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The Walker Cup: USA and GB&I Team Profiles
03 Aug 2005
see also: The Walker Cup, Los Angeles Country Club - North Course

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PLAYER PROFILES: USA

Matthew Every, 22, Daytona Beach, Fla. – Every qualified for the 2005 U.S. Open and took honors for low amateur, finishing tied for 28th after rounds of 75-73-73-70. His final round was tied for the fifth best of the day.

He earned first team All-America honors for 2004 and 2005 at the University of Florida. He will be a senior at Florida this fall.

Outside the college ranks, he was a member of the winning 2005 Palmer Cup team. He tied for 12th and finished third in the 2005 and 2004 Northeast Amateur respectively, and he has played in the 2004 U.S. Amateur and the last three U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships. He was an APL quarterfinalist in 2003.

He once shot 61 in a high school round in Florida, where he was an all-state selection his junior and senior seasons. He is a member of the National Honor Society.


Anthony Kim, 20, La Quinta, Calif. – Kim 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 where he never played beyond the 15th hole. One of his stroke play rounds was a 5-under-par 65, including a 30 on his second nine, tying an event record.

A first-team All-American at the University of Oklahoma where he will be a junior, Kim was the 2005 Player of the Year in the Big 12 Conference and won the individual Conference title in 2005, shooting three consecutive under-par rounds to win by six strokes. He was the Freshman of the Year in the Conference in 2004.

He won the 2004 Northeast Amateur and was 12th at the same event in 2005. He also played in the 2004 Amateur Public Links and the 2004 U.S. Amateur, reaching the second round of match play in both.

A four-time junior All-American, Kim was the 2001 California Junior Player of the Year. He won his first national event at age 13.


Brian Harman, 18, Savannah, Ga. – Harman stepped on the national stage by winning the 2003 U.S. Junior Amateur title at age 16. He kept the spotlight by winning the recent Players Amateur by six strokes.

Closer to home, the lefty Harman won the 2005 Georgia Amateur title, becoming the first golfer to win both the Georgia Junior (2002 and 2003) and Georgia Amateur crowns.

In addition to winning the Players Championship in 2005, Harman finished in the top-10 at this year’s Azelea, Northeast Amateur and Sunnehanna Amateur.

He is the youngest to be named to the USA team. He was the fourth golfer to ever win the American Junior Golf Association Player of the Year honors twice, joining Tracey Phillips, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. He was given a sponsor’s exemption to compete in the 2004 MCI Heritage PGA Tour event. He is an incoming freshman at the University of Georgia.


John Holmes, 23, Campbellsville, Ky. – Holmes’ steady play earned him a spot on the 2005 USA Walker Cup 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 and he was 12th at the 2005 Northeast Amateur. In 2004, he played on the USA Palmer Cup team and he reached the third round of match play at the U.S. Amateur.

Closer to home in 2004, Holmes won his second Kentucky State Amateur title in three years and won the Kentucky State Open. He shot team-leading scores during the final two rounds of match play to help Team USA to victory over Team Japan at the Collegiate Golf Championship challenge.

He qualified for the 2003 U.S. Open and was the stroke play medalist at the 2003 U.S. Amateur.

Holmes won the 1998 state high school title. He has overcome dyslexia since entering the University of Kentucky and now carries a 3.25 grade-point average and is a semester away from graduating.


Billy Hurley, 23, Leesburg, Va. – A 2004 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Hurley gained his place on the 2005 USA Walker Cup team with by winning the 2004 Byron Nelson Award as the top senior collegiate player and sportsman and by having four top-10 finishes in leading amateur events over a two-year period. He was runner-up at the 2005 Northeast Amateur and the 2004 Monroe Invitational.

He was a member of the 2004 Palmer Cup team. He was fifth at the 2005 Azalea and ninth at the 2004 Porter Cup. He also was 12th at the 2004 Northeast Amateur. Hurley also has won the last two Virginia State Amateur titles, taking the 2005 trophy home after a one-sided 9-and-8 win in which he took eight consecutive holes.

Upon graduation, Ensign Hurley served as a surface warfare officer aboard the U.S.S. Gettysburg in Florida and is currently assisting part-time in the Economics department at the Naval Academy.

While at Navy, he won the Thompson Trophy Cup, given to the midshipman who has done the most to promote athletics at the Academy. He was the 2004 Patriot League Player of the Year and was a four-time All-Conference selection.


Jeff Overton, 22, Evansville, Ind. – Overton won the Big Ten Conference individual title and tied the course record twice with rounds of 65 in the process, capping a senior season for Indiana University where he earned Player of the Year honors in the Conference. He also finished with a stroke average of 69.87.

Overton was a member of this year’s victorious Palmer Cup squad, captured the 2005 Lakewood Invitational and was tied for third at the Monroe Invitational, keeping the momentum going from 2004, when he was a semifinalist at the U.S. Amateur (losing to eventual champion Ryan Moore). Also in 2004, he finished second at the Porter Cup and sixth at the Sunnehanna.

A three-time all-state choice as a high school golfer, Overton led Evansville North High to the state title as a junior.


Michael Putnam, 22, Tacoma, Wash. – Putnam earned the 2005 Byron Nelson Award as the top senior college golfer and sportsman after concluding a season where he was a first-team All-American and runner-up in the NCAA Championship (lost in a three-hole playoff). He broke his own scoring record by averaging just 70.58 over 45 rounds, with 10 top-10 finishes.

In June, Putnam helped the USA to victory in the Palmer Cup, a college all-star team competition versus a collegiate team from Europe. Then he qualified for his first U.S. Open.

He was fourth at the 2004 NCAA Championship, won the 2004 Pacific Coast Amateur, and had top-10s at the 2004 Sunnehanna and the 2004 Northeast Amateur.

He combined golf with basketball at Life Christian Academy (high school) in Tacoma, Wash., where he scored more than 1,200 points. He carried a 3.96 grade-point average and was class salutarian .


Kyle Reifers, 21, Dublin, Ohio – Reifers came on strong this summer with his win over a talented field at the Northeast Amateur, where he posted all four rounds in the 60s. It was the end of a three-week stint that started with top-10 finishes at the Sunnehanna Amateur and the Monroe Invitational.

He also served notice early in 2004 by reaching the semifinals of the North & South Amateur. Also in 2004, he won the Monroe, reached the "sweet 16" at the Western Amateur and qualified for the U.S. Amateur.

Reifers is heading into his senior season at Wake Forest University, looking to improve upon his 2005 selection as a third-team All-American. Reifers led the Demon Deacons to the NCAA East Regional title.

Reifers was the MVP of his golf squad at Bishop Watterson High School, where he received the school’s leadership award as a senior. His father, Randy, played golf at DePauw University and is a member of the Ohio Golf Hall of Fame.


Nicholas Thompson, 22, Coral Springs, Fla. – Thompson is a four-time college All-American for Georgia Tech who was a second-team pick for 2005. He was a finalist for the Byron Nelson Award, given annually to a senior for accomplishment and sportsmanship.

He made his mark on the committee at the Sunnehanna Amateur, where he finished third in 2004 and second in 2005, losing in a playoff. He also won the 2005 Jones Cup and was fourth at the 2004 Porter Cup. He lost in the third round of the 2004 U.S. Amateur to Walker Cup teammate Jeff Overton. Thompson has already qualified for four Amateurs, with a fifth coming later this August. His first Amateur competition was in 1999 at Pebble Beach.

A recent college graduate, Thompson was a Dean’s List student. He concluded his college career with 35 rounds in the 60s and a best round of 65.


Lee Williams, 23, Alexander City, Ala. – Williams is a returning member to the USA Walker Cup squad, having been first selected in 2003. In 2003, Williams was 0-1-1 in foursomes and 0-0-1 in singles, halving his match on the last day with Nigel Edwards (again a member of the GB&I squad).

A recent graduate from Auburn University, Williams was a member of the victorious 2004 USA World Amateur Team that played in Puerto Rico. The highlight of his recent play is his eagle on the final hole of his sectional qualifier that earned him a berth in the 2005 U.S. Open.

He has played well in amateur events, too. In 2004, he was fourth at the Porter Cup, fifth at the Southern and sixth at the Cardinal. He was eighth at the 2005 Northeast Amateur.

The career scoring average record-holder at Auburn with his 72.38 mark, Williams plans to turn professional at the end of the summer season.


TO VIEW A PROFILE OF THE GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND TEAM (thanks to Jerry Maatman), CLICK HERE>
ABOUT THE The Walker Cup

The Walker Cup Match is a biennial 10-man amateur team competition between the USA and a team composed of players from Great Britain and Ireland and selected by The R&A. It is played over two days with 18 singles matches and eight foursomes (alternate-shot) matches.

The first United States Walker Cup Team, which in 1922 defeated the GB&I side, 8-4, at the National Golf Links of America, is considered among the best teams ever and included Francis Ouimet, Bob Jones, Charles “Chick” Evans and Jess Sweetser. Many of the game’s greatest players have taken part in Walker Cup competition, including U.S. Open champions Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth for the USA and Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose for Great Britain and Ireland.

The USA leads the overall series 35-8-1.

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