Walker Cup Watch List: Thornberry enters mix for 2017 U.S. squad

Walker Cup Watch List: Thornberry enters mix for 2017 U.S. squad

Amateur

Walker Cup Watch List: Thornberry enters mix for 2017 U.S. squad

Playing in a Walker Cup is one of the most prestigious honors in amateur golf.

This year’s edition of the biennial matches will be played Sept. 9-10 at Los Angeles Country Club. The U.S. lost the 2015 Walker Cup but has won three straight on American soil.

Who will make U.S. captain John “Spider” Miller’s 10-man squad this year? We’ll keep tabs on the candidates all year until the team is selected in August.

Here is the latest look at the potential American roster (Note: World Amateur Golf Ranking in parentheses; two of 10 players must be mid-amateurs):

• • •

Maverick McNealy (1): The world’s top-ranked amateur is as close to a lock as there is. He competed for the U.S. in the 2015 Walker Cup and represented his country again at last year’s World Amateur Team Championship. The Stanford senior finished fourth in the Cardinal’s spring opener in Hawaii, a finish that moved him back to No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.

Dylan Meyer (7): The Illinois junior declined an opportunity to compete in last fall’s World Amateur Team Championship, but he’s on the list right now because of his Western Amateur victory and quarterfinal run at the U.S. Amateur last summer. He also recently was seventh at the Jones Cup and the second highest finisher at the Australian Master of the Amateurs.

Will Zalatoris (14): Wake Forest junior won Pac Coast Amateur and Trans-Miss Amateur titles last summer and is Golfweek‘s ninth-ranked collegian. Plus, he’s a former USGA champion (2014 U.S. Junior).

Rico Hoey (22): Shared medalist honors at the Amer Ari to climb to eighth in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. Missed match play at the U.S. Amateur last year, but is a Los Angeles kid and the USC senior wants a reason to stay amateur for a Walker Cup in his hometown.

Scottie Scheffler (15): Played in last year’s U.S. Open and shot 69 in the first round before missing the cut. Turned on his game at last year’s NCAA Championship and is ranked 13th collegiately by Golfweek. Represented the U.S. at the World Amateur Team Championships last fall and is a former USGA champion (2013 U.S. Junior).

Sean Crocker (13): The USGA remembers his semifinal run at the U.S. Amateur two years ago, and Crocker has returned to that form. The USC junior is ranked eighth in college golf by Golfweek and opened the spring with a T-13 showing at the Amer Ari. Runner-up at last year’s Northeast Amateur.

Sam Burns (46): The LSU sophomore wasn’t invited to the practice session but has been told he still has a great chance to make the team. Burns won two times during the fall in college, including the Western Refining College All-America Classic, and enters the spring ranked third by Golfweek. He was also recently T-8 at the Jones Cup.

Braden Thornberry (61): Won three times and led NCAA Division I in scoring average last fall. Oh, and he dominated the stout field at the Jones Cup. Note: his world ranking should climb on Wednesday.

Stewart Hagestad (mid-amateur): Defending champion of the U.S. Mid-Amateur was also T-26 at the Jones Cup

Scott Harvey (mid-amateur): Was on the 2015 Walker Cup team and was runner-up to Hagestad at last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur.

NEXT FIVE

Noah Goodwin (8): Highest ranked junior golfer and third highest ranked American, Goodwin struggled at the Jones Cup. But he made match play at the U.S. Amateur last year, finished runner-up at the 2016 U.S. Junior and was the AJGA’s Rolex Junior Player of the Year last season.

Doug Ghim (27): Texas junior is a consistent player who is ranked sixth in college golf by Golfweek.

Collin Morikawa (16): Won last year’s Sunnehanna Amateur and nearly won a Web.com Tour event last summer.

Wyndham Clark (125): Golfweek‘s No. 2 player in college golf opened the spring with a victory at the Arizona Intercollegiate, then followed that with a top 10 at the Amer Ari.

Brad Dalke (94): Runner-up at U.S. Amateur to Curtis Luck and a member of the U.S. World Amateur Team Championship squad last year.

SECOND FIVE: Gavin Hall (17), Jimmy Stanger (29), Davis Shore (33), Davis Riley (40), Dawson Armstrong (28)

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