Five USGA champions are among the 16 players who have accepted invitations from the United States Golf Association’s International Team Selection Committee to participate in a practice session for the 2015 Walker Cup Match. The practice session will take place Dec. 17-20 at Frederica Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga.
The 45th Walker Cup Match will be contested Sept. 12-13, 2015, at Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England.
The following players will be participating: Charlie Danielson, of Osceola, Wis.; Bryson Dechambeau, of Clovis, Calif.; Doug Ghim, of Arlington Heights, Ill.; Scott Harvey, of Greensboro, N.C.; Rico Hoey, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Beau Hossler, of Mission Viejo, Calif.; Kyle Jones, of Snowflake, Ariz.; Denny McCarthy, of Rockville, Md.; Lee McCoy, of Clarkesville, Ga.; Mike McCoy, of West Des Moines, Iowa; Maverick McNealy, of Portola Valley, Calif.; Byron Meth, of San Diego, Calif.; Robby Shelton, of Wilmer, Ala.; Nathan Smith, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Hunter Stewart, of Lexington, Ky.; and Will Zalatoris, of Plano, Texas.
Harvey, McCoy and Smith are mid-amateurs (25 years or older). The other invitees all currently compete at the collegiate level.
Harvey (2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur), McCoy (2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Meth (2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links), Smith (2003, 2009, 2010, 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur) and Zalatoris (2014 U.S. Junior Amateur) are USGA champions. Dechambeau, Hossler and McCarthy made up the winning USA Team for the 2014 World Amateur Team Championship, which defeated Canada by two strokes in Japan in September.
Smith is the only participant with previous Walker Cup Match experience, having competed for the USA in 2009, 2011 and 2013. Smith earned the clinching point in the USA’s 17-9 victory in 2013 at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y.
USA captain John “Spider” Miller, a Walker Cup competitor in 1999, emphasized that an invitation to the practice session does not guarantee selection to the 10-man team. He added that many players not included on the 16-man list for December will be in the mix during the final selection process.
“This is an insightful way to get to know these potential Walker Cup players in an informal setting and we have the opportunity to introduce them to the Match and its unique format,” said Miller. “The good people at Frederica Golf Club have offered us their fine facility to start on the process. We appreciate their hospitality.”
The Walker Cup Match is an international team competition that consists of four foursomes (alternate-shot) matches on both mornings of the two-day competition, with eight singles matches on the first afternoon and 10 singles matches on the final afternoon.
The USGA’s International Team Selection Committee chooses the USA Team. The R&A chooses the Great Britain and Ireland side. The GB&I Team will be captained by Nigel Edwards, of Wales, who competed in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007, and also served as captain in 2011 and 2013.
The USA leads the overall series, 35-8-1.