Waterford Castle’s Kevin Phelan and The Island’s Gavin Moynihan have been selected to represent Great Britain and Ireland against the United States in the Walker Cup matches at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, New York from September 7-8.
Nigel Edwards’ ten-man team is dominated by England with newly crowned US Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick part of a seven-strong English contingent alongside the Irish duo and Welshman Rhys Pugh.
For the first time since 1949 and only the second time ever, there will no Scots in the side to defend the trophy Great Britain and Ireland won in dramatic fashion at Royal Aberdeen in 2011.
Edwards said: “We believe we have selected a strong team which includes some of the best amateur players in the world. The players have all competed at the highest levels of the amateur game and will relish the challenge of facing the Americans on their home soil.
“There will be some who are disappointed not to make the team but it is the job of the selectors to carefully consider the players available and select the strongest team they can. We are very much looking forward to what promises to be a great match next month.”
The GB&I team:
Matthew Fitzpatrick, 18, of Hallamshire, Yorkshire, England.
Nathan Kimsey, 20, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, England.
Gavin Moynihan, 18, The Island, Dublin, Ireland.
Max Orrin, 19, North Foreland, Kent, England.
Kevin Phelan, 22, Waterford Castle, County Waterford, Ireland.
Garrick Porteous, 23, Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland, England.
Rhys Pugh, 19, Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan, Wales.
Neil Raymond, 27, Corhampton, Hampshire, England.
Callum Shinkwin, 20, Moor Park, Hertfordshire, England.
Jordan Smith, 20, Bowood, Wiltshire, England.
Greg Eason, 21, Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire, England.
Ryan Evans, 26, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England.
Captain: Nigel Edwards, 45, Whitchurch, Cardiff, Wales.
2011 Royal Aberdeen, GB&I 14 USA 12
2009 Merion, USA 16 ½ GB&I 9 ½
2007 Royal County Down, GB&I 11 ½ USA 12 ½
Great Britain and Ireland
Fitzpatrick won the Silver Medal as the leading amateur at The Open Championship at Muirfield and became the first Englishman since 1911 to win the US Amateur Championship with a 4 and 3 victory over Australian Oliver Goss in the 36 hole final. The 2012 Boys Amateur Champion reached the final of the English Amateur Championship where he lost to Callum Shinkwin. Fitzpatrick will play collegiate golf at Northwestern University in Chicago from September.
Kimsey represented England in the 2012 Men’s Home Internationals and became the first English player in 15 years to win all six matches. This year, he finished tied third at the Brabazon Trophy, tied second at the St Andrews Links Trophy and also enjoyed top ten finishes in the Scottish Stroke Play Championship and the Lytham Trophy. He was a member of the winning English team at the European Men’s Team Championships in Denmark.
Moynihan became the youngest player to play in the Irish Open in June. The 2012 Irish Amateur Open Champion finished joint runner-up in this year’s event at Royal Dublin. The former Junior Ryder Cup player represented Ireland in the European Men’s Team Championships in Denmark. He represented Ireland in the recent Men’s Home Internationals at Ganton.
Orrin was a member of the winning England team at the European Men’s Team Championships in Denmark in July. He reached the semi-final of the Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports, where he is a member, and finished tied second in the St Andrews Links Trophy. Orrin reached the second round of the recent US Amateur Championship. He won the Titleist Footjoy Boys Order of Merit in 2012 as the leading English player.
Phelan played in his second US Open at Merion in June and made the cut finishing tied 62nd. Phelan is currently studying at North Florida State University. He won his first collegiate tournament earlier this year and played on the Palmer Cup team which lost to the USA at Wilmington Country Club, Delaware. He represented Ireland in the recent Men’s Home Internationals at Ganton.
Porteous won the Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports, Deal in June and secured a place in The Open Championship at Muirfield, a place in next year’s US Open at Pinehurst and a traditional invitation to the Masters. This year, he won the Scottish Stroke Play Championship at Southerness and was runner-up at the Welsh Amateur Open Stroke Play Championship. He was sixth in the European Nations Cup.
Pugh was a member of the victorious GB&I Walker Cup team in 2011, where he won all three of his matches. The Welshman played in this year’s Open Championship at Muirfield after securing a place by winning the 2012 European Amateur Championship in Dublin. Pugh also played in the Irish Open on the European Tour and won the Welsh Amateur Open Stroke Play Championship at Royal Porthcawl. He played in the recent US Amateur Championship where he reached the first round of match play. In 2009, at the age of 15, he became the youngest player to represent Wales at the Men’s Home Internationals.
Raymond won the St Andrews Links Trophy this year over the Old and Jubilee courses at St Andrews. He lost in the quarter final of the Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports to eventual champion Garrick Porteous. He performed well at the Brabazon and Lytham trophies with top 20 finishes in both events and was runner-up in the Spanish Amateur Championship in February. Raymond reached the quarter finals of the recent US Amateur Championship in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Shinkwin won the English Amateur Championship at Frilford Heath in August with a victory over Matthew Fitzpatrick in the 36-hole final. He made his England debut against France last year and was a member of the winning English team in the European Men’s Team Championships and the Men’s Home Internationals at Ganton. Shinkwin won the South American Amateur Championship in Colombia in January and finished tied second at the Scottish Stroke Play Championship.
Smith won the Brabazon Trophy in June by four shots from Ireland’s Brian Casey. A good season has seen him finish eighth in the St Andrews Links Trophy, tied ninth in the French Amateur Championship, tied fifth in the Spanish Amateur Championship and tied seventh in the Portuguese International Amateur Championships. Smith is currently ranked 17th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
United States of America
Max Homa, 22, of Valencia, Calif.
Homa won the Pac-12 Conference Championship in early May and was the individual medalist at the 2013 NCAA Men’s Division I Championship to close out his career at the University of California-Berkeley. In his senior year of 2012-13, he captained a team that won 11 tournaments. His individual honors include being named as a first-team All-American and to the All-Nicklaus Team, both awarded by the Golf Coaches Association of America. In June, he survived a playoff at sectional qualifying to make the field for the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, where he missed the cut by three strokes. Homa also advanced to the quarter finals of the 2010 U.S. Amateur.
Michael Kim, 20, of Del Mar, Calif.
Kim won four collegiate events in his sophomore year at the University of California-Berkeley and was honored as the 2012-13 Golfweek/Sagarin Player of the Year and the Pac-12 Conference Golfer of the Year. He was first-team All-American and named to the All-Nicklaus Team, Palmer Cup, All-West Region and All-Pac 12. He also won the 2013 Golfstat Cup for having the lowest adjusted scoring average entering the NCAA Championship. In May, he won the Jack Nicklaus Award as the NCAA Division I player of the year, and in June the Fred Haskins Award as the national collegiate player of the year as determined in voting by collegiate golfers, coaches and members of the national media. He was one of three finalists for the Ben Hogan Award presented annually to the top men’s NCAA Division I, II or III, NAIA or NJCAA college golfer. He finished as the low amateur by five strokes at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, tying for 17th place. He also tied for 38th in the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic in July.
Patrick Rodgers, 21, of Avon, Ind
Rodgers is a returning USA Walker Cup Team member, having competed at the 2011 Match at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland. Rodgers wrapped up his sophomore season at Stanford with three intercollegiate victories and six top-10 finishes, leading the Cardinal with a 70.88 stroke average. For the second consecutive year, he was named first-team All-American, first-team All-Pac 12 Conference, and was a Palmer Cup selection. He was also named to the All-Nicklaus Team this year. During the 2011-’12 college season, Rodgers produced two tournament wins and 10 top-10 finishes, was named to the All-Freshman Team, and was a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award. The 2011 Porter Cup champion, Rodgers was also a quarterfinalist at the 2011 U.S. Amateur, where he lost to eventual champion Kelly Kraft. He finished tied for 15th at the 2013 PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic.
Justin Thomas, 20, of Goshen, Ky.
In his sophomore season at the University of Alabama, Thomas was named as a second-team All-American and first-team All-Southeastern Conference with two wins and six top-10 finishes. In 2012, he was selected as a first-team All-American with four wins and nine top-10 finishes, and was a Palmer Cup selection in each of the past two years. Thomas played an integral part in Alabama winning the 2013 NCAA Division I National Championship, the first in the school’s history, as well as the 2013 SEC Championship. He also played for the victorious USA Team in the 2012 World Amateur Team Championship at Antalya, Turkey, where he finished tied for seventh. Thomas advanced to the semifinals at the 2012 U.S. Amateur, and was the runner-up at the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur. Thomas won both the 2012 Fred Haskins Award and the 2012 Jack Nicklaus Award as the nation’s top collegiate golfer, as well as the 2012 Phil Mickelson Award, for the outstanding freshman in Division I men’s golf. He won the 2012 Jones Cup, and finished tied for 30th in the 2013 PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship.
Cory Whitsett, 21, of Houston, Texas
Whitsett, who just completed his junior year at the University of Alabama, secured the clinching points for the Crimson Tide in its first-ever NCAA Division I National Championship victory. In 2013, he was selected as a first-team All-American and to the All-Nicklaus Team with three wins and eight top-10 finishes, and was the only player to win all three matches at the 2013 NCAA Championship. Whitsett continued his winning ways after the collegiate season, leading the USA to victory over Europe in June in the Palmer Cup, compiling a 3-0-1 record in the matches at Wilmington (Del.) Country Club. He then captured the prestigious Northeast Amateur with a 10-under-par 266 total at Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford, R.I., closing with a round of 63, the lowest final-round score by a winner in the tournament’s 52 years. Last year, Whitsett was named second-team All-American with two wins and five top-10 finishes. He is also the 2011 Patriot All-America winner and the 2007 U.S. Junior Amateur champion.
Jordan Niebrugge, 20, of Mequon, Wis.
Niebrugge, the 2013 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, defeated fellow Walker Cup teammate Michael Kim, 1 up, at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Va. The Oklahoma State University sophomore earned honorable mention All-America honors as a freshman after finishing runner-up in the Morris Williams Intercollegiate and in The Prestige at PGA West. In addition to the Public Links, he has won the 2013 Western Amateur, the 2013 Wisconsin State Amateur and the 2013 Wisconsin State Match Play championships. In 2011, Niebrugge became the youngest-ever winner of the Wisconsin State Open at age 18 years, 13 days. He competed in the 2013 U.S. Amateur, advancing to the first round of match play, where he was defeated by Seth Reeves, 22, of Duluth, Ga., 1 up. Niebrugge also competed in the 2009 and 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur Championships, advancing to the first and second round of match play, respectively. Niebrugge was named an honorable mention AJGA All-American in 2011 and tied for second at the 2011 Rolex Tournament of Champions.
Nathan Smith, 35, of Pittsburgh, Pa
Smith is a four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and holds the record for the most victories in the championship. He first won in 2003, becoming the youngest-ever champion at age 25. He won two consecutive Mid-Ams in 2009 and 2010, and then made history with his fourth win in 2012, breaking a tie with Jay Sigel, a fellow Pennsylvanian who won two U.S. Amateurs and competed on a USA-record nine Walker Cup Teams. Smith was a member of the 2009 and 2011 USA Walker Cup Teams, and was a member of the victorious USA squad at the 2010 Copa da las Americas in Argentina. He has competed in four consecutive U.S. Amateur Championships, from 2010-13, but has never qualified for match play. He earned four consecutive victories in the Western Pennsylvania Amateur, from 2007-2010. Smith won the Pennsylvania State Amateur in 2002 and 2009 and was runner-up in 2001, 2007 and 2008. Additionally, he finished runner-up at the 2002 North & South Amateur and the 2008 Northeast Amateur.
Michael Weaver, 22, of Fresno, Calif
Weaver was the runner-up in the 2012 U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills (Colo.) Country Club, losing to Steven Fox in 37 holes. The finish earned him an exemption into the 2013 Masters, where he missed the cut, and the 2013 U.S. Open, where he finished 64th. He competed in the 2013 U.S. Amateur and advanced to the first round of match play, where he was defeated by Greg Eason, 21, of England, 3 and 2. Weaver was selected to compete in the 2013 Palmer Cup, where he recorded 1.5 points to contribute to Team USA’s victory. In 2013, the fifth-year senior at the University of California-Berkeley was named first-team All-American, All-West Region and All-Pac-12 selection. He recorded his first collegiate win at the 2013 NCAA Pullman Regional and placed runner-up at the Pac-12 Championship. He redshirted the 2011-12 season, and was the only amateur to qualify for the TPC Stonebrae Championship on the Web.com Tour, where he missed the cut. He recorded a victory at the Alameda Commuters and placed runner-up at the Fresno City Championship. In his sophomore season (2010-11), he finished T8th at the 2011 NCAA Championships and was an honorable mention to the Pac-10 All-Academic team.
Todd White, 45, of Spartanburg, S.C.
White has competed in 11 USGA championships, including four U.S. Amateurs, two U.S. Mid-Amateurs, four USGA State Team Championships and one U.S. Open. His best finish in a U.S. Amateur was in 2003, when he advanced to the Round of 16 before falling to Jerry Courville, 4 and 3. His best finish in a U.S. Mid-Amateur was in 2012, when he lost in the semifinals to Garrett Rank, 1 up. In June, White posted a 4-under-par 65 in the final round of the 2013 Northeast Amateur to finish tied for fifth and earn low-mid-amateur honors, and in 2010, won the Palmetto Amateur. In 2004, he won the South Carolina Mid-Amateur and was runner-up at the Azalea Amateur. White played collegiate golf at Furman University in his home state and was inducted to the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. One year later, he was named the Carolinas Golf Association and the South Carolina Golf Association Player of the Year. White was also honored as the South Carolina Golf Association Player of the Year in 2010 and 2012. In 1990, he won the Northeast Amateur and the South Carolina Amateur, and he is a three-time South Carolina Match Play champion.
Bobby Wyatt, 21, of Mobile, Ala.
Wyatt competed in the 2013 U.S. Amateur, losing to Gavin Hall in the Round of 32. He was a member of the 2013 NCAA Division I National Championship-winning team at the University of Alabama, winning his championship match against Thomas Detry of Illinois, 6 and 5. He finished tied for 26th in the individual portion of the championship and was runner-up at the NCAA Regionals and the SEC Championships for the second consecutive year. He was named a first-team All-American for the 2012-13 season, his third consecutive All-America honor, having earned second-team honors for the 2011-12 season and honorable mention in 2010-11, his freshman year. Wyatt was also selected for the 2013 Palmer Cup, where he played under his collegiate coach, Jay Seawell. He had a 3-0-1 record, earning 3.5 points for the victorious USA team. He was the stroke-play medalist at the 2012 U.S. Amateur with a 36-hole score of 9-under 132, which tied the record for lowest stroke-play score. He advanced to the Round of 16 in match play, losing to teammate Justin Thomas, 1 up. Wyatt first gained acclaim by shooting a 57 at the 2010 Alabama State Junior Championship