Bob Lewis is the Captain of the U.S. Walker Cup team, set to play against Great
Britain and Ireland on August 13-14. The Walker Cup is a biennial competition
which rotates between venues in Great Britain and Ireland and the United States.
The U.S. team has lost the last two matches.
Lewis, 61, of Pepper Pike, Ohio, played on four victorious Walker Cup teams
for the USA – in 1981, 1983, 1985 and 1987. He compiled a career 5-2 record
in both singles and foursomes play. Lewis was selected as captain of the 2003
USA Walker Cup team which lost a tough competition, 12 ½ to 11 ½
at Ganton, England. In USGA competition, Lewis’ record has been stellar;
he has been a runner-up three times in the U.S. amateur and twice in the Mid-Amateur.
He played the PGA Tour from 1970-74 and has since been reinstated as an amateur
and qualified for the last three USGA Senior Amateurs. Lewis is president and
chief operating officer of Welded Tubes, Inc., a manufacturer of welded steel
tubing, a company founded by his father in 1958.
Pete Wlodkowski of amateurgolf.com spoke to Bob Lewis on June 21st.
Q: Can you sum up the last Walker Cup?
A: It was a tough loss, where the singles matches really did us in on the last
day. The difference came down to putting in those final key matches. It's funny
because we used to really dominate those final day singles matches.
Q: We won’t ask you about your selections, unless you want to give any
away. But can you tell us the likely announcement schedule and some of your
criteria for selection?
A : The USGA has its own internal points system, where events are tracked in
the two year period between Walker Cups. There is a large emphasis, obviously,
on the major USGA events like the Amateur, The Open, and The Publinx, and recent
performances are important. We should have the team in order by late July. I
have gotten to know all of the hopefuls quite well and I feel very confident
about the chances of the potential group.
Q: What changes have you implemented to improve the USA's chances of winning
The Walker Cup?
A: We're trying to do a better job of building the camaraderie and team aspect
of representing the USA in The Walker Cup. We started a practice session for
Walker Cup hopefuls prior to the 2003 event, and we really pulled it together
this year when we did a practice session at Old Memorial in Tampa for 24 players.
Bob Rotella was there. We played a few different formats and allowed players
to get to know each other. It's basically "check your egos at the door,
and play as a team." 8 of those 24 players were members of the Palmer Cup
that just defeated their European counterparts. That's a good sign.
Q: How significant was Matt Every's low amateur finish at the U.S. Open?
A: Very. When a player goes all the way through sectional qualifying and plays
that well at a course like Pinehurst in U.S. Open conditions, that bodes well
for his chances of being part of the team.
Q: What about Chicago Golf Club?
A: It's relatively short, with fast greens that are going to require being in
the right places. It's got a lot of links qualities. Even though it's not long, players with length will have an
advantage with their approach shots, given the premium on being in the right
spot on the greens.
Q: How is your game these days?
A: Well, that's funny, because I've only entered three tournaments lately and
I've won all three. We just won the Pine Valley Member-Guest, and prior to that
I won the Travis Invitational in the overall division, and the senior division
of the Coleman Invitational at Seminole. But I won't be playing too much between
now and August.
Q: What will you be focusing on between now and The Walker Cup on August 13-14?
A: There are three events in July, The Southern Amateur, The Players Amateur,
and The USGA Publinx. Those will be important as we come down to the wire of
selections. We should have the team announced in that timeframe.
Q: Thanks for your time, and good luck at Chicago Golf Club. amateurgolf.com
will be there covering!
A: You're welcome.
AMATEURGOLF.COM WALKER CUP CONTEST
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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.
View Complete Tournament Information