Reflections on the 2013 Walker Cup:
Perhaps the only people more surprised at the outcome than the GB&I squad were the Americans. Fact is, the USA team came in as the underdog, and it came in limping. Nathan Smith had a below-average summer by his standards, and Michael Kim had developed an untimely case of the driver yips after finishing as low amateur at the U.S. Open. One player broke up with his girlfriend on the eve of the match, while Justin Thomas’ back began acting up early in the week of the competition.
Like Merion earlier this year, the National Golf Links of America was a revelation for a generation of golfers. Few in the impressive galleries, and even fewer of the global television audience, had ever laid eyes on the place, much less walked it. The course was majestic, in person and on television.
Say what you will about his politics and his place in history, former President George W. Bush demonstrated that at heart he is just a regular guy, and a serious golfer. In attendance Saturday with his wife, daughter, and grandchild, Bush stayed for hours, camping out on a golf cart at certain spots to watch each group go by. On one hole, he gave mid-amateur Todd White thumbs-up as White walked onto the green to mark his ball. White returned the signal. When White holed his putt to halve the hole, Bush yelled out, “That’s what I’m talking about,” and walked over to have a brief visit with him.