TULSA, Okla. – Well, six of the eight quarterfinalists at the U.S. Amateur are American, which will make the Walker Cup selections more interesting.
No matter what happens, I think the U.S. Golf Association needs to give one of those last two spots on the team to Dan Woltman.
If Byeong-Hun An or David Lingmerth, the two foreign players remaining, win this week, and Peter Uihlein makes the semifinals, I think Uihlein should get the other spot.
I’m sure Tim Jackson’s name is still in the mix, and it should be. If Uihlein loses in the quarters, and a foreign player wins the Am, I could see the USGA giving Jackson the final spot. Jackson has played very well of late, has Walker Cup experience and is a two-time Mid-Am champ.
Steve Smyers, head of the USGA’s International Team Selection Committee, has said that the USGA doesn’t just pick the 10 best players, but the best team. There is a difference there. Factors like experience and chemistry come into play when trying to field the best team.
That’s why part of me thinks the USGA might pick Jackson over Woltman. I just hope they don’t. It’s nothing against Jackson. He’s a great competitor, a former national champion and a great person. But Woltman has done everything asked of him, including earning medalist honors at a U.S. Amateur qualifier the day after he was left off the team. That shows a lot of character.