Stanley, World, Ryder…

The Walker Cup kicks off tomorrow, and while you might not be able to watch it, we’ll still preview it for you


Unlike the PGA Tour, we are not afraid of football: the newsletter marches on! Paul Casey leads on the European Tour, the coverage-less Walker Cup kicks off on Saturday, and the PGA Tour announced some procedural changes to equipment testing.

Walker Cup

There are few tournaments with the history and prestige of the Walker Cup. Held biannually since 1922, this event features the best amateurs from the United States, Great Britain, and Ireland. While not on TV for those of us in the U.S. (aside from a one-hour highlights show in the middle of the night on Golf Channel, which we will definitely watch), this year’s event will be held at Royal Liverpool, site of Rory McIlroy’s 2012 Open Championship victory.

2017 domination

The most recent edition of the Walker Cup was not much of a contest. Held at Los Angeles Country Club in 2017, the United States routed Great Britain and Ireland by a score of 19 to 7. Led by Doug Ghim, Collin Morikawa, and Maverick McNealy, the United States dominated the singles matches on their way to an easy victory. The 2017 U.S. team featured six players who have since earned their PGA Tour cards (Ghim, Morikawa, McNealy, Cameron Champ, Doc Redman, and Scottie Scheffler).

Not so fast

The U.S. rolled to victory two years ago, but this year is far from a gimme. The away team has not claimed the Walker Cup since 2007, when the United States won at Royal County Down, and only Stewart Hagestad returns for the U.S. team. For a preview of the Walker Cup, we recommend checking out James Hibbitt’s piece for sportinglife.com. We have included a few of his notes below as well!

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2019 Walker Cup teams

United States

  • John Augenstein (Vanderbilt senior, runner-up at 2019 U.S. Amateur)
  • Akshay Bhatia (17 years old, the youngest player in U.S. Walker Cup history)
  • Steven Fisk (All-American at Georgia Southern)
  • Stewart Hagestad (2016 Mid-Am champion)
  • Cole Hammer (Texas sophomore, #1 ranked amateur in WAGR)
  • Andy Ogletree (Georgia Tech senior, 2019 U.S. Amateur champion)
  • John Pak (All-American at Florida State)
  • Isaiah Salinda (member of Stanford 2019 NCAA championship team)
  • Alex Smalley (Duke graduate, played in 2017 U.S. Open)
  • Brandon Wu (Played in both 2019 U.S. Open and 2019 Open Championship)

Great Britain and Ireland

  • Alex Fitzpatrick (Younger brother to Matt, quarterfinalist at 2018 U.S Am)
  • Conor Gough (Just 16 years old, 2018 R&A Boys Amateur Champion)
  • Harry Hall (reigning Mountain-West Player of the Year at UNLV)
  • Thomas Plumb (2019 SANLAM Cape Province Open champion)
  • Conor Purcell (2019 Australian Amateur champion)
  • Caolan Rafferty (reigning West of Ireland champion)
  • Sandy Scott (Texas Tech senior, played on the 2019 Palmer Cup team)
  • Tom Sloman (runner-up at 2018 Welsh Stroke Play)
  • James Sugrue (2019 Amateur champion, played in 2019 Open Championship)
  • Euan Walker (2019 African Amateur champion)

Testing… testing… 

In a surprising turn of events, the PGA Tour announced Wednesday that they will begin testing drivers during the 2019-2020 season. Players will be tested on Monday and/or Wednesday of tournament weeks, and will be given the opportunity to replace drivers if they do not pass. Full memo from Jonathan Wall.

Quick Hooks

Along with the Walker Cup, the European Tour is playing golf across the pond. Paul Casey leads Matthias Schwab by one shot after the first round. Leaderboard

Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson committed to the Shriners Hospital for Children Open in Vegas this fall.

Jeongeun Lee6 returned to South Korea with the U.S. Women’s Open trophy. Her supporters loved it. Full story from Randall Mell

The Latest

The lost course: Ojai Valley – Designed in 1923 by George Thomas and Billy Bell, Ojai Country Club was once one of the most beautiful and original golf courses in the country. As part of today’s Ojai Valley Inn, it is a shadow of its former self. Garrett Morrison tells the story of the many questionable architectural decisions—including attempting to restore holes without looking particularly hard for historical evidence—that have led the course to this state.

Shotgun Start

Due to travel and scheduling conflicts, Friday’s episode will be released mid-day. Feels like an appropriately shambolic way to celebrate the one-year anniversary of this pod! Thank you all for the support in our first year. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe and review the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher.