Walker Cup Starts Saturday for Cal Trio
Southampton, N.Y. – The 44th Walker Cup match will feature three Cal golfers on the USA Team when the Americans take on Great Britain and Ireland 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 1-4 p.m. PT.
Former Cal golfer Max Homa, who completed his collegiate eligibility in 2012-13, is on the squad along with current team members from the top-ranked Golden Bears in senior Michael Weaver and junior Michael Kim. The trio comprise the first three Cal players to ever by chosen for the Walker Cup and are among 10 amateurs who will make up the 2013 USA team.
All three will play in singles matches Saturday with Homa facing Max Orrin (10:11 a.m. PT), Kim matching up against Callum Shinkwin (10:22 a.m. PT) and Weaver taking on Matthew Fitzpatrick (10:55 a.m. PT).
Weaver will also play along with Todd White in a foursome match against Garrick Porteous and Rhys Pugh (4:45 a.m. PT).
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. Kim finished 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, while he was the runner-up at the U.S. Amateur Links Public Links Championship in July.
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 and leading wire to wire. 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. He also played as an amateur in the Mylan Classic on the Web.com Tour.
Weaver was a first-team PING Division I All-American at Cal during the 2012-13 collegiate season and a second-team All-American selection according to Golfweek. He also picked up PING Division I All-West Region and first-team All-Pac-12 honors. Weaver won his first collegiate tournament at the 2013 NCAA Pullman Regional when he was the co-individual medalist and had six top-five and seven top-10 finishes, including four top-five finishes in his last six events among which was a second-place showing at the Pac-12 Championship. Weaver posted a 70.92 scoring average over 37 stroke-play rounds. During the season, he became Cal's first current golfer to ever play in the Masters and was also one of a school-record three Bears that participated in the U.S. Open along with Kim and Homa, where he made the cut and finished 64th. Weaver received an exemption to the U.S. Open with the same 2012 U.S. Amateur runner up showing that got him an invitation to the Masters. Weaver was also a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar as selected by the Golf Coaches Association of America and an honorable mention Pac-12 All-Academic choice in 2012-13. In the summer of 2013, he made the first round of match play at the U.S. Amateur.
All three Cal golfers on the 2013 USA Walker Cup team were instrumental in a 2012-13 Cal season that is considered by many as one of the finest in the history of college golf when the 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.
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 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 among the best teams ever comprised and included Ouimet, Jones, Charles “Chick” Evans and Jess Sweetser.