FAR HILLS, N.J. – Cal golfers Max Homa and Michael Kim were named to the USA Walker Cup Team on Wednesday in an announcement made by the United States Golf Association live on Golf Channel. Kim and Homa are among the first five players selected of the 10 amateurs who will comprise the 2013 USA Walker Cup Team. Kim and Homa are also the first two Cal players to ever be selected for the Walker Cup.
“I’m honored and really excited to represent the USA,” Kim said. “Playing in the Walker Cup has been a goal of mine ever since I didn’t make it two years ago. I can’t wait until September.”
“It’s the biggest accomplishment of my life,” Homa said. “I can’t say I didn’t get a little emotional when I heard the news. This means everything to me.”
Homa has remained an amateur since wrapping up his collegiate career in June in hopes of being selected to the Walker Cup Team.
“This is a little extra special for Max,” head coach Steve Desimone said. “His decision to remain an amateur for this is clearly one of the greatest decisions of all time.”
Kim will be a junior at Cal during the upcoming 2013-14 season.
The 44th Walker Cup match against Great Britain and Ireland will be played 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. Golf Channel will televise two hours of action each day from 4-6 p.m. ET/1-4 p.m. PT.
“It’s an incredible honor for these two Cal golfers to be named to the Walker Cup Team,” Desimone said. “This is the highest level of amateur golf in the world and to be representing their country is even more special. They’ve worked hard for this and they’ve earned it. It’s a special recognition for them and also a great day for the Cal golf program.”
Kim was the consensus 2012-13 national player of the year in collegiate golf, winning the Golfweek/Sagarin Player of the Year, Haskins Award and Nicklaus Award, in addition to the Golfstat Cup for having the nation’s lowest adjusted stroke average heading into the NCAA Championship. All of the selections were the first ever by a Cal men’s golfer. In addition to the player of the year honors, Kim was on the All-Nicklaus team, a first-team PING Division I All-American selection, a PING Division I All-West Region pick and the Pac-12 Men's Golfer of the Year. Kim was also one of three finalists for The Ben Hogan Award given to the top amateur player among collegiate golfers. He was an individual medalist in 2012-13 a single-season school-record four times (Isleworth Collegiate Invitational, Arizona Intercollegiate, Fresno State Lexus Classic, Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters) and tied for second on two other occasions (Gopher Invitational, Western Intercollegiate) among his team-high seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes while finishing with a 70.14 stroke average by taking 3,016 shots over 43 rounds of stroke play. Following the collegiate campaign, Kim was the low amateur at the U.S. Open by tying for 17th place overall after qualifying for the event by being the co-medalist at a sectional qualifying tournament at Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, Ga. He also played as an amateur at the PGA TOUR’s Greenbrier Classic and tied for 38th.
Homa was also on the All-Nicklaus team and a first-team PING Division I All-American as well as an All-West Region selection and first-team All-Pac-12 choice who became Cal’s first-ever individual medalist at the NCAA Championship to earn the Arnold Palmer Award. He also became Cal’s third individual medalist at the Pac-12 Championship, breaking a course record at the North Course at Los Angeles Country Club with a first-round nine-under par 61. Homa was the nation's No. 1 player briefly in late September after tying for second in each of Cal's first two events during the fall of 2012. He was either first or second six times among his eight top-10 showings, finishing with a 70.56 scoring average over 43 rounds of stroke play. Following the collegiate season, Homa qualified for and played in the U.S. Open, reaching the event by advancing in a playoff at a sectional qualifying event at Big Canyon Country Club & Newport Beach Country Club in Newport Beach, Calif.
Both Kim and Homa were instrumental in Cal’s 2012-13 season that is considered by many as one of the finest in the history of college golf when the Golden Bears won 12 of 14 stroke-play tournaments to set a modern-era NCAA single-season record previously established with the 10 victories recorded by the 1985-86 Oklahoma State team. Cal was ranked No. 1 in the final 2012-13 team rankings by both Golfweek and Golfstat despite losing to Illinois in the match-play semifinals of the NCAA Championship.
Kim and Homa were both instrumental to Cal’s 2012-13 season that is considered one of the finest in the history of college golf. Cal won 12 of 14 stroke-play tournaments to set a modern-era NCAA single-season win record previously established with the 10 victories recorded by the 1985-86 Oklahoma State team. Cal was ranked No. 1 in the final 2012-13 team rankings by both Golfweek and Golfstat despite losing to Illinois in the match-play semifinals of the NCAA Championship.
The other three players selected Wednesday were Patrick Rodgers (Stanford), Justin Thomas (Alabama) and Cory Whitsett (Alabama)
“We are proud of the players who have been chosen to represent the USA when the Walker Cup returns to its historic birthplace,” said Thomas J. O’Toole Jr., USGA vice president and chairman of the USGA’s Championship Committee. “I have no doubt that every one of these young men is ready for the challenge presented by the team from Great Britain and Ireland. Each will perform with distinction and bring honor to a competition and a place that have a unique connection in the game’s history.”
“If you want the cream of the crop in American college golf you’ve got them,” Desimone said.
The final five players of the 2013 USA Walker Cup Team will be named later this summer following the conclusion of the 2013 U.S. Amateur, scheduled to be played Aug. 12-18 at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
The prestigious Walker Cup 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 taken part 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 GB&I.
The first USA Walker Cup Team in 1922, which defeated the GB&I side, 8-4, at the National Golf Links of America, is considered among the best teams ever and included Ouimet, Jones, Charles “Chick” Evans and Jess Sweetser.
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.
The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” charitable giving program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.
For more information about the USGA, visit usga.org.