What will it take to get a World Am nod?
UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – The U.S. Golf Association will announce the U.S. lineup for the World Amateur Team Championship sometime between now and next week (no official date has been set).
At the U.S. Women’s Amateur, Danielle Kang may have earned a spot on the team by winning the championship. Who knows if she was a lock before that.
With just 32 players remaining at the U.S. Amateur, now is a good time to play the what-if game for a few players in the field:
- What if Scott Langley never won the 2010 NCAA Championship? Would he still be considered a top player? Also, what if Dustin Garza never turned pro early and played in the Palmer Cup? Would Langley be getting as much red, white, and blue recognition as he is now, had he not helped Team USA to victory?
- What if Brad Benjamin defeats David Chung in the Round of 16? The 2009 U.S. Public Links champion hasn’t exactly been stealing the show lately. He has made it clear he wants to play for Team USA at the Walker Cup, but could a run this week put him on the World Team Amateur squad? What if he won the event? Would he be a double lock for Team USA at the World Team and Walker Cup with two USGA Amateur Championships?
- What if a player comes out of nowhere and wins this week? It would be possible, because anything can happen in match play. You would certainly think the winner (if American) this week would make the World Team Amateur ... right?
- What if David Chung does lose to Benjamin? Will two wins this summer (Porter Cup and Western Amateur) be enough to satisfy the USGA committee? Chung had a quiet college season at Stanford, but is this the summer where it’s all about what you have done lately?
There are plenty of scenarios out there, but here is how I see the team shaking out for the trip to Argentina:
- Chung. The hottest player of the summer entered the U.S. Amateur with wins at the Porter Cup and the Western Amateur. Chung finished T-13 in the stroke-play portion of the Amateur, but has proven to be the best amateur of the summer based on his results.
- Patrick Reed. A member of the 2010 NCAA champion Augusta State Jaguars, Reed has had a solid amateur year. Reed won the Jones Cup, finished T-7 at the Sunnehanna, third at Terra Cotta, T-16 at the Players and lost in the Round of 16 at the Publinx. Losing to Langley at the U.S. Amateur won’t hurt his resume too much, especially with the strong finishes he has had over the summer.
- Peter Uihlein. Uihlein has been as impressive as Chung. Earlier this summer he won the Sahalee and finished T-2 at the Porter Cup. Uihlein’s other top finishes include a fourth-place finish at the Copa de las Americas, T-7 at Sunnehanna and T-2 at the NCAA Championship at The Honors Course.
Somehow, I think only two of these three players will make it, because if the U.S. Amateur champion this year is American, I think he will get the nod.
There are plenty of scenarios out there, with a lot of “what ifs.” It will be fun to see how it all pans out.