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First Five Chosen For Walker Cup Team

The USGA announced the selection of five of the 10 amateur players for the 2013 U.S. Walker Cup team. And although the announcement of the first wave came earlier than in previous years, there were no surprises. The players are Max Homa, 22, of Valencia, Calif.; Michael Kim, 20, of Del Mar, Calif.; Patrick Rodgers, 21, of Avon, Ind.; Justin Thomas, 20, of Goshen, Ky.; and Cory Whitsett, 21, of Houston. All five players are in the top 15 of the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Rodgers is a veteran of Walker Cup play, having played for captain Jim Holtgrieve in 2011 at Royal Aberdeen. Kim and Homa were teammates at the University of California, while Whitsett and Thomas are teammates at NCAA champion Alabama. Thomas is likely to turn pro immediately after the matches in September. The final five players will be named later this summer, following the conclusion of the U.S. Amateur in August at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. Essentially, several amateurs are playing for just two of those spots, as two are reserved for mid-amateurs and one must be held back for a possible U.S. Amateur winner. Most of the first five were in action last week, along with some of the remaining hopefuls. Thomas grabbed a T5 finish at the Southern Amateur when he shot a final-round 8-under 64. Whitsett finished T20 at the Southern, while Michael Weaver, perhaps needing one more strong outing to claim a spot on the team, was in contention early before fading in the final 36 and finishing 14th. Bobby Wyatt never challenged and finished T27. Kim posted another strong USGA performance, advancing to the final of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship before falling to Jordan Niebrugge, 1 down, in a tense 36-hole match. Meanwhile, mid-amateur Kevin Marsh tried to get into the Walker Cup discussion at the Southern, opening with two sub-70 rounds and leading the tournament after 36 holes. However, he faded thereafter and finished T38. Mid-amateur contender Todd White failed in his effort to qualify for the U.S. Amateur, likely putting him at a disadvantage in the mid-am competition for a team berth. In 2012, White advanced to the round of 32 at the Amateur, but unless his number is called as an alternate, this week’s Porter Cup and the Western Amateur will be his last opportunities to impress the USGA International Team Selection Committee.


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