FAR HILLS, N.J. – The United States Golf Association, after a recommendation by its International Team Selection Committee, today announced the completion of the 2013 USA Walker Cup Team with the selection of five amateur golfers, who join five players previously named to the team roster. The newly named players are: Jordan Niebrugge, 20, of Mequon, Wis.; Nathan Smith, 35, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Michael Weaver, 22, of Fresno, Calif.; Todd White, 45, of Spartanburg, S.C.; and Bobby Wyatt, 21, of Mobile, Ala.
Brandon Hagy, 22, of Westlake Village, Calif.; and Sean Dale, 23, of Jacksonville, Fla., were named first and second alternates, respectively.
Previously, 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, Texas; were selected by the USGA to the 2013 USA Walker Cup Team.
The 10-player team representing the United States will compete in the 44th Walker Cup Match against Great Britain and Ireland, scheduled for Sept. 7-8 at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y., which is hosting the Match for the first time since it hosted the inaugural Walker Cup in 1922.
“These players are great additions to the USA Walker Cup Team and have a special opportunity to compete in international team competition when this prestigious event returns to its historic birthplace,” said Thomas J. O’Toole Jr., USGA vice president and chairman of the USGA’s Championship Committee. “We have assembled another outstanding team with the talent, experience and leadership to face the challenge presented by the team from Great Britain and Ireland. We know each will perform with excellence and bring honor to a competition and a place that have a unique connection to the game’s history.”
The newly selected team members are a talented group of collegiate players and USGA champions, including two seasoned mid-amateurs who bring the characteristics of leadership and generosity of spirit that are central to Walker Cup Team competition.
- Jordan Niebrugge, 20, of Mequon, Wis. – Niebrugge, the 2013 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, defeated fellow Walker Cup teammate Michael Kim, 1 up, at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Va. The Oklahoma State University sophomore earned honorable mention All-America honors as a freshman after finishing runner-up in the Morris Williams Intercollegiate and in The Prestige at PGA West. In addition to the Public Links, he has won the 2013 Western Amateur, the 2013 Wisconsin State Amateur and the 2013 Wisconsin State Match Play championships. In 2011, Niebrugge became the youngest-ever winner of the Wisconsin State Open at age 18 years, 13 days. He competed in the 2013 U.S. Amateur, advancing to the first round of match play, where he was defeated by Seth Reeves, 22, of Duluth, Ga., 1 up. Niebrugge also competed in the 2009 and 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur Championships, advancing to the first and second round of match play, respectively. Niebrugge was named an honorable mention AJGA All-American in 2011 and tied for second at the 2011 Rolex Tournament of Champions.
- Nathan Smith, 35, of Pittsburgh, Pa. – Smith is a four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and holds the record for the most victories in the championship. He first won in 2003, becoming the youngest-ever champion at age 25. He won two consecutive Mid-Ams in 2009 and 2010, and then made history with his fourth win in 2012, breaking a tie with Jay Sigel, a fellow Pennsylvanian who won two U.S. Amateurs and competed on a USA-record nine Walker Cup Teams. Smith was a member of the 2009 and 2011 USA Walker Cup Teams, and was a member of the victorious USA squad at the 2010 Copa da las Americas in Argentina. He has competed in four consecutive U.S. Amateur Championships, from 2010-13, but did not qualify for match play in that span. He earned four consecutive victories in the Western Pennsylvania Amateur, from 2007-2010. Smith won the Pennsylvania State Amateur in 2002 and 2009 and was runner-up in 2001, 2007 and 2008. Additionally, he finished runner-up at the 2002 North & South Amateur and the 2008 Northeast Amateur.
- Michael Weaver, 22, of Fresno, Calif. – Weaver was the runner-up in the 2012 U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills (Colo.) Country Club, losing to Steven Fox in 37 holes. The finish earned him an exemption into the 2013 Masters, where he missed the cut, and the 2013 U.S. Open, where he finished 64th. He competed in the 2013 U.S. Amateur and advanced to the first round of match play, where he was defeated by Greg Eason, 21, of England, 3 and 2. Weaver was selected to compete in the 2013 Palmer Cup, where he recorded 1.5 points to contribute to Team USA’s victory. In 2013, the fifth-year senior at the University of California-Berkeley was named first-team All-American, All-West Region and All-Pac-12 selection. He recorded his first collegiate win at the 2013 NCAA Pullman Regional and placed runner-up at the Pac-12 Championship. He redshirted the 2011-12 season, and was the only amateur to qualify for the TPC Stonebrae Championship on the Web.com Tour, where he missed the cut. He recorded a victory at the Alameda Commuters and placed runner-up at the Fresno City Championship. In his sophomore season (2010-11), he finished T8th at the 2011 NCAA Championships and was an honorable mention to the Pac-10 All-Academic team.
- Todd White, 45, of Spartanburg, S.C. – White has competed in 11 USGA championships, including four U.S. Amateurs, two U.S. Mid-Amateurs, four USGA State Team Championships and one U.S. Open. His best finish in a U.S. Amateur was in 2003, when he advanced to the Round of 16 before falling to Jerry Courville, 4 and 3. His best finish in a U.S. Mid-Amateur was in 2012, when he lost in the semifinals to Garrett Rank, 1 up. In June, White posted a 4-under-par 65 in the final round of the 2013 Northeast Amateur to finish tied for fifth and earn low-mid-amateur honors, and in 2010, won the Palmetto Amateur. In 2004, he won the South Carolina Mid-Amateur and was runner-up at the Azalea Amateur. White played collegiate golf at Furman University in his home state and was inducted to the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. One year later, he was named the Carolinas Golf Association and the South Carolina Golf Association Player of the Year. White was also honored as the South Carolina Golf Association Player of the Year in 2010 and 2012. In 1990, he won the Northeast Amateur and the South Carolina Amateur, and he is a three-time South Carolina Match Play champion.
- Bobby Wyatt, 21, of Mobile, Ala. – Wyatt competed in the 2013 U.S. Amateur, losing to Gavin Hall in the Round of 32. He was a member of the 2013 NCAA Division I National Championship-winning team at the University of Alabama, winning his championship match against Thomas Detry of Illinois, 6 and 5. He finished tied for 26th in the individual portion of the championship and was runner-up at the NCAA Regionals and the SEC Championships for the second consecutive year. He was named a first-team All-American for the 2012-13 season, his third consecutive All-America honor, having earned second-team honors for the 2011-12 season and honorable mention in 2010-11, his freshman year. Wyatt was also selected for the 2013 Palmer Cup, where he played under his collegiate coach, Jay Seawell. He had a 3-0-1 record, earning 3.5 points for the victorious USA team. He was the stroke-play medalist at the 2012 U.S. Amateur with a 36-hole score of 9-under 132, which tied the record for lowest stroke-play score. He advanced to the Round of 16 in match play, losing to teammate Justin Thomas, 1 up. Wyatt first gained acclaim by shooting a 57 at the 2010 Alabama State Junior Championship
“I’m just thrilled to have the full team in place, and excited by the team composition,” said Jim Holtgrieve, captain for the USA Team, whose stellar amateur career includes a winning record as a member of three victorious USA Walker Cup Teams and the captaincy of the USA Team at the 2011 Match at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland, which lost, 14-12, to the GB&I side. “I believe that the strength to any team, especially in Walker Cup competition, stems from experience, team chemistry and the leadership you have behind the ropes and in the locker room. And we have that in the strong team that has been assembled for the challenge that we will face next month at the National.”
The Walker Cup Match is a biennial 10-man amateur team competition between the USA and a team composed of players from Great Britain and Ireland. It is played over two days with 18 singles matches and eight foursomes (alternate-shot) matches. The USA leads the overall series, 34-8-1, and has not lost on American soil since the 2001 Match at Ocean Forest Golf Club in Sea Island, Ga.
Many of the game’s greatest players have participated in Walker Cup competition, including U.S. Open champions Francis Ouimet, Bob Jones, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods for the USA and Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose for Great Britain and Ireland.
The first USA Walker Cup Team in 1922, which defeated the Great Britain and Ireland team, 8-4, at the National Golf Links of America, is considered to be among the best Walker Cup teams ever comprised and included Ouimet, Jones, Charles “Chick” Evans and Jess Sweetser.