USGA: Walker Cup team to include at least two mid-ams

Mid-amateur Nathan Smith during the 2011 Walker Cup.

Mid-amateur Nathan Smith during the 2011 Walker Cup.

The average age of U.S. Walker Cup members should be a little higher in 2013. The U.S. Golf Association announced Jan. 14 that the 10-member team selected to compete at the National Golf Links in Southampton, N.Y., in September will include at least two mid-amateurs.

“I applaud the decision made by the USGA to include mid-amateurs in the Walker Cup,” said U.S. captain Jim Holtgrieve, who played in three Walker Cups and was captain of the 2011 U.S. team. “I have seen firsthand, like other past captains, the impact the mid-amateur player can have on a team. Mid-amateurs can provide the leadership and maturity that helps build team chemistry.”

Walker Cup selections already have made headlines after the USGA International Team Selection Committee last month invited 16 potential players to participate in an informal practice session in Naples, Fla. Holtgrieve was there to observe. Golfers not invited to that session still are candidates for the team, however.

“In proposing the Walker Cup in 1921, George Herbert Walker’s original intent was to have a competition that fostered international goodwill between the USGA and The R&A,” said USGA vice president Thomas O'Toole Jr., chairman of the Championship Committee. “Mid-amateurs, who are seasoned players, are likely to bring a unique perspective to a team and demonstrate, as well as appreciate, the characteristics of leadership and generosity of spirit that are central to the Walker Cup. It is the positive influence mid-amateurs will have on the Walker Cup experience and our strong commitment to amateur golf that causes us to reach this determination.”

Information from the USGA was used in this report.

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