Cole Hammer (USGA photo)
Now that both the U.S. Women’s Amateur and the U.S. Amateur are complete, the three-person teams for the World Amateur Team Championship have been revealed. In an effort to make team-selection processes more transparent, the USGA has gone to an automatic qualifying system.
Women’s team members are Kristen Gillman
, 20, of Austin, Texas; Jennifer Kupcho
, 21, of Westminster, Colo.; and Lilia Vu
, 20, of Fountain Valley, Calif. All three were members of the victorious U.S. Curtis Cup team, a squad that ran away with the victory at the June matches on U.S. soil. They are also the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Gillman just won the U.S. Women’s Amateur a week ago.
As for the men, Cole Hammer
, 18, of Houston, Texas; Collin Morikawa
, 21, of La Canada Flintridge, Calif.; and Justin Suh
, 21, of San Jose, Calif., will make up a fierce trio.
Kupcho was named to the team earlier this month courtesy of her place atop the World Amateur Golf Ranking. A rising senior at Wake Forest University, she set a school record with a 70.6 scoring average this year. She is the reigning NCAA individual champion.
Gillman, a rising junior at the University of Alabama, has now won the Women’s Amateur two times, and the latest ended an impressive summer of golf on all levels. She went 5-0-0 for the U.S. at the Curtis Cup, and become just the third person to do that since the format was expanded to a three-day competition in 2008. She also won a professional event on the JLPGA, qualified for and made the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open, and helped lead her Alabama team to a runner-up at the NCAA Championship. Gillman was also a member of the 2014 USA Women’s World Amateur Team.
Vu, a rising senior at UCLA, finished third in this summer’s Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, as well as third in the Southern California Women’s Amateur Championship. Her junior season also featured four individual collegiate titles.
The men’s team includes the Nos. 2 and 3 players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking in Morikawa and Suh, and the No. 17 player in Hammer, who just advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur.
Morikawa, a senior at University of California, is coming off a junior season in which he won two collegiate individual titles and earned 11 Top-20 finishes en route to claiming First Team All-American honors. He also made the cut in the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.
Suh, a junior at USC, has competed in eight USGA championships and advanced to match play in three consecutive U.S. Amateurs. He won the Northeast Amateur in June.
As for Hammer, it’s hard to say there’s a player on a bigger hot streak in amateur golf right now. Hammer had an incredibly successful summer, winning the 2018 Western Amateur as well as advancing to the semifinals of the U.S. Junior. In the spring, he won the Azalea Invitational, as well as the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship with partner Garrett Barber. Hammer is about to enter his freshman season at Texas.
The matches take place Aug. 29-Sept. 1 for the women and Sept. 5-8 for the men at Carton House Golf Club near Dublin, Ireland. The U.S. last won the women’s championship in 1998 and has captured the Espirito Santo Trophy a record 13 times, while the U.S. won the men’s championship in 2014 and has captured the Eisenhower Trophy a record 15 times.
ABOUT THE Men's World Amateur Team
In 1958 the United States Golf Association
asked The R&A to join them in sponsoring
a world-wide amateur golf team event to
be played biennially in non-Walker Cup
years. Between 35 and 40 nations were
represented at the first meeting and
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
presented the trophy which bears his
name. The committee of the event was to
be known as the World Amateur Golf
Council and is now the International Golf
Federation. Teams of four players from
each country competed over 72 holes with
the leading three scores from each round
to count. The first competition was held
between 29 nations at St Andrews, with
Australia beating the United States in a
play-off. In 2002 the format changed to
teams of three with the two leading
scores to count.
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