FAR HILLS, N.J. (Aug. 23, 2012) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced the selection of three players to represent the USA at the 2012 World Amateur Team Championship, to be played Oct. 4-7 at Antalya Golf Club (PGA Sultan Course) and Cornelia Golf Club in Antalya, Turkey.
The players are: Steven Fox, 21, of Hendersonville, Tenn.; Justin Thomas, 19, of Goshen, Ky.; and Chris Williams, 21, of Moscow, Idaho.
Jim Vernon of Pasadena, Calif., who was the USGA president in 2008-2009 and served on the USGA Executive Committee for seven years, will be the captain of the USA Team.
“These three young men have shown that they are proven competitors and we salute them for the accomplishments that led to their selection,” Vernon said. “I am honored to be their captain and we look forward to representing the USA in Turkey in October.”
Fox, the 2012 U.S. Amateur champion, is a senior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Fox defeated Michael Weaver of Fresno, Calif., in 37 holes in the championship match of the U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. He advanced to the round of 16 at the 2012 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and is a two-time All-Southern Conference selection. He tied for fourth at the Southern Conference Championship and tied for third at the NCAA Bowling Green Regional. In 2011, Fox won the Tennessee Golf Association (TGA) Match Play Championship.
Thomas, a sophomore at the University of Alabama who is No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, advanced to the semifinals of the 2012 U.S. Amateur. He won the 2012 Haskins Award and the 2012 Jack Nicklaus Award, both of which recognize the nation’s top collegiate golfer, as well as the 2012 Phil Mickelson Award, as the outstanding freshman in Division I men’s golf. Thomas won four college tournaments during the 2011-12 season, including the 2012 NCAA Athens Regional, and was named a first-team All-American. Thomas won the 2012 Jones Cup and was also the runner-up at the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Egypt Valley Country Club in Ada, Mich.
Williams, who holds the No. 1 position in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, was a quarterfinalist at the 2012 U.S. Amateur, and a member of the USA Team at the 2011 Walker Cup Match. He won the 2012 Western Amateur, while also earning stroke-play medalist honors there in 2011 and 2012. The University of Washington senior earned 2012 first-team All-American honors, winning two tournaments in 2011-12, including the NCAA Southwest Regional. Williams won the 2011 Sahalee Players Championship and the 2011 Pacific Coast Amateur. He also played in the 2011 U.S. Open, missing the cut by two strokes and he was a quarterfinalist at the 2010 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
The alternates, in order, are: Patrick Rodgers, 20, of Avon, Ind., and Bobby Wyatt, 20, of Mobile, Ala.
A record 72 teams have entered the 2012 World Amateur Team Championship. The biennial competition has been played since 1958, with the winner taking home the Eisenhower Trophy. France won the 2010 title in Buenos Aires, Argentina, by four strokes over Denmark and five over the USA. The USA last won the championship in 2004, and has captured the trophy a record 13 times.
The World Amateur Team title is determined by four days of stroke play. A country may field a team of two or three players. In each round, the total of the two lowest scores constitutes the team score for the round. The four-day total is the team's score for the championship.
The championship is played in conjunction with the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship, which will be played Sept. 27-30 at Gloria Golf Club (Old and New Courses), also in Antalya. The Turkish Golf Federation will serve as host of the 2012 championships.
The World Amateur Team Championships are conducted by the International Golf Federation, which was founded in 1958 to encourage the international development of the game and to employ golf as a vehicle to foster friendship and sportsmanship. The IGF, the International Olympic Committee’s international federation for golf, comprises the national governing bodies of golf in more than 125 countries, and it will conduct the golf competition at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
USA Team Member Bios
Steven Fox, 21, of Hendersonville, Tenn.
Fox, the 2012 U.S. Amateur champion, is a senior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He advanced to match play as the No. 63 seed in a 17-for-14 playoff and defeated Michael Weaver in 37 holes in the championship match at Cherry Hills Country Club, rallying from two down with two holes to play. With his victory, he moved from 127 to No. 18 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He advanced to the round of 16 at the 2012 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.
Fox is a two-time All-Southern Conference selection who made the conference All-Freshman team in 2010. He had four top 10s during his junior season, including a tie for third at the NCAA Bowling Green Regional and a tie for fourth at the Southern Conference Championship.
In 2011, Fox won the Tennessee Golf Association (TGA) Match Play Championship. A year earlier, he was a semifinalist in the TGA Match Play Championship. In 2009, he finished tied for second at the Tennessee State Open.
At the U.S. Amateur, Fox advanced to match play through a 17-for-14 playoff and won his first match, 3 and 2, over Jeff Osberg of Philadelphia, Pa. In order, he then defeated Douglas Hanzel of Savannah, Ga., 3 and 2; Zack Munroe of Charlotte, N.C., 2 up; Chris Williams of Moscow, Idaho, 3 and 2; and Brandon Hagy of Westlake Village, Calif., 2 up, in the semifinals before his match with Weaver.
Fox is the son of Maureen and Alan Fox. He has one older sister, Ashley, and one younger sister, Kristen. Fox was born Jan. 14, 1991, in Greenville, S.C.
Justin Thomas, 19, Goshen, Ky.
Thomas, who advanced to the semifinals of the 2012 U.S. Amateur, had a stellar freshman year at the University of Alabama, winning the 2012 Haskins Award and the 2012 Jack Nicklaus Award, both of which recognize the nation’s top collegiate golfer, as well as the 2012 Phil Mickelson Award, for the most outstanding freshman in Division I men’s golf. The No. 2 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, he was named a first-team All-American.
The Southeastern Conference Player and Freshman of the Year, Thomas won the 2012 Puerto Rico Classic, 2012 SEC Championships and 2012 NCAA Athens Regional, as well as the 2011 Carpet Capital Collegiate, the first college event that he played in. He was a member of Alabama’s runner-up team at the 2012 NCAA Division I men’s golf championship. A member of the 2012 USA Palmer Cup team, he finished in the top 10 in nine of 12 events for the Crimson Tide. He also won the 2012 Jones Cup.
He is the third-youngest player to make a PGA Tour cut at the 2009 Wyndham Championship at the age of 16 years, 3 months and 24 days. He played in the 2012 PGA Tour Greenbrier Classic, finishing tied for 46th.
Thomas was the runner-up at the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Egypt Valley Country Club. He made it to the round of 32 at the 2010 and 2011 U.S. Amateurs.
Thomas is the son of Janice and Mike Thomas. He was born April 29, 1993, in Goshen, Ky.
Chris Williams, 21, Moscow, Idaho
Williams, a senior at the University of Washington and a member of the 2011 USA Walker Cup Team, won the 2012 Western Amateur, while also earning stroke-play medalist honors there in 2011 and 2012. He also won the 2012 NCAA Southwest Regional and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship. He is currently No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
In 2012, he earned first-team All-America honors and was a first-team all-Pacific-12 Conference selection. In 2011, he earned second-team All-America honors as well as all-Pac-10 honors. He was a second-team all-Pac-10 choice in 2010.
Among his other amateur tournament victories are the 2011 Sahalee Players Championship, the 2011 Pacific Coast Amateur, the 2011 Duck Invitational, the 2011 Bandon Dunes Collegiate, the 2010 Arizona State Thunderbird, and the 2010 Battle of the Beach. He was second at the 2010 NCAA West Regional with a final-round 65.
Williams played in the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club, missing the cut by two strokes. He lost in the quarterfinals of the 2010 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship to eventual champion Lion Kim.
In 2010, he won the Phil Mickelson Award as the NCAA Freshman of the Year and was Pac-10 Freshman of the Year while earning third-team All-America honors. He was a member of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 USA Palmer Cup teams.
Williams is the son of Linda and Varnel Williams and was born June 21, 1991. He has two brothers: Pete, who was a professional golfer in 2006-2008, and Jeff, who played ice hockey at the University of Idaho, and a sister, Julie.