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The Walker Cup And Mid-Amateurs: A Special Bond

SEA ISLAND, GEORGIA | It was just a year ago when the USGA announced that at least two mid-amateurs would be selected for the 2013 Walker Cup team that would try to win back the cup at the National Golf Links in September. Said the USGA’s Tom O’Toole at the time, “In proposing the Walker Cup in 1921, George Herbert Walker’s original intent was to have a competition that fostered international goodwill between the USGA and the R&A. Mid-amateurs, who are seasoned players, are likely to bring a unique perspective to a team and demonstrate, as well as appreciate, the characteristics of leadership and generosity of spirit that are central to the Walker Cup. It is the positive influence mid-amateurs will have on the Walker Cup experience and our strong commitment to amateur golf that causes us to reach this determination.” Although a popular decision in the mid-amateur community, it was by no means universally welcomed. Some felt that winning was paramount and these two spots should go to collegiate kids; according to this line of reasoning, no matter who the two kids were, they were certain to be more talented than any two mids the USGA selected. Others felt that leaving two deserving schoolboys off the team in favor of mid-amateurs somehow wasn’t fair to the kids. Nonetheless, four-time U.S. Mid- Amateur champion Nathan Smith, a two-time Walker Cup team member, and Todd White, a Walker Cup novice, were selected to play for Captain Jim Holtgrieve.


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