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First five named to U.S. Walker Cup team

9:17 AM, Jul 17, 2013   |    comments
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Far Hills, NJ (Sports Network) - The United States Golf Association named the first five members of the Walker Cup team on Wednesday.

The five members are Max Homa, Michael Kim, Patrick Rodgers, Justin Thomas and Cory Whitsett. Homa, 22, and Kim, 20, were teammates on the University of California golf team this year, and Homa won the NCAA Individual Championship. Thomas and Whitsett led the University of Alabama to the NCAA team title.

This year's Walker Cup will take place September 7-8 at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y., which last hosted the matches at the inaugural Walker Cup in 1922.

"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 to the game's history."

Homa, along with being the NCAA champ, won the PAC-12 Championship and captained his team to 11 tournament wins this season. Kim won four events and was PAC-12 Player of the Year, and also won the Jack Nicklaus Award as the NCAA Division I Player of the Year. Kim also garnered low amateur honors at the U.S. Open at Merion by five strokes.

Rodgers, 21, was a member of the 2011 Walker Cup team. He won three collegiate tournaments this year and had six top-10 finishes, raising his college totals to five wins and 16 top-10s. He was named first team all PAC-12 and first team All-American.

Thomas, 20 earned two wins and six top-10s en route to gaining first team all- SEC honors. He helped lead Alabama to the SEC title and the school's first NCAA Division I National Championship.

Whitsett, 21, won the clinching point for the Crimson Tide at the NCAA Championships. He won three titles and had eight top-10s as he earned first team all-SEC and All-American honors. He was the only player to win all three matches at the NCAA Championship.

United States captain Jim Holtgrieve will name the final five players later this summer after the conclusion at the 2013 U.S. Amateur, which will be played August 12-18 at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.

The U.S. team won five of the 10 singles matches in 2011 at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, but Great Britain & Ireland hung on for a 14-12 victory. 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.

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