FAR HILLS, NJ (July 19, 2005) -- Three amateurs who competed in the recent U.S. Open championship have been selected as part of the 10-man squad to represent the United States of America team for the Walker Cup Match that will be played Aug. 13-14 at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill. Chosen by the International Team Selection Committee of United States Golf Association, the squad will face an amateur team representing Great Britain and Ireland.
The Walker Cup Match consists of 16 singles and eight foursomes (alternate shot) matches. Great Britain and Ireland’s team has won the last three Matches, in 1999, 2001 and 2003; twice by scores of 15-9 and by 12½ -11½ in 2003. The USA leads the series overall, 31-7-1.
Those on the team who competed in the 2005 U.S. Open are Matthew Every, 22, of Daytona Beach, Fla.; Michael Putnam, 22, of Tacoma, Wash.; and Lee Williams, 24, of Alexander City, Ala.
They are joined on the team by Anthony Kim, 20, of La Quinta, Calif.; Brian Harman, 18, of Savannah, Ga.; John Holmes, 23, of Campbellsville, Ky.; Billy Hurley, 23, of Leesburg, Va.; Jeff Overton, 22, of Evansville, Ind.; Kyle Reifers, 22, of Dublin, Ohio; and Nicholas Thompson, 22, of Coral Springs, Fla. The top two alternates, in order, are Luke List, 20, of Ringgold, Ga., and Ryan Blaum, 21, of Coral Gables, Fla.
Bob Lewis, 61, of Pepper Pike, Ohio, who played on four winning Walker Cup teams from 1981 through 1987, will serve as team captain. He also was captain of the 2003 team. 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.
“I am really excited about this group,” said Lewis. “They have a lot of talent and I look forward to going to bat with these guys. I want them to have a good experience. I give the committee a lot of credit for its selections.”
The GB&I team is led by veterans Nigel Edwards of Wales and England’s Gary Wolstenholme. Sixteen-year-old Oliver Fisher of England will be the youngest to play for either side.
Daily tickets are $35 and can be reserved by calling the ticket office at (630) 949-3219. The Golf Channel will air live coverage from 11-1 p.m. on Saturday and from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday (EDT). For more information, visit the official Walker Cup Match site at www.walkercup.org
Every, a senior at the University of Florida, was the low amateur at the Open at Pinehurst (N.C.) No. 2, finishing tied for 28th after a last round of 70, the fifth best round of the day. A first-team All-American, Every’s best efforts in amateur competition were 12th- and third-place finishes at the last two Northeast Amateurs.
Putnam, a recent graduate of Pepperdine University, earned the 2005 Byron Nelson Award as the top collegiate golfer. A first-team All-American, he was the individual runner-up at this year’s NCAA Division I Championship and qualified for his first U.S. Open.
Williams qualified for the 2005 Open in dramatic fashion by making eagle on his last hole. A recent graduate of Auburn University, he played on the 2004 USA World Amateur Team as well. He is the only veteran member of the USA squad, having also been named to the team in 2003.
Overall, the squad is comprised completely of collegians or recent college players. The youngest is 18-year-old Brian Harman, while the oldest is 24-year-old Williams.
Kim, a junior at the University of Oklahoma, was the medalist at the 2005 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and reached the semifinals before losing in 20 holes. He made 19 birdies during a three-match stretch. One of his stroke play rounds was a 5-under-par 65. He won the Big 12 title by six strokes.
Harman, an incoming freshman at the University of Georgia, helped claim his spot on the team by winning the recent Players Amateur by six strokes. He stepped on the national stage by winning the 2003 U.S. Junior Amateur title at age 16. Harman also finished in the top-10 at this year’s Azelea, Northeast Amateur and Sunnehanna Amateur.
Holmes’ steady play earned him a spot team on the team. He had his best showing in top collegiate play, finishing sixth at the 2004 NCAA Championship and seventh at this year’s NCAA. He also had a 10th place finish at the 2005 Monroe Invitational. In 2004, he played on the U.S. Palmer Cup team and he reached the third round of match play at the U.S. Amateur.
Hurley, a 2004 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy where he won the Byron Nelson Award as the year’s top college player and sportsman, had four top-10 finishes in leading amateur events over the past two years. He was runner-up at the 2005 Northeast Amateur and the 2004 Monroe Invitational. He was a member of the 2004 Palmer Cup team and he was fifth at the 2005 Azalea.
Overton was a semifinalist at the 2004 Amateur and the runner-up at the 2004 Porter Cup. A recent graduate of Indiana University, he won 2005 Player of the Year honors in the Big Ten Conference, where he took the individual title.
Reifers came on strong this summer, winning the Northeast Amateur and finishing in the top-10 at the Sunnehanna Amateur and the Monroe Invitational in a three-week stretch. A senior at Wake Forest University, Reifers also won the 2004 Monroe, was a semifinalist at the 2004 North and South Amateur and qualified for the 2004 U.S. Amateur.
Thompson, a four-time All-American for Georgia Tech, had his best showing with a runner-up finish at the 2005 Sunnehanna. In 2004, he was third at the Sunnehanna and fourth at the Porter Cup. He has qualified for five U.S. Amateurs since 1999. He reached the third round of match play in 2004.
MEET THE 2005 U.S. TEAM – The U.S. team, captained by Bob Lewis, 61, of Pepper Pike, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, consists of the following players:
Player Name Age (birth date) Hometown
Matthew Every 22 (12/4/83) Daytona Beach, Fla.
Anthony Kim 20 (6/19/85) LaQuinta, Calif.
Brian Harman 18 (1/19/87) Savannah, Ga.
John Holmes 23 (4/26/82) Campbellsville, Ky.
Billy Hurley 23 (6/9/82) Leesburg, Va.
Jeff Overton 22 (5/28/83) Evansville, Ind.
Michael Putnam 22 (6/1/83) Tacoma, Wash.
Kyle Reifers 22 (10/13/83) Dublin, Ohio
Nicholas Thompson 22 (12/25/82) Coral Springs, Fla.
Lee Williams 24 (12/27/81) Alexander City, Ala.
Bob Lewis 61 Pepper Pike, Ohio
MEET THE 2005 GREAT BRITAIN/IRELAND TEAM – The GB&I team, captained by Garth McGimpsey, 50, of Bangor, Ireland, consists of the following players:
Player Name Age (birth date) Hometown
Rhys Davies 20 (5/28/85) Glamorgan, Wales
Robert Dinwiddie 22 (12/12/82) Barnard Castle, England
Nigel Edwards 37 (8/9/68) Caerphilly, Wales
Oliver Fisher 16 (9/13/88) Chigwell, England
Gary Lockerbie 22 (11/15/82) Penrith, England
Brian McElhinney 22 (9/17/82) Donegal, Ireland
Richie Ramsay 22 (6/15/83) Aberdeen, Scotland
Matthew Richardson 20 (12/5/84) Ickenham, England
Lloyd Saltman 19 (9/10/85) Gorebridge, Scotland
Gary Wolstenholme 44 (8/21/60) Market Harborough, England
Garth McGimpsey 50 Bangor, Ireland