The Porter Cup will play an especially critical role in the summer amateur circuit this year with five Walker Cup spots still on the line for the U.S. team. The 55th annual tournament will be played July 24-27 at Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston, N.Y.
The 84-player field, which includes 18 internationals, is highlighted by two of the five members already named to the U.S. Walker Cup team – recent University of California graduate Max Homa and Stanford junior Patrick Rodgers. Homa was the 2013 NCAA individual medalist and played in the U.S. Open at Merion. Rodgers finished third in last year’s Porter Cup after winning it in 2011.
Other Walker Cup hopefuls in the field include Cal seniors Michael Weaver and Brandon Hagy, North Florida graduate Sean Dale, 2012 Dartmouth graduate Peter Williamson and mid-amateurs Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Todd White of Spartanburg, S.C.
Georgia Tech senior Richy Werenski also is back to defend his title. He posted rounds of 66-62-67-68 and made only one bogey in 72 holes last year.
Two incoming Texas freshman and U.S. Open participants, Gavin Hall from Pittsford, N.Y., and Beau Hossler from Mission Viejo, Calif., are in the field. Hall, who originally went to UCLA but ultimately chose Texas, played in the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion. Hossler made headlines at the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club for leading mid-way through Round 2.
Other notables in the field include Garrett Rank, U.S. Amateur Public Links stroke-play champion; Denny McCarthy, 2012 Porter Cup runner-up; and Julio Vegas, a Texas graduate who was a member of the 2012 NCAA Championship-winning Longhorn team.