The first tee of any international competition is nerve-wracking. There are large crowds and the emotions that come from wearing your country’s name. Throw in the youth of most Walker Cup participants and you have a downright volatile mixture brewing in the stomachs of the participants. For proof, consider this story from Rory McIlroy, who faced Dustin Johnson in the opening foursomes match at the 2007 Walker Cup. A juiced-up Johnson hit the shot before the announcer finished calling his name.
Semifinalist Jordan Russell has plenty of good things to take away from the U.S. Amateur. <strong>Ron Balicki</strong> has some background on the Texas A&M Aggie Peter Uihlein called "the most underrated player in college golf."
Cory Whitsett employed his coach at Alabama, Jay Seawell, this week at the U.S. Amateur, and they attaboy’d and you-da-man’d their way through 19 holes Thursday, through moments both joyous and deflating, until his opponent, the third-ranked amateur in the world, rapped in a 5-footer for par and the win.
Tomorrow U.S. Walker Cupper Peter Uihlein will face Walker Cup hopeful Scott Langley. After last year’s U.S. Amateur, it seemed that Langley was a guaranteed lock to make the team. However, since the national championship Langley has struggled.
It’s tough to argue that the Peter Uihlein-Dylan Frittelli match and the Patrick Cantlay-Russell Henley showdown aren’t deserving of most of the attention Thursday at the U.S. Amateur. But while these are waged, there is another match to put on the radar in Round 2.
When the U.S. Amateur was held last year at Chambers Bay, Andrew Putnam was considered a favorite. As a resident of University Place, Wash., where Chambers Bay is located, Putnam played the course many times.