By Ron Balicki
ERIN, Wis. - Led by newly crowned U.S.
Amateur champion Kelly Kraft, the USGA completed its
2011 U.S. Walker Cup team Sunday, naming
the final three players to complete
America’s 10-man squad.
Along with Kraft, of Denton, Texas, the
USGA selected Jordan Spieth of
Dallas and Blayne Barber of
Lake City, Fla.
Previously named to this year’s
American team were 2010 U.S. Amateur
champion Peter Uihlein, Patrick Cantlay, Russell
Henley, Harris English, Patrick Rodgers, Chris
Williams and Nathan Smith.
This squad will be out to give the U.S. its
fourth consecutive Walker Cup victory when it
takes on a similar group of amateurs from
Great Britain & Ireland, Sept. 10-11 at
Royal Aberdeen (Scotland) Golf Club.
Kraft, 22, secured his spot Sunday with his
2-up victory over Cantlay in the 36-hole final
at the U.S. Amateur Championship at Erin Hills
Golf Club. He recently completed his eligibility
at SMU where he was Conference USA
Freshman of the Year in 2008 and Player of the
Year in 2010 and an honorable mention All-
America this past season. He’s won four
college titles, two (2008 and 2011) Texas
State Amateurs, was runner-up last year at
the North & South Amateur and this
summer won the Trans-Miss Amateur.
“Winning this (U.S. Amateur) and
making the Walker Cup team is just amazing, a
dream come true,” said Kraft.
“I’m just really excited to be
going to Scotland and to beat those guys up.
It’s going to be great and what a way
to end the summer.”
Spieth, 18, joins Rodgers as a team
member who has yet to play a college event.
Spieth will be a freshman at Texas this fall and
Rodgers at Stanford. Spieth, who was a
quarterfinalist last week at the U.S. Am, is a
two-time (2009 and 2011) U.S. Junior Amateur
champion and made the cut twice in two
starts at PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson
Classic, tying for 16th in 2010. Earlier this year
he lost in a playoff at the Jones Cup and was a
quarterfinalist at the Western Amateur.
Barber, 21, who will be a junior at Auburn
this season, was a member of this
year’s Palmer Cup team (2-1-1). Before
transferring to Auburn, he was the Conference
USA player and freshman of the year and
second team All-America while at Central
Florida. This summer he was fifth at the
Southern Am and third at the Northeast Am
and was an alternate for the U.S. Open. In
2010, he advanced to the Sweet 16 at the
Western and North & South Amateurs and
had top-10 finishes at the Players, Terra
Cotta, Azalea and Jones Cup.