Ben JONES (ENG), Joe PAGDIN (ENG), Tom PLUMB (ENG) and Robin WILLIAMS (ENG). I assume all of them will be sending their apologies.
*Subsequently photos were released by The R&A reporting that 10 players attended the two day session. These were: –
Bailey GILL (ENG) Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) Jake HAPGOOD (WAL) Billy MCKENZIE (ENG) Conor PURCELL (IRE) Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) Sandy SCOTT (SCO) Jamie STEWART (SCO) Tom THURLOWAY (ENG) Euan WALKER (SCO)
The U.S.G.A. today announced that 56 year old Nathaniel CROSBY had been selected to captain the U.S.A. team at the 2019 Walker Cup match.
Stuart Francis, U.S.G.A. Championship Committee chairman, said “Nathaniel Crosby has proven experience as an amateur player at the highest levels in both individual and team competition, and this will lend itself well to providing leadership for the USA Walker Cup team in 2019”. He has the key attributes of “sportsmanship, patriotism and a competitive spirit, that will assist him as captain.”
Crosby played in the 1983 Walker Cup match at Royal Liverpool GC. His appointment therefore has a nice symmetry with the 2019 contest also being staged at the historic links in Hoylake, England.
Nowadays he plays much of his golf at Seminole G.C. where the Walker Cup is being staged in 2021. Whilst there are other candidates with links to this exclusive Florida Club it does seem likely that his appointment will be for the now standard two match term.
In the USGA announcement Crosby said: “I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain. It will again be a privilege to be a part of the Walker Cup competition. Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities.”
Former U.S. captains Jim Holtgrieve, Bob Lewis Jr and Jay Sigel were all teammates of Crosby’s in 1983.
Nathaniel Crosby (Photo: USGA / Simon Dale)
Nathaniel Crosby – Golf Biography
Nathaniel (‘Nate’) Crosby was introduced to golf by his famous father, Bing. Bing was often described as a golfer that liked to sing given his obsession with the game.
He started playing golf when he was 4, taking lessons from Maurice Ver Brugge at the family’s home club, Burlinghame C.C., near San Francisco, and went on to become a very accomplished golfer.
His biggest achievement was his victory, aged 19, in the 1981 US Amateur Championship at Olympic Club in San Francisco. Playing number 3 for the University of Miami during the year and having showed little form beforehand his win was something of a surprise. He did however have the benefit of sleeping in his own bed at his parent’s house during the event. Huge crowds, drawn by the Crosby name, saw Nathaniel beat Brian Lindley on the 37th hole of the final. He staged a great comeback having been both 4 Down with 10 holes to play and 2 Down with 3 to play.
Sadly his father was unable to witness his achievement. Bing had died four years earlier on 14th October 1977, collapsing from a heart attack after playing 18 holes at La Moraleja G.C. near Madrid. His last words being “That was a great game of golf, fellas.” However, Nathaniel later revealed he wore Bing’s 1941 US Amateur competitor badge around his neck all week rubbing it occasionally when seeking inspiration or calmness. “It was a something to relax me. It was a way of keeping positive thoughts in my mind. I knew he was up there and he was on my side.”
In 1982 Nathaniel achieved low amateur honours at the US Open Championship at Pebble Beach, finishing 59th, won the prestigious Porter Cup and helped the USA win that year’s World Amateur Team Championship title in Switzerland.
The USA won the 1983 Walker Cup match 13.5 – 10.5 at Royal Liverpool. Captained by Jay Sigel (who also played himself), Crosby lost his Day 1 Singles 6&4 to Phil Parkin before he and William Hoffer beat George Macgregor and Philip Walton by 2 holes in their Day 2 Foursomes game. He sat out both the Day 1 Foursomes and Day 2 Singles.
Crosby graduated from the University of Miami in 1984 with a degree in politics and public administration. He then turned professional, playing briefly in the U.S. before trying his hand on the European Tour. With little success he ‘retired’ after three years, moving into the business world in 1988.
He regained his amateur status in 1994. This was initially so that he could play in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, a tournament that had grown out of his father’s Bing Crosby National Pro-Amateur (also known as the Crosby Clambake). After Bing’s death in 1977, the tournament was hosted by the Crosby family for eight years, before the association was finally ended in 1985. Nathaniel had also planned to compete in Senior amateur events but this doesn’t appear to have come to anything in recent years.
Nathaniel Crosby – Personal Biography
Nathaniel Patrick Crosby was born on 29th October 1961 in Hillsborough, California but now lives in Jupiter, Florida.
He is the seventh child of Bing Crosby and the youngest of his three children with his second wife, the entertainer Kathryn Grant. Grant was 31 years Bing’s junior when they married.
His four half brothers are now all dead. He has an elder brother Harry and a sister Mary. Mary famously played Kristin Shepard, the mistress responsible for shooting J.R. Ewing in the hit television series ‘Dallas’. Nathaniel also performed on stage and screen many times with various family members when he was a child.
Nathaniel has four children of his own, all from his first marriage – Nathaniel Jr (27), Brendan (25), Bridget (23) and Claire (21). He is now remarried to another divorcee, Sheila (Biggs), who has two children of her own – Turner (26) and Courtney (24).
When his playing career came to an end he moved into the golf equipment business working firstly for Toney Penna (a touring pro. who had been Nathaniel’s teacher), then The Nicklaus Equipment Company and finally Orlimar Golf. He is currently chairman of AppleTree Golf Society, a membership programme that is tied to around 30 premier golf clubs in vacation and second-home destinations.
In 2016 he released a book, written with the assistance of golf journalist John Strege, entitled ’18 Holes With Bing: Golf, Life and Lessons From Dad’, where he talked about his relationship with his father through their shared love of golf.