St Andrews, Scotland – Chris Williams, of Moscow, Idaho, will receive the Mark H McCormack Medal as the leading player in the 2012 World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).
Williams, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship at Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado before being knocked out by eventual winner Steven Fox, finished ahead of a clutch of exciting young amateurs, including compatriots Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Bobby Wyatt, last year’s Asian Amateur Champion Hideki Matsuyama from Japan and Daan Huizing from the Netherlands, to win the medal.
The Mark H McCormack Medal is awarded annually by The R&A and the United States Golf Association (USGA) recognizing the leading player in the rankings following the European Amateur or the U.S. Amateur, whichever finishes last.
Williams’ performance at the U.S. Amateur capped an excellent season for the University of Washington senior who won the Western Amateur two weeks prior to the U.S. Amateur while also taking medalist honors there. His other victories are the NCAA Southwest Regional and Washington State Amateur. He was named first-team All-America by the Golf Coaches Association of America. The 21-year-old also went 3-1-0 for the USA in the Palmer Cup at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland.
In 2011, Williams won the Sahalee Amateur Players Championship and the Pacific Coast Amateur, was medalist at the Western Amateur and qualified for the U.S. Open at Congressional, where he missed the cut by two shots. He went 2-1-0 for the USA Walker Cup Team in a loss to Great Britain and Ireland at Royal Aberdeen in Scotland, and a second-team All-American in that collegiate season.
“It's a huge honor,” said Williams. “My teammate Nick Taylor won it a few years back. I never dreamed I'd be winning it three years later. My friend Patrick Cantlay won it last year. I never thought I'd be in the same circle as those guys. It's truly an honor. There's tons and tons of good players and to be on top of that ranking is something I definitely cherish."
The World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), which is supported by Rolex, was established in 2007 when the men’s ranking was launched. The Men’s WAGR encompasses more than 2,500 counting events, ranking more than 6,600 players representing 101 countries worldwide. The women’s ranking was launched in 2011.
Glen D. Nager, USGA President said: “Chris has had two terrific years of golf, which include some prominent tournament victories. His body of work in major events is to be congratulated and the USGA wishes him continued success in his career as an amateur and beyond.”
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said: “I would like to congratulate Chris on his outstanding performance to win this year’s medal. He has shown great consistency and already has valuable experience of some major events such as the U.S. Open and the Walker Cup. WAGR is becoming an increasingly important means of tracking the performance of amateur golfers throughout the world on a week by week basis.”
By winning the McCormack Medal, Williams earns exemptions into the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club and the 2013 British Open at Muirfield in Scotland.
The World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) was established in 2007 when the men’s ranking was launched. The women’s ranking went live in 2011 and WAGR, which is now administered in partnership with the United States Golf Association, has quickly become recognized as the world’s pre-eminent amateur golf ranking system, with numerous event organizers, including the USGA, using it as an entry criterion for their events. WAGR, which updates every Wednesday at noon GMT, encompasses a rolling 52-week period.
The Mark H McCormack Medal
The award is named after Mark H McCormack, the late founder of sports marketing company IMG and an avid supporter of amateur golf. The women’s Mark H McCormack Medal is awarded to the player ranked number one in the World Amateur Golf Ranking after the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. Established in 2007, the same award goes to the player leading the men’s ranking after the European Amateur Championship or U.S. Amateur Championship, whichever concludes the last.
Men’s: 2011 Patrick Cantlay (USA), 2010 Peter Uihlein (USA), 2009 Nick Taylor (CAN), 2008 Danny Lee (NZL), 2007 Colt Knost (USA).
Women’s: 2011 Lydia Ko (NZL), 2012 Lydia Ko (NZL).