In its infancy, the East West Matches is maybe the best amateur golf event you’ve never heard of.
The second playing of the event is set to tee off this weekend, Nov. 4-6.
The brainchild of two-time USGA champion and former Walker Cup participant Scott Harvey, the East West Matches combines some of the best amateurs, mid-ams and senior amateurs in the United States. The Ryder Cup-style event features two amateur players, six senior amateurs and 10 mid-amateur players per side.
The matches are back at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas, where the inaugural Cup was won in dramatic fashion by the West in 2020. In fact, the man that clinched the winning half-point for the West, Patrick Christovich, is back to help the West defend their title.
Related: PREVIEW: East West Matches at Maridoe
Captained by 2005 U.S. Mid-Am champion, Kevin Marsh, the West has experience under pressure on its side. Returning Skip Berkmeyer, Derek Busby, Patrick Christovich, Brad Nurski and Robert Funk, the West is armed with a crew that went 9-9-1 and was a large part of the West’s monstrous 23-22 comeback win back in 2020.
In addition, the West has two amateur players ranked inside the top 110 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings — Pepperdine’s Derek Hitchner and Arizona State’s Luke Potter are ranked Nos. 105 and 38 in WAGR, respectively. The two should give a spark of energy to their mid-am and senior-am teammates.
On the East side, there’s a sense of hunger and redemption. The East is also returning five players from their 2020 team. A murderer’s row of amateur golf talent that had a combined 2020 record of 15-4-1 but left Maridoe empty-handed.
Joe Deraney, Jeronimo Esteve, Scott Harvey, Doug Hanzel and Bob Royak look to take down the West this year and stake claim to what they came so close to having two years ago. The strength of the East team lies in both seniors and young gun amateurs.
Both Hanzel and Royak went 4-0-0 in the 2020 Matches. Now they bolster their lineup even more with the addition of Golfweek’s No. 1 ranked senior amateur Rusty Strawn. Tried and true, the colts in the East’s stable of talent are Alabama’s Nick Dunlap and Tennessee’s Caleb Surratt.
Dunlap was Golfweek’s No. 1 ranked recruit in the 2022 class and the 2021 AJGA Boys Golfer of the Year. Surratt is currently ranked No. 15 in WAGR and is the 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up.
Who’s running the stable for the East, you ask? That would be two-time Walker Cup captain Nathaniel Crosby.
The East has brought out the big guns, but will they be able to redeem themselves after such a disappointing finish in 2020?
Time will tell and if we learned anything from the inaugural East West Matches, we know that anything can happen over the course of three days at Maridoe Golf Club.
by Brayden Conover , Golfweek
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2022 Team Rosters
Nathaniel Crosby, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Andrew Bailey, Cleveland, Ohio; Chip Brooke, Altamonte Springs, Fla.; Evan Beck, Virginia Beach, Va.; Mark Costanza, Morristown, N.J.; Joe Deraney, Tupelo, Miss.; Jeromino Esteve, Windermere, Fla.; Scott Harvey, Kernersville, N.C.; Matt Mattare, Jersey City, N.J.; Tug Maude, Atlanta, Ga.; Chad Wilfong, Charlotte, N.C.
Doug Hanzel, Savannah, Ga.; Steve Harwell, Mooresville, N.C.; Billy Mitchell, Atlanta, Ga.;
Bob Royak, Alpharetta, Ga.; Rusty Strawn, McDonough, Ga.; Matt Sughrue, Arlington, Va.
Caleb Surratt, Indian Trail, N.C. (University of Tennessee), Nick Dunlap, Huntsville, Ala. (University of Alabama)
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Kevin Marsh, Las Vegas, Nev.
Brady Exber, Las Vegas, Nev.
Jason Anthony, Fairfield, Calif.; Skip Berkmeyer, Town and Country, Mo.; Denny Bull, Norwalk, Iowa; Derek Busby, Ruston, La.; Patrick Christovich, New Orleans, La.; Nick Geyer, San Diego, Calif.; Colby Harwell, San Antonio, Texas; John Hunter, Spring, Texas; Brad Nurski, St. Joseph, Mo.; John Sawin, Pebble Beach, Calif.
Tommy Brennan, Covington, La.; Jon Brown, Adel, Iowa; Robert Funk, Canyon Lake, Calif.
Mike McCoy, Des Moines, Iowa; John McClure, Austin, Texas; Mike Rowley, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Luke Potter (Arizona State), Derek Hitchner, Minneapolis, Minn. (Pepperdine University)