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Walker Cup Update

Inconclusive. That would be the best way to describe the outcome of the Porter Cup on the U.S. Walker Cup team selection process. As the week began, Michael Weaver, Bobby Wyatt, Mike Miller and Andrew Yun were battling for the last two amateur spots. All but Wyatt played the Porter Cup, but none made enough noise to really command the attention of captain Jim Holtgrieve, who was on the ground all week, and the USGA International Team Selection Committee. Miller posted the best finish of the bunch, shooting 1-over-par 281 to finish T26. Yun was a shot behind at 282, while Weaver finished at 5-over-par 285. As a result, Stanford-bound Jim Liu has emerged as a viable candidate. A 2012 practice-session invitee, Liu advanced to the semifinals of the British Amateur earlier this summer. While the Porter Cup was being played, Liu won the stroke-play medal at the U.S. Junior Amateur for the second consecutive year. The 2010 U.S. Junior champion and runner-up last year, Liu lost in the round of 32 last week. USGA performance does not go unnoticed in the team selection process. Another emerging candidate is Jordan Niebrugge, who followed up his U.S. Amateur Public Links win with a victory in the Wisconsin State Amateur. He is one of many contenders who need a strong performance at the Western Amateur in Arkansas this week. The mid-amateur race didn’t get much clarity, either. The three leading mid-am hopefuls – Nathan Smith, Mike McCoy and Todd White – were all at the Porter Cup, competing almost in a tournament within a tournament. White led the trio, carding a 4-over-par 284 but finishing well off the pace at T35. McCoy finished seven shots behind White at 11-over par, but his week wasn’t a total loss; he was the medalist at his 36-hole U.S. Amateur qualifier in Iowa. Smith surprised all with a poor outing, shooting 22-over par to finish 82nd. Nick Gilliam took low mid-amateur honors, finishing T17 and keeping his Walker Cup hopes alive. The mid-amateur chase also moves to the Western Amateur this week, where McCoy, White, and Gilliam will play. Nathan Smith will instead play in a nearby Tour event in Pennsylvania


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