Team USA Walker Cup Practice Participants Announced
Maverick McNealy was a member of the 2015 Walker Cup team <br>(USGA Photo)
Maverick McNealy was a member of the 2015 Walker Cup team
(USGA Photo)

LOS ANGELES, CA (November 28, 2016) -- On Monday afternoon the USGA announced the 16 American players that will attend the December 14-18 practice session for the 2017 Walker Cup. Eventually the group will be whittled down to just 10, no small task. The current contingent of players is headlined by Stanford senior Maverick McNealy, the top- ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

The practice session will be held at Los Angeles Country Club were the 46th playing of the matches will be held next September 9-10. Team USA will be looking to win back the Cup after falling 16.5-9.5 to Great Britain and Ireland in 2015 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. Overall the Americans hold a commanding 35-9- 1 advantage.

The U.S. side will once more be captained by 1999 Walker Cup team member and two-time U.S. Mid- Amateur winner John “Spider” Miller.

Among the 16 players invited to the mid-December practice there are 14 collegiate players and two mid- amateurs. Along with McNealy, the college ranks are being represented by:

Dawson Armstrong (Lipscomb)
Sean Crocker (USC)
Brad Dalke (Oklahoma)
Doug Ghim (Texas)
Gavin Hall (Texas)
Nick Hardy (Illinois)
Rico Hoey (USC)
Dylan Meyer (Illinois)
Collin Morikawa (California)
John Oda (UNLV)
Scottie Scheffler (Texas)
Jimmy Stanger (Virginia)
Will Zalatoris (Wake Forest)

The two mid-amateur representatives are 2015 Walker Cup team member Scott Harvey and reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Stewart Hagestad.

“All 16 of these talented individuals have demonstrated they have the ability to compete at the highest levels of amateur golf,” said Tom Hough, chairman of the USGA’s International Team Selection Committee. “This practice session will provide Captain Miller the opportunity to get to know prospective members of his 2017 team in an informal setting at the venue that will host the competition.”

The five highest ranked Americans in the World Amateur Golf Rankings not to be invited to the practice session include junior player Noah Goodwin (7th), Washington's Corey Pereira (16th), Virginia's Derek Bard (26th), Penn State's Charles Huntzinger (37th) and Albama's Davis Shore (39th).

However, as recent history shows just because you aren't invited to the session it doesn't mean that you won't be a member of the team. In 2015 both Lee McCoy and Jordan Niebrugge made the team despite not attending the practice.

The process still has months to go and with the entire spring college season and summer tour still to come a lot can happen. Final choices will be made following next August's U.S. Amateur Championship at Riviera Country Club.

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.

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