Cole Hammer, Akshay Bhatia and Stewart Hagestad named to 2019 U.S. Walker Cup team

Cole Hammer, Akshay Bhatia and Stewart Hagestad named to 2019 U.S. Walker Cup team

Amateur

Cole Hammer, Akshay Bhatia and Stewart Hagestad named to 2019 U.S. Walker Cup team

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The 2019 U.S. Walker Cup team is starting to take shape.

Cole Hammer, Akshay Bhatia and Stewart Hagestad – the top three Americans in the World Amateur Golf Ranking – were named to Team USA on Wednesday as automatic selections based on their rankings. The Walker Cup will take place Sept. 7-8 at England’s Royal Liverpool.

While the team from Great Britain and Ireland has won five of the last six events outside the United States, Team USA has dominated the series 36-9-1, and will be the favorites once again this year.

Seven more spots are up for grabs and the 10-man team will be announced after next month’s U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst, Aug. 12-18. Two more automatic selections are on the table for the U.S. Amateur champion and the McCormack Medal winner, which is annually presented by the R&A to the No. 1 amateur in the world after the last elite amateur event of the season, which this year is the U.S. Am. Hammer is currently No. 1.

Hammer, a 19-year-old Houston native, was a semifinalist at last year’s U.S. Amateur and helped lead his Texas Longhorns to the NCAA Championship final match vs. Stanford. Bhatia, No. 4 in the world, was a member of the victorious 2017 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team, a runner-up in 2018 at the U.S. Junior Amateur and winner of the 2019 Jones Cup. This year, at just 17 years old, he competed at the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship. He plans to skip college and turn pro after this year’s matches. The low amateur at the 2017 Masters, Hagestad has qualified for each of the past three U.S. Opens. The 28-year-old was also a member of the victorious 2017 U.S. Walker Cup team.

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