Team USA holds Walker Cup Practice Session
14 Dec 2016
by Sam Dostaler of AmateurGolf.com

see also: The Walker Cup, Cypress Point Club, Maverick McNealy Rankings

LOS ANGELES, CA (December 14, 2016) -- The goal for the 10 members of the Team USA 2017 Walker Cup squad is a simple one: win back the cup. On Wednesday 16 Team USA hopefuls will be onsite at host course Los Angeles Country Club for a Walker Cup practice session. When the biennial event was last played in 2015 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club host Great Britain and Ireland won by a 16.5-9.5 tally.

1999 Walker Cup team member and two-time U.S. Mid- Amateur winner John “Spider” Miller is back for his second spin as Team USA captain and he will be charged with the task of defending home soil for the fourth consecutive time. The last time that GB&I went on the road and were victorious stateside was in 2001 when they won 15-9 at Ocean Forest Golf Club.

Here is a look at the 16 players that will be heading to sunny Southern California at the end of the week with the hopes of being back and competing for the ultimate prize on September 9-10 of next year:

Dawson Armstrong A junior at Lipscomb, Armstrong had a monster summer in 2015 winning the Western Amateur and Dogwood Invitational. During the summer of 2016 Armstrong reached the Round of 32 at the U.S. Mid-Amateur, finished tied for second at the Tennessee Open while also sharing second at the Dogwood Invitational.
Sean Crocker Born in Zimbabwe but living in the states since 2002, Crocker is a junior at USC and is coming off a strong summer that included a win at the Monroe Invitational and four other top-5 Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking finishes. Crocker earned All-American honors in 2015 and he is a two-time All-Pac 12 performer.
Brad Dalke The Oklahoma sophomore showed his mettle in major competition when he made it to the title match of the U.S. Amateur before falling to Curtis Luck.
Doug Ghim Now a junior, Ghim has been a stalwart in the Texas lineup since his arrival in Austin. During his first two seasons Ghim has twice been named to the All- Big 12 team and in 2016 he was a Jack Nicklaus Award semifinalist. Ghim has team experience after playing on the 2016 Palmer Cup team.
Gavin Hall Playing his final season for the Longhorns, Hall has been named to the All-Big 12 team each of the last two seasons and in 2016, like his teammate Ghim, he was a semifinalist for the Jack Nicklaus Award. During his junior year he medaled on two occasions and over the summer he finished second at the Porter Cup.
Stewart Hagestad Hagestad is of course the U.S. Mid-Amateur champion after his remarkable rally in September from four holes down with six holes to play. The former USC Trojan is also a member of Los Angeles Country Club, something that could work in his favor.
Scott Harvey 2016 was another outstanding year for Harvey who won the George C. Thomas Invitational at Los Angeles Country Club. Harvey nearly won his second U.S. Mid-Amateur title until he fell victim to the Hagestad rally. With a third place finish at the Porter Cup and a trip to match play at the U.S. Amateur, Harvey has once more shown that he can play with the college kids, something that will most likely work in his favor come selection time. Harvey was a member of the 2015 Walker Cup team.
Nick Hardy Hardy is in the midst of his junior year at Illinois and it has already been a career to envy. Last summer Hardy played in his second U.S. Open (15 and 16) after earning his ticket through qualifying. He was the 2015 Big Ten Freshman of the Year thanks in part to sharing medalist honors at the conference championship.
Rico Hoey Three-times an All-American and three-times an All-Pac 12 first teamer, the USC senior already has a win this year, claiming the Gifford Collegiate. During the the summer months Hoey won the Southern California Amateur with a historically low 19-under tally and also competed on the 2016 Team USA Palmer Cup team.
Maverick McNealy McNealy, the top-ranked amateur in the World Amateur Golf Rankings is in search of his second Walker Cup appearance to go along with two Palmer Cup appearances. McNealy kicked off the first half of his senior season at Stanford with a win at the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational. The win gave McNealy 11 for his Cardinal career tying him with Tiger Woods and Patrick Rodgers for the all-time program mark.
Dylan Meyer Few players had a better summer than Meyer. The Illinois junior began the summer with a tie fourth at the Sunnehanna Amateur before kicking into high gear in August with a win at the Western Amateur and a quarterfinal run at the U.S. Amateur. In the Western and U.S Amateur Meyer squared off with Sean Crocker in two memorable matches, winning both.
Collin Morikawa Only a sophomore at Cal, Morikawa has started his career in fine form finishing inside the top-10 in nine of his 17 career events. He also claimed the 2015 Trans-Mississippi Championship, AGC 2016 Silicon Valley Amateur presented by Callaway Golf and the 2016 Sunnehanna Amateur.
John Oda A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Oda is a junior at UNLV where he has twice been named to the All-Mountain West team and honorable mention All-American list. During the fall season Oda captured medalist honors at John Pate Intercollegiate.
Scottie Scheffler The third member of the Texas Longhorns at the Walker Cup practice session, Scheffler is a junior who has had an impressive first two years of college. In 2015 he was the Phil Mickelson Freshman of the Year and the Big 12 Conference champion. Scheffler played in the U.S. Open at Oakmont this past June.
Jimmy Stanger 2016 has been a year filled with high profile finishes for Stanger, a senior at Virginia. Some of the more notable finishes included a win at the Southern Amateur and a run to the Round of 16 at the U.S. Amateur. More recently Stanger shared the medalist honors at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate.
Will Zalatoris The month of July on the amateur circuit belonged to Will Zalatoris. First he won the Trans-Mississippi Championship and then he followed it up with a victory at the Pacific Coast Amateur. Now a junior at Wake Forest, Zalatoris was named an honorable mention All- American for his work during the 2015-2016 season. In June Zalatoris played for Team USA in the Palmer Cup.

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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