Dec. 13, 2016
Charlottesville, Va. – Virginia senior golfer Jimmy Stanger (Tampa, Fla.) heads to California this week as one of 16 players invited by the USGA to participate in a practice session for the 2017 Walker Cup Match. The practice session will take place Dec. 14-18 at the Los Angeles Country Club, where the 46th Walker Cup will be played Sept. 9-10.
The biennial team competition features 10 male amateur golfers from the USA facing a team from Great Britain and Ireland. While GB&I currently holds the Cup following a resounding victory in 2015 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, the USA owns a 35-9-1 lead in the series, which began in 1922.
The 15 other invitees are Dawson Armstrong, 21, of Brentwood, Tenn.; Sean Crocker, 20, of Westlake Village, Calif.; Brad Dalke, 20, of Norman, Okla.; Doug Ghim, 20, of Arlington Heights, Ill.; Stewart Hagestad, 25, of Newport Beach, Calif.; Gavin Hall, 22, of Pittsford, N.Y.; Nick Hardy, 20, of Northbrook, Ill.; Scott Harvey, 38, of Greensboro, N.C.; Rico Hoey, 21, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Maverick McNealy, 21, of Portola Valley, Calif.; Dylan Meyer, 21, of Evansville, Ind.; Collin Morikawa, 19, of La CaÃƒÆ’Ã†’Â±ada, Calif.; John Oda, 20, of Honolulu, Hawaii; Scottie Scheffler, 20, of Dallas, Texas; and Will Zalatoris, 20, of Plano, Texas.
John “Spider” Miller, of Bloomington, Ind., a two-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and member of the 1999 USA Walker Cup Team, will captain the team for a second consecutive Match.
“All 16 of these talented individuals have demonstrated they have the ability to compete at the highest levels of amateur golf,” said Tom Hough, chairman of the USGA’s International Team Selection Committee. “This practice session will provide Captain Miller the opportunity to get to know prospective members of his 2017 team in an informal setting at the venue that will host the competition.”
There is no guarantee that the 10-man team will come entirely from those invited to the practice session. The 2017 Walker Cup Team will be announced in August, following the 2017 U.S. Amateur Championship at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Stanger, who is No. 35 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, won the 2016 Southern Amateur and advanced to the Round of 16 in this year’s U.S. Amateur.
This fall he led UVA with a 69.67 stroke average, helping the Cavaliers to three first-place finishes in four tournaments. He shared top honors at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate. He ended the fall ranked No. 2 in the Golfstat standings.
Stanger is looking to join former UVA standout Denny McCarthy as recent Walker Cup participants. McCarthy was a member of the U.S. squad in 2015.