Jones Cup kicks off 2015 Walker Cup cycle
03 Feb 2014
by Benjamin Larsen of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Jones Cup Invitational Golf Tournament, Ocean Forest Golf Club

It’s perhaps fitting that the event that officially kicks off the two-year Walker Cup cycle was founded to showcase the event.

Starting in 2001, the Jones Cup served to showcase the world’s top amateurs at Ocean Forest Golf Club just months before the Walker Cup would be played at the same course.

All these years later and the Walker Cup is still a big part of the Jones Cup with the event serving as the unofficial kickoff to the two- year Walker Cup team selection cycle. This past weekend’s results are a testament to that.

Mike McCoy put the mid-amateur contingency on notice after a tie for fourth place, just two shots behind the winning score. Following his breakthrough at last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur, McCoy -- who also won the George C. Thomas Invitational and the Coleman Invitational in 2013 -- is a serious contender for one of the U.S. squad’s two roster spots reserved for mid-amateurs.

Todd White and Nathan Smith, the 2013 squad’s mid-amateurs and among McCoy’s likely competitors for the 2015 spots didn’t fare too well at Ocean Forest. Smith shot 73-76-79 to finish tied for 42nd along with White, who shot 72 in the final round but couldn’t bounce back from his 77-79 start.

The event featured seven former Walker Cup players -- including Alabama’s Cory Whitsett (T-21) and Bobby Wyatt (T-21), Cal’s Brandon Hagy (T-48) and Michael Weaver (T-57), and Garrick porteous (T-42) and Gavin Moynihan (T-57) from the Great Britain & Ireland squad. In total, the group as a whole didn’t play well but perhaps left the door open for upcoming contenders.

LSU’s Curtis Thompson, ranked No. 24 in the Golfweek/amateurg olf.com U.S. Player Rankings, continued to add to his resume with a Top 10 finish. The recent two-time Dixie Amateur winner shared the lead on Friday and finished tied for sixth after rounds of 70-76-75. Auburn’s Michael Johnson, another first-round co-leader and highly-ranked American (14th), tied for 10th in his first start on U.S. soil since the Porter Cup as he’s battled back from a hip injury.

Bryson Dechambeau grabbed a share of the lead Saturday and finished tied for 14th. While he may have slipped in the final round, the 2013 Trans-Mississippi winner no doubt is a player to watch.

Other players likely to remain on the USGA’s radar include: Robby Shelton (T-17), Tyler Dunlap (T-26) and Scottie Scheffler (T- 35).

Recent South Beach International champion World No. 28 Greg Eason is making his case for the Great Britain & Ireland squad. The Brit, who plays collegiately at Central Florida, held a share of the lead after the first two rounds and has shown he can win.

Results For Jones Cup Invitational Golf Tournament
1CanadaCorey ConnersCanada100072-73-73--218
2CanadaAustin ConnellyCanada70072-74-72--218
3KYHunter StewartNicholasville, KY50075-74-70--219
T4DenmarkSebastian CappelenDenmark50073-72-75--220
T4IAMike McCoyW. Des Moines, IA50073-71-76--220

View full results for Jones Cup Invitational Golf Tournament


The Jones Cup was born from a deep commitment to amateur golf by the A.W. Jones family, who founded the Cloister and Sea Island Golf Club in 1928. The Sea Island Golf Club has played host to seven USGA championships. The Jones Cup is yet another extension of the family's strong involvement in amateur golf.

This 54-hole individual stroke-play event, inaugurated in 2001, is played at Ocean Forest Golf Club. The Rees Jones design opened in 1995 and has hosted the 1998 Georgia State Amateur Championship, the 1999 Southern Amateur Championship and the 2001 Walker Cup Match. The Jones Cup brings together many of the finest amateurs from the United States and abroad for this three-day competition.

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