Top 10 United States and Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup players

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Top 10 United States and Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup players

Amateur

Top 10 United States and Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup players

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HOYLAKE, England – Not only does the United States hold a 36-9-1 advantage in the Walker Cup, but U.S. players have gone on to greater success as professionals than their Great Britain & Ireland counterparts.

Twenty-three U.S. Walker Cup players have gone on to win major championships compared to just six GB&I players. They’ve also won more pro tournaments than GB&I players.

Here are the top 10 players from both teams who have parlayed Walker Cup performances into professional success.

U.S. Players

1. Jack Nicklaus (1959, 1961)

Helped U.S. teams win by earning two points in both matches with no losses, and then proved he was the outstanding member of both teams by winning 18 majors.

2. Tiger Woods (1995)

Lost his opening day singles match to Gary Wolstenholme at Royal Porthcawl despite outdriving the Englishman by up to 80 yards at times. Got revenge on Sunday by beating Wolstenholme but by then it was too late; GB&I had already won the match.

3. Phil Mickelson (1989, 1991)

The five-time major winner was on the losing team in 1989, but got revenge at Portmarnock, Ireland two years later by winning 3 ½ points out of 4.

4. Jordan Spieth (2011)

Played alongside Patrick Cantlay, Peter Uihlein and Harris English at Royal Aberdeen. Despite being on the stronger team, atrocious conditions helped GB&I to victory. The three-time major winner earned 2 ½ points.

5. Curtis Strange (1975)

The two-time U.S. Open champion (1988-89) was a member of the same team as Craig Stadler, Jay Haas and Jerry Pate at St Andrews, where he won 3 ½ points out of 4.

6. Gene Littler (1953)

Sweet swinging Gene played at the Kittansett Club in Massachusetts and contributed two points before going on to win the 1961 U.S. Open.

7. Lanny Wadkins (1969, 1971)

The 1977 PGA champion holds a 3-4-0 record in the biennial match. He helped the USA win the 1969 match, but was on the losing end at St. Andrews two years later in a rare GB&I victory in those days.

8. Dustin Johnson (2007)

Part of a powerful U.S. side with Rickie Fowler, Billy Horschel, Webb Simpson and Kyle Stanley that beat a Rory McIlroy led GB&I side at Royal County Down. DJ and Simpson are the only two major winners from that side.

9. Tom Kite (1971)

The 1992 U.S. Open champion experienced defeat at St Andrews despite delivering 2 ½ points.

10. Corey Pavin (1981)

The 1995 U.S. Open champion helped the United States win at Cypress Point by pitching in 2 ½ points.

Great Britain & Ireland

1. Rory McIlroy (2007)

McIlroy delayed turning pro so he could play at Royal County Down in his homeland, but it wasn’t a sweet experience for the future four-time major winner as GB&I lost by a point.

2. Padraig Harrington (1991, 1993, 1995)

After two defeats, the 2020 European Ryder Cup captain won at Royal Porthcawl.

3. Sandy Lyle (1977)

Despite going on to win the 1985 British Open and 1988 Masters, Lyle went 0-3 at Shinnecock Hills as the U.S. won 16-8.

4. Justin Rose (1997)

The 2013 U.S. Open champion doesn’t have fond Walker Cup memories. His team lost 18-6 at Quaker Ridge.

Justin Rose, playing for Great Britain/Ireland, in the 1997 Walker Cup at the Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y. (Ron Frehm/AP)

5. Graeme McDowell (2001)

G-Mac was part of one of the most powerful GB&I teams ever assembled for the match at Ocean Forest with future European Tour winners Luke Donald, Nick Dougherty, Michael Hoey, Marc Warren and Richard McEvoy.

6. Danny Willett (2007)

The 2016 Masters winner played with McIlroy at Royal County Down but only managed two half-points.

7. Colin Montgomerie (1985, 1987)

The 8-time European No. 1 experienced defeat in both his appearances, compiling a 2-5-1 record.

8. Paul Casey (1999)

Casey is one of three GB&I players along with Andrew Oldcorn (1983) and Jimmy Mullen (2015) to win four points out of four in one match. He and Luke Donald made a formidable team at Nairn as GB&I won.

9. Howard Clark (1973)

The future 11-time European Tour winner went 1-1-1 in a losing effort.

10. Gordon Brand Jr. (1979)

Brand Jr. went on to help Europe win the 1987 Ryder Cup, and tie the 1989 match, but didn’t enjoy Walker Cup success.  The Scot, who sadly passed away last month at age 60, went 0-3 as GB&I lost.

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