- USGA photo
In a twist on their usual process, the USGA announced the next two Walker Cup captains on Wednesday, selecting two of the most decorated amateurs in the country to lead the team for the 2023 and 2025 matches.
and Nathan Smith
are former Walker Cuppers and USGA champions, and will be tasked with retaining the Walker Cup at two of the most inspiring venues in golf, St. Andrews and Cypress Point.
The USGA's announcement:
The USGA announced on Wednesday that Mike McCoy
, of Des Moines, Iowa, will captain the USA Team for the 2023 Walker Cup Match on the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland and Nathan Smith
, of Pittsburgh, Pa., will captain the USA Team for the 2025 Walker Cup Match at Cypress Point Club in Pebble Beach, Calif.
“Both Mike and Nathan have long, exceptional histories with the USGA and outstanding amateur golf resumes,” said Stu Francis
, USGA president. “Given the historic nature of the next two matches being staged at St. Andrews and Cypress Point, we wanted to give both of them the time to enjoy this leadership opportunity and plan their next few years accordingly. We congratulate each of them on an honor well deserved and look forward to watching them lead two talented USA Teams.”
Mike McCoy (USGA photo)
McCoy, 59, won the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship
, becoming the second-oldest champion in the event’s history at age 50. He has competed in 65 USGA championships, including 20 U.S. Amateurs, and was a member of the 2015 USA Walker Cup Team at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in England.
“I am humbled to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup Team,” said McCoy. “It will again be a privilege to be a part of the Walker Cup competition that I was so fortunate to be a part of in 2015. My experiences with the USGA, and the Walker Cup Match, have provided some of the most unforgettable weeks of my life, and I’m thrilled to build new memories with members of next year’s team. I look forward to the diligent preparation that will be required for the challenge of the Old Course.”
McCoy, who had twice reached the semifinals of the U.S. Mid-Am before coming through for victory in 2013 in his first USGA final, registered the third-highest margin of victory since the Mid-Amateur went to a 36-hole final in 2001. His 8-and-6 victory over Bill Williamson
on the Country Club of Birmingham’s West Course earned him a spot in the 2014 Masters Tournament, where McCoy became the second-oldest player to make his debut in event history.
McCoy was low amateur in both the 2014
U.S. Senior Opens, tying the record for lowest 72-hole score by an amateur (282) at Del Paso Country Club in 2015. Later that year, he won the prestigious Crane Cup
and Coleman Invitational
before becoming the third-oldest Walker Cup competitor in history at 52 years old.
An 11-time Iowa Player of the Year, McCoy was a collegiate golfer at Wichita State University and currently serves as president of the Trans-Mississippi Golf Association, one of the country’s oldest golf associations. McCoy works in the insurance industry and has four children with his wife, Tana: Nate, Megan, Danny and Erin, in addition to two stepsons, Cade and Corbin Nichol. Nate, who played collegiately at Iowa State, competed alongside Mike in the 2019 U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst, only the fifth known instance of a father-son combination playing in the same U.S. Amateur.
Nathan Smith (USGA photo)
Smith, 43, has won four U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships (2003, 2009
) as well as the inaugural 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship
, with partner Todd White
. He has competed in 48 USGA championships and played on three consecutive Walker Cup Teams (2009, 2011, 2013), earning the clinching point in the 2013 USA victory
at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y.
“Historically, I understand that there is no greater honor than being named captain of the USA Walker Cup Team,” said Smith. “I am ecstatic at the opportunity to lead this team at such a historic and storied venue. Providing the winning point for the USA during the 2013 Match is a memory I will never forget, and that accomplished feeling is something I'm focused on providing for the team in 2025.”
In the USA’s 2009 Walker Cup victory
at Merion Golf Club, Smith won two foursomes matches with partner Peter Uihlein
. His singles victory over GB&I’s Nathan Kimsey
provided the winning point in the USA’s 17-9 triumph
in 2013. Smith amassed a 3-4-1 record in his three Walker Cup Matches.
Smith was a Division III All-America player at Allegheny College and is one of the most decorated mid-amateurs in the country. His four U.S. Mid-Amateur victories are a championship record – one more than Jay Sigel, a fellow Pennsylvanian who competed in a USA-record nine Walker Cups. Smith first won in 2003, at Wilmington (Del.) Country Club, to become the youngest-ever champion at age 25. Smith won consecutive Mid-Amateurs, in 2009 at The Kiawah Island (S.C.) Club, and in 2010 at Atlantic Golf Club in Bridgehampton, N.Y., before making history with his fourth win in 2012, at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill., becoming only the 15th person to win the same USGA championship at least four times.
The Pittsburgh, Pa., native teamed up with 2013 Walker Cup teammate Todd White, of Spartanburg, S.C., for a victory in the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, capturing the inaugural title with a 7-and-5 victory over Greg Earnhardt
and Sherrill Britt
on The Olympic Club’s Lake Course in San Francisco, Calif.
The Walker Cup Match
is a 10-man amateur team competition between the USA and Great Britain and Ireland. The 49th Match will be contested Sept. 2-3, 2023, at St. Andrews
. The birthplace of golf has hosted eight previous Walker Cups, more than any other venue, most recently in 1975, when the USA defeated GB&I, 15½-8½, led by future U.S. Open champions Jerry Pate and Curtis Strange.
The 50th Match will be contested Sept. 6-7, 2025, at Cypress Point Club
, which has hosted only one USGA competition, the 1981 Walker Cup, won by the USA, 15-9. The USA leads the all-time series, 38-9-1.