By Cassie Stein, Golfweek
On paper, the United States looked more
dominant in 2011 than Great Britain and
had the Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 players in the
Amateur Golf Rankings – and four more in the
Patrick Rodgers, then 18, was No. 2 in those
rankings, and about to start his freshman year
Stanford. He was the second-youngest player
the team, Jordan Spieth being the youngest.
“That was something I had never experienced
before,” Rodgers said. “Playing in that team
playing in front of all those people and
representing your country, is something I’ll
He had one of the best years (2011) as a
in amateur events. He placed in the top five at
seven of eight tournaments leading up to his
Walker Cup selection and was a quarterfinalist
But Rodgers faltered a bit when it came to his
first team-format, international event. He
the two-day event with a 0-2-1 record.
The half point was earned by teaming up with
Spieth in the Sunday morning foursomes. The
youngsters fought back on the last few holes
get a half point over Tom Lewis and Michael
Rodgers learned a lot about his game that
in Scotland and during the last two years
up to this Walker Cup Match at the National
Links of America.
This time around, Rodgers will know how to
handle himself in this competition.
The Stanford junior has had more experience
match-play events in team formats after
in the last two Palmer Cups. He has a 6-2-1
record in that event.
As only one of two returners for the U.S.
Smith is playing on his third consecutive
Cup Team), he wants to step into more of a
leadership role in the locker room and on the
“Nathan Smith and I, hopefully with our
leadership, we can lead the team to a
Rodgers added. “What a great experience this
going to be with a great team we have
assembled. I know from experience that it’s
very fun to lose. We are motivated to play
and get the cup back.”
A win on U.S. soil would be sweet redemption
this two-time Walker Cup player.
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ABOUT THE The Walker Cup
The Walker Cup Match is a biennial 10-man
team competition between the USA and a team
composed of players from Great Britain and
and selected by The R&A. It is played over two
with 18 singles matches and eight foursomes
The first United States Walker Cup Team, which
1922 defeated the GB&I side, 8-4, at the
Links of America, is considered among the best
ever and included Francis Ouimet, Bob Jones,
“Chick” Evans and Jess Sweetser. Many of the
greatest players have taken part in Walker Cup
competition, including U.S. Open champions Jack
Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth for the
and Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Justin
for Great Britain and Ireland.
the overall series 35-8-1.
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