Walker Cup team to the young
One of my favorite things to do in odd-numbered years is to envision which Buffalo-area courses could host the Walker Cup. How difficult can it be? After all, you don’t have the crowds that an Open or Amateur can bring in, nor the media onslaught that accompanies the crowds that . . . yeah, that’s it. The next thing I do is ask why the USA will not win this year. Call it Ryder Cup lite if you want, but our record in the Walker Cup over the last eight years is . . . ZIP and Four. We’ve lost it every way possible, too. Build an early deficit, then hold on for a crushing defeat; unexpectedly cave in to the pressure and take a two-match lead into the final day, then come to our senses and collapse to the land of the vanquished. The last time we won was 1995, when some twenty-year old kid named Eldrick was on the team (even he gagged on Sunday, losing to an aging brit of 34, Gary Wolstenhome.)
How does this year’s team look? YOUNG!! Average age is 22, with no one over 23, and two guys not yet legal. When older, experienced ams like Trip Kuehne, John Miller, Danny Green, and Jeff Wilson are around, you’d figure that one or two might be selected, especially in a year when Ryan Moore, Spencer Levin, and other “sure selections” turned pro before the matches. Toss in Casey Wittenberg last year, and three top guns are no longer eligible. Let’s hope Bob Lewis knows what he is doing under the gun; although he was thrice a finalist in USGA championships (one am and two mid-ams), he could never grasp the eagle, losing 9&8 to Hal Sutton, 5&4 to Mike Podolak, and 2 down to Jim Holtgrieve.
Then again, perhaps we could return to 1928, the last time the Walker Cup was contested at the venerable Chicago Golf Club. Bobby Jones captained the team to victory. Somehow, I just don’t think so.
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