Five U.S. Walker Cup players head to pro ranks on a high

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Five U.S. Walker Cup players head to pro ranks on a high

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Five U.S. Walker Cup players head to pro ranks on a high

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HOYLAKE, England – Five members of the 2019 U.S. Walker Cup team are turning professional following their victory at Royal Liverpool.

Akshay Bhatia, Brandon Wu, Steven Fisk, Alex Smalley and Isaiah Salinda head to the paid ranks to try to follow in the footsteps of former U.S. Walker Cup stars like Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and scores of others who become PGA Tour stars.

Just two Great Britain & Ireland players are turning pro: Scotland’s Euan Walker and Englishman Tom Sloman. Harry Hall will try his hand at stage one of the European Tour Qualifying School as an amateur. The Englishman can maintain that status if he fails to advance.

SCORES: Walker Cup

Bhatia could step into many college golf programs, but the 17-year-old left hander, the youngest player on the U.S. teams, wants to go out of the amateur game on a high after being a member of the first U.S. team to win on foreign soil since 2007.

“It’s definitely something we all dreamed about,” said Bhatia, who won two points out of three at Royal Liverpool. “The expectation level was huge for us. I can’t put into words what it means to us and our team and the United States of America.”

Salinda adds the Walker Cup to the NCAA Championship he helped Stanford win in May before graduating.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to end my amateur career,” said Salinda, who also won two points out of three. “This was awesome. I’m not even thinking about turning pro yet, I just want to enjoy this win with the guys, to be honest. But it’s the perfect ending to my amateur career. This is kind of the one thing I wanted to do before I turned pro.”

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