The final three Walker Cup squad members
are Blayne Barber (top), Jordan Spieth and
ERIN, WISCONSIN |
The United States
Golf Association finalized the 2011
Walker Cup team Sunday night when it
announced that U.S. Amateur champion
, 2009 and 2011 U.S. Junior
, and Auburn
had been select-
ed to make the trip to Royal Aberdeen
for the match in September.
In Walker Cup years, the USGA has
made no secret that the U.S. Amateur
champion would make the team, pro-
vided that he met eligibility require-
ments. So it was no surprise that Kraft
was selected after he knocked off world
in the 36-hole final
match at Erin Hills earlier in the day.
Spieth, a freshman-to-be at the
University of Texas, played his way onto
the team with a late summer rush.
After winning the U.S. Junior for a sec-
ond time in July, Spieth advanced to the
quarterfinals at both the U.S. Amateur
and the Western Amateur in August.
Barber was a mild surprise pick,
considering that he was defeated in the
first round of match play at the Amateur,
and that he did not have a quality win
on the 2011 summer amateur circuit.
The USGA clearly looked at his two-year
playing record, and it more than likely
took team chemistry into consideration.
The affable Barber is well liked in the
American college game.
Previously named to this year’s
American team were Cantlay, 2010
U.S. Amateur champion
. Uihlein and Smith are veterans of
the winning 2009 team at Merion.
12 holes, but Russell, who Uihlein
labeled “the most underrated player
in college golf” won the next two holes
with a birdie and a par, and then parred
in to win.
Cantlay vs. Lewis (Cantlay won, 3 and 1)
in the third round.
It will be remembered as an after-
noon for the ages. And if it hadn’t been
for the intestinal fortitude and golf skill
of Cantlay, Friday afternoon’s matches
may well have been remembered as
“Massacre Friday.” The top four ranked
amateurs in the world teed off in the
quarterfinals, but only one would sur-
vive and advance to the semifinals.
The carnage began when
took out defending champion Uihlein,
2 and 1. Kraft blitzed world No. 4 Rodg-
ers, 6 and 4, and England’s
slipped past No. 2 Spieth, 1 up. Cantlay
pulled his second Houdini act of the week
by coming back from a 2-down deficit
through 16 holes against
Cantlay birdied 18 to pull even, and then
won the 19th hole with a par to advance.
Five of the 21 Canadians entered in
the U.S. Amateur advanced to match
play, including reigning Canadian
Sunil Jung of Korea by the USGA) went
the deepest, advancing to the round of
16 before falling to Stanford University
freshman Rodgers, 4 and 3. Fellow Team
first match before losing to American
were all eliminated
in the first round of match play.
England’s Senior, recently named
to the GB&I Walker Cup team, went the
deepest of the four GB&I golfers at the
U.S. Amateur, advancing to the semifi-
nals before losing to Kraft, 3 and 2. Lewis
made it to the quarterfinals before bow-
ing to Cantlay, 3 and 1, while Scotland’s
lost his first-round
match to youngster
, 5 and
3. Returning Walker Cup team member
did not advance from the
stroke-play qualifying, shooting 146 to
miss the cut by four shots.
Uihlein’s reign as national amateur
champion came to an end when he lost
to Russell in the quarterfinals. Uihlein,
bidding to become the first champion
to repeat, had won
nine consecutive matches before suc-
cumbing to Russell, a senior at Texas
A&M. Uihlein squared the match after
The upper half of the match play
draw was a murderer’s row of ama-
teur golf, and on paper seemed to be a
much tougher draw than the lower half.
World No. 1 Cantlay, defending champi-
on Uihlein, stroke-play medalist
, English sensation
and four other U.S. Walker Cup players
graced the upper half.
The surprise of the quarterfinals
was Buckley. While the other seven
players have traversed the globe
playing amateur golf this summer,
Buckley was working as an intern on
Wall Street, taking an early train into
Manhattan from his home each day.
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