Following are biographies of each of the five players chosen on Sunday by the USGA’s International Team Selection Committee:
Harvey won the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur by defeating Brad Nurski in the final, which earned him an invitation to the 2015 Masters, where he missed the cut. He and partner Todd Mitchell reached the semifinals of the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball at The Olympic Club. He won the 2015 Gasparilla Invitational, advanced to the match-play quarterfinals in the 2015 Japan Amateur and tied for sixth in the Porter Cup earlier this month. Harvey, who is a property manager, won the 2015 South American Amateur, in Lima, Peru, by two strokes. He attended the University of West Florida and High Point University. He won the Carolinas Player of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012. Harvey has played in 17 USGA championships, including five U.S. Amateurs. Harvey’s late father, Bill, who taught him the game, played in 18 U.S. Amateur Championships.
McCarthy, who recently completed his senior season at the University of Virginia, earned All-America honors for the third year in a row and became the first Virginia player to be chosen All-Atlantic Coast Conference four times. McCarthy tied for 42nd in the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. At the 2014 World Amateur Team Championship in Japan, he finished fifth in the individual scoring at 19-under-par 267 to lead the USA to the gold medal. He shot a final-round 64. He won the 2015 Porter Cup by defeating Carter Jenkins on the first playoff hole after they tied at 11-under 269 for 72 holes. In 2014, he finished sixth as an individual at the NCAA Championships. He has played in seven consecutive U.S. Amateurs, advancing to the semifinals in 2014 and to the Round of 32 in 2015.
McCoy was low amateur in both the 2014 and 2015 U.S. Senior Opens, tying the record for lowest 72-hole score by an amateur (282) in 2015. McCoy won the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur, becoming the second-oldest champion at age 50. He played in the 2014 Masters, where he missed the cut. He advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Mid-Amateur in 2005 and 2008. In 2015, he won the Crane Cup and the Coleman Invitational. A 10-time Iowa Player of the Year, McCoy works in the insurance business and is an Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member (2011). A collegiate golfer at Wichita State University, he has played in 45 USGA championships, including 16 U.S. Amateurs. He has four children, one of whom, Nate, plays professional golf.
Niebrugge, who was a member of the winning 2013 USA Walker Cup Team, tied for sixth in the 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews. He won the silver medal and posted the lowest score (11-under 277) by an amateur in the championship’s 144 years. In 2015, he was a quarterfinalist in the Western Amateur. Niebrugge, a rising senior at Oklahoma State University, won the East/New Haven NCAA Regional with a score of 203 and was an honorable mention All-America choice. Chosen All-Big 12 Conference for the third consecutive year, he had a stellar 2013 campaign, winning the U.S. Amateur Public Links, Western Amateur, Wisconsin State Amateur and Wisconsin State Match Play. As the Public Links champion, he played in the 2014 Masters, where he missed the cut. He also tied for 27th in the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic in 2014. He has played in three U.S. Amateurs and seven USGA championships.
Shelton, who turns 20 on Aug. 25, is a rising junior at the University of Alabama, where he earned first-team All-America and first-team All-Southeastern Conference recognition for the second consecutive year. A semifinalist for the 2015 Ben Hogan Award, Shelton received the 2014 Phil Mickelson National Freshman of the Year Award and helped the Crimson Tide capture the 2014 NCAA Championship. He tied for third in the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship in July 2015, becoming the first amateur to post a top-three finish on Tour since Mickelson in 1991. He was the medalist in the 2015 Western Amateur, advancing to the semifinals. He was 4-0 in his matches in the 2015 Palmer Cup to help the USA defeat Europe. He has played in seven USGA championships, including three U.S. Amateurs. In 2015, he advanced to the Round of 16.
“It is an honor to be the captain for this group of talented men as we represent our country in the Walker Cup Match,” said John “Spider” Miller, captain of the USA Team, who won two U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships and played on the 1999 United States Walker Cup Team. “They are all very team-oriented and also committed to the spirit and tradition of the Match. I believe they will compete to their maximum but also develop friendships that will last for their entire careers in golf.”
The alternates are Matt NeSmith, 21, of North Augusta, S.C., and Scottie Scheffler, 19, of Dallas, Texas.
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, selected by The R&A. It is played over two days with 18 singles matches and eight foursomes (alternate-shot) matches. The USA leads the overall series, 35-8-1, and earned a 17-9 victory in the 2013 Walker Cup Match at National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y.
The first United States Walker Cup Team, which in 1922 defeated the GB&I side, 8-4, at the National Golf Links of America, is considered among the best teams ever and included Francis Ouimet, Bob Jones, Charles “Chick” Evans and Jess Sweetser. Many of the game’s greatest players have competed in the Walker Cup, including U.S. Open champions Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth for the USA and Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose for Great Britain and Ireland.