23November2017

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Happy Birthday America!  We hope you all have a safe and fun 4th of July.  Keep it in the short grass.

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Whistling Straights is a long but very target oriented course.  Visually it's very similar to Chambers Bay, but it has some key differences.  This PGA Championship course could play 200 or more yards longer than the U.S. Open venue.  There is a bit less elevation.  The greens will be in better shape, softer and roll better.  With a beastly par 3, 17th and par 4, 18th, The closing holes should favor the longer hitter as well the rest of the course.  Driving it long and straight is paramount.  Accuracy with mid to long irons will be crucial.  Chances are that the players that putt the best from mid range will win, since it may be tough to have many close birdie putts if they are hitting long irons into many greens. 

After analyzing stats like total driving, proximity to the hole from certain longer yardages and putting from mid range,  The picks are in.

1st Place:  Dustin Johnson - (he will finally get the monkey off his back while getting redemption for the last time he was here)

2nd Place: Justin Rose - (Justin hits his mid irons very well and the rest of his game is solid)

3rd Place:  Jordan Spieth - (he will come close again, but his lack of  serious lengh may catch up to him)

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The U.S. Open is set to start tomorrow at Chambers Bay.  The best players in the world will be in Washington to compete in this prestigious major.  From the initial looks of the course, it seems to be one that will be nearly impossible to score on.  The fairways are hard and fast.  The rough is thick and the course could play astronomically long, especially if the wind kicks up.  Very few of the pros will break par by the end but I do have a few favorites.  In the spirit of our nation's triple crown winner, American Pharoah, I will give you the win place and show.

Win:  Phil Mickelson - By a furlong to complete his career grand slam.  He is long enough and has enough imagination to hit all the shots needed.  He figured out how to win links golf at Muirfield and will replicate that this week.

Place:  Dustin Johnson - Will come close again, but no cigar.  I like his length and previous experience on similar tracks like his T-5 at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.  He has also had strong play at the British Open.  Links golf seems to fit Dustin's eye.

Show:  Rory Mcilroy - He's just so solid right now that it is tough to count him out.  I think the greens may trip him up enough to keep him out of the winners circle.

Dark Horse:  Keegan Bradley - If my theory of longer hitters holds true, Keegan wouldn't be one to overlook.  He has won a major but has been fairly silent as of late.  I used to play a lot of links style golf when living in up north and imagine my fellow New Englander has seen his fair share as well.  Keep a eye on him as a long shot bet.

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Congratulations to Rickie Fowler on a shootout type victory at The Players Championship.  Kevin Kisner and Sergio Garcia did their best to win the famous crystal but were out dueled in the playoff.  Rickie was able to win the prestigious tournament with laser like precision.  The changes that Fowler has made to his golf swing have really paid dividends in the last few majors and now at The Players Championship.  Rickie finished 2nd at both the 2014 US. Open and British Open.  This was sandwiched in between a 5th at The Masters and 3rd at the PGA Championship.  Needless to say, this was a great year.  The biggest difference in his game since before 2014 was his swing.  Rickie started working with Butch Harmon and he has worked him into much better positions throughout his swing.  There are a couple keys that jump out to me. 

1) Halfway through the back-swing, the club head is no longer way outside of his hands.  At this point, the toe of the club is now pointing vertical, straight up to the sky, as apposed to parallel to the ground and closed.

2) Three quarters into the Back swing, Rickie would manipulate the club vertically, more steep than most.  He is more on plane now because he is swinging with less forced manipulation and keeping the club closer to a 45% angle throughout the back-swing.

3) The top of the back-swing is less flat and laid off it he used to be.  He is now more vertical at the top and this prevents him from getting stuck to the inside on the downswing.


Rickie Fowler, previously had a very loopy back-swing.  Now that he has made these adjustments and is much more on plane, his scores are dropping from his increased accuracy.  These changes have helped with both his distance control and especially his consistency.  His swing has less forced manipulations and made it a lot easier to square the club head at impact.  This will mean a major in his near future, that's if you don't already consider The Players Championship one.  I suggest that everyone should make a conscious effort to redirect and manipulate the club less.  This will make for a less "around the world" Charles Barkley, jerky swing and you will look more like Rickie does now.

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a1sx2_Thumbnail1_704x422.pngWith the Insperity Invitational this weekend Kyle Burns, with Golf Houston, was given the opportunity to talk with Hal Sutton and talk a little about his career and the upcoming tournament. 

 

I just wanted to say first and for most, happy belated birthday, saw it was your birthday yesterday, is that correct?

“Yea it was”

Didn’t know if you did anything around Houston for it?

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Who will be in the winners circle at Magnolia Lane?  It's always difficult to predict golf but when you play the same course every year, you can start to see some trends.  The Masters Tournament is played at Augusta National Golf Club and the only thing more consistent than the pimento sandwiches is the course itself.  The course plays almost exactly the same, year in and out.  This could be the reason why multiple players have won more than once .  The player advantages at Augusta are being long off the tee and being able to work the ball, preferably from right to left.  This is why the lefties have been so strong in this major.  It's a bit easier to hold onto the club through the hitting zone and hit a fade than to hit a draw under pressure.  If you couple this with a lot of the holes going right to left, you have the perfect storm for a lefty that hits it high and likes to fade it.  I still like Bubba Watson and Mickelson, though he has not been playing the greatest of late.  Tiger is back, but with this much time off and i can think of many other courses that I'd rather recover from the chipping yips, so it is tough to pick him to win.  Jason Day has done very well at the majors and Augusta National.  I wouldn't be surprised to see him wearing the green jacket, but don't know if he has been sharp enough as of late to translate it into a win.  I predict the back nine on Sunday will be a close one between Rory and Jordan Speith.  They both like the big stage and I am going to give the the edge to Speith. He finished 2nd last year and has been so sharp lately.  I have been high on him for a while and predict that he will breakthrough this weekend, with his first of many major victories.

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Congratulations to J.B. Holmes on this weeks victory!  He won a three way playoff against Jordan Spieth and Johnson Wagner.  The power hitter was not only long, but very accurate off the tee.  J.B. won the Shell Houston Open by hitting each fairway in the playoff, that put a lot of pressure on his opponents.  He hits it so long that he had very manageable shorter irons into the 18th.  His aggressive line down the left side of the fairway afforded him the ability to be a bit more courageous on his second shots to a pin sitting almost in the water.  The other players hit their second shots into either the bunker, right of the green, or front right portion of the green, avoiding the water at all costs.  Wagner three putted from the front right portion of the green to ultimately give Holmes the championship, but this playoff was won off the tee with exceptional positioning.

I think the biggest stories of the week came from the near misses.  Austin Cook had the week of his life.  He went from playing a mini tour event to Monday qualifying for a PGA Tour event, to making the cut, to being paired with Phil Mickelson, to beating him by five shots on Saturday, to almost winning the event and receiving a two year exemption on tour, while stamping a trip to the Masters.  This would have been the first time someone has accomplished this feat since 1986! He wasn't the only one making the best out of his opportunity.  Kelvin Day also Monday qualified and finished tied for 6th at 11 under par.  Wagner went from shooting 87 last week to finishing tied for second place at -16, on a sponsors exemption.  Then, there's Jordan Spieth, the boy wonder.  Jordan is showing unbelievable consistency with a victory and two second place finishes in the last three tournaments.  He has to be one of the favorites going into the Masters. 

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After the second round at the Shell Houston Open, we continue to see outstanding scores.  The soft greens are really allowing the guys to target pins and give putts a good run at the hole.  The cut line finished at -4.  This is one of the lowest of the season on the PGA Tour.  There is a chance that this could end up being the lowest final score of the season as well.  There are a lot of big names within 10 shots of the lead and if the great conditions continue, I expect to see some lead changes and big fireworks coming down the stretch. 

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The Shell Houston Open is off to a hot start.  Just to name a few, players like Mickelson, Garcia, Mahan, Kucher, Els, Rose, Fowler and Spieth are teeing it up at the Golf Course of Houston in Humble, Texas. The big names are out and going low.  This star studded crew that I just mentioned all carded sub-par rounds and most, well into the 60's.  After the first round, they will all be trying to catch Scott Piercy.  He opened with a blistering nine under 63.  Piercy is no stranger to going low in his victories.  Out of his 4 professional wins (2 on the Nationwide Tour), every win was in the double digits and one was 22 under par.  Also, six rounds were at 55 of better.  Scott will be a tough guy to catch, but if there is a field out there that can catch him, it would be this one.  Stay tuned for updates.

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The future of American golf may be saved by this Texas native.  Jordan has now won 2 PGA Tour Tournaments in his first three years on the tour.  He seems poised to really break out after backing up his Championship at the Valspar with a second place finish at the Valero Texas Open.  Spieth has played great on two of the most demanding golf courses on the PGA Tour.  These rounds were were under high winds at long and narrow tracks.  He has the kind of game that would fit into most of the majors.  I wouldn't be surprised to see a victory there this year and many throughout Jordan's career.  After all, he was in the lead on Sunday at the Masters...at twenty years old!  To have this kind of talent at such a young age is remarkable and reminds me of a few players but one that probably started off hotter than any others.  Tiger Woods came out of the gates taking the PGA Tour by storm with multiple victories as well.  Up to this point in Jordan's playing career, he has all of the signs of potentially winning this debate.  He could most certainly beat Tiger right now.  Tiger can barely get through 9 holes without getting injured.  But, when looking at the numbers closer.  Tiger had 7 victories, 3 seconds, and 27 top tens through his first 63 PGA Tour Tournaments.  While Spieth has 2 victories, 6 seconds and 22 top tens through 66 events.  They are very close but I would have to to give the edge to the young Tiger for his ability to convert more of those potential second place finishes into victories.  It looks like Jordan is growing by leaps and bounds now.  If the trend continues on this same pace as compared to Tiger, Spieth could have a few monstrous next few seasons.  The Shell Houston Open is a good prep for the Masters and I would be surprised if this Longhorn doesn't finish top ten this week.  It also looks like Jordan Spieth will be the American carrying on the torch of United States golf, for many years to come.                                                                                

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Are you just breaking the clubs out and a bit rusty after the holiday season?  Or, are you still struggling from last season and need to get back on track?  I have a couple quick tips that will get you back on track.  First, stretch some key areas of your body every time you get out on to the range.  Work on your hamstrings, lower back, torso, arms/shoulders.  Once you are feeling fairly loose, grab a long iron and start by swinging with a half swing and gradually making longer swings until you feel like you are making full swings.  When you have done this a few times, start counting out a tempo of 1-2-3, during the first swing and keep repeating this 1-2-3  during the next few as well (A metronome is great for this drill but it's not necessary).  The main focus is to try and keep your tempo the same on all of these swings while staying loose.  After making 10 swings like this, pull out the range balls and just let them get in the way of your club with this smooth tempo swing.  This drill will increase your consistency of contact, distance and accuracy.  I know this will get you off on the right foot for this season! 

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The video below shows the mirror drill. The mirror drill is a great way to help you control the length of the backswing. Golf is not always played with a full swing. Sometimes we need shorter or longer swings based on trajectory or the length of the shot we want to hit.

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Spend a day on the course like no other at the 2014 Houston Links & Laces Golf Event, scheduled for March 13th and 14th.  The two-day event kicks off with a fun and sexy VIP Players on Thursday, March 13th at Brixx Bar.  On Friday, March 14th golfers will tee off at the Cypresswoods Golf Club for a day on the course like no other. Participants will wrap up the festivities with an awards dinner at the course followed by an after party at Runway Bar. The Links & Laces Golf Event is truly a special event that gives golfers of all levels the opportunity to experience a unique and fun golf tournament.  It provides an ideal social and business networking experience and also serves as a great way to entertain clients and secure new business. NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback, Warren Moon and Heisman Trophy winner, Andre Ware, host the Houston event.  Also on hand to help host the event will be the Houston Girls of Golf. 

Who:
Hosted by Hall of Fame Quarterback, Warren Moon and Heisman Trophy Winner Andre Ware  

Foursomes spots available for purchase: 
$250 per person/$1000 per foursome
 
When:

  • March 13th and 14th 
  • VIP Players Party – March 13th at 8:00pm
  • Golf Scramble – March 14th – shotgun start at 1:00pm
  • Awards Dinner & After Party – March 14th, immediately following golf

Where:

VIP Players Party
Brixx
5110 Washington Ave.
Houston, TX

Golf Scramble & Awards
Cypresswood Golf Club
21602 Cypresswood Dr.
Spring, TX

After Party
Runway
1960 W.
Humble, TX

Sponsors:
Skechers GoPro, Netripid Technology, Eric Javits, SSI, Sports Tradex, Birxx Bar, ReTee Golf, Living proof, Top Golf – Houston, Sports 1 Marketing, The Runway

Purchase Foursome Contact
John Pulitano
973-460-3602
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Media Contact
Donna Tavoso
646-489-8709
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

 

Austin, Tx Links & Laces Golf Tour

View More Information Here >>

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Images Provided by Golf Digest

Looks like robots are entering the game of golf, with the RoboGolfPro RGP 3.0, and RoboPutt. I came across this machine on Golf Digest and thought it was crazy enough to share on Golf Houston. It claims to make you a better player in minutes by mechanically adjusting your swing plane to perfection. The outcome is that no matter what club brand you use, golfers who were trained on the RoboGolfPro RGP 3.0 kept their drives twice as close to the centerline and hit, on average, 11 yards further.

The RoboPutt is similar to the RoboGolfPro RGP 3.0 only geared to putting, pitching, and chipping to perfection. This could be the golden ticket to lowering scores for those long bombers that lack a short game. 

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Golf, in fact, has a long history in the Arizona desert – a longer history than Arizona itself. Determined settlers in the late 1800’s were willing to leave their homelands, friends and families behind – but not their hickory-shafted clubs and gutta-percha balls. By train and wagon they came, hauling all their worldly goods with their golf bags strapped across their backs, in search of turf to call their own. Who can claim the first golf course is up for a debate hotter than a tin roof in Tucson in July, but the Phoenix Country Club dug nine holes in dirt fairways and sand “greens” as early as 1899. The first official golf tournament was held 12 years before Arizona became a state. 

It’s hard to imagine that the same territory that hosted the sharp-spurred, trigger-happy miscreants of the O.K. Corral also saw men in knickerbockers and waistcoats aiming very different kinds of shots. The love of golf, against all odds and all climates, is deeply ingrained in Arizona, and with the advent of irrigation has given birth to extraordinary results. The Fairmont Princess resort is one of them. 

While calling the acres of lush lawn, ponds and pools of The Fairmont Princess and the TPC Scottsdale golf courses a “desert oasis” is an unforgivable cliché, few other words capture what it’s like to find so much beauty (and water) after miles of bone-dry land. Last week, I had the chance to “stay and play” at TPC Scottsdale and the Fairmont Princess – a resort that balances modern, clean lines with desert-inspired décor – for some R&R, golfer-style.

From the moment I stepped onto the complex, I was impressed as much by the looks of the sprawling resort as by the staff’s hospitality. After a tour-by-golf-cart, necessary transportation for exploring the grounds, I attempted to count all the possible activities that could easily fill my days and nights: Three extravagant pools with assorted waterslides, hot tubs, bars, and massaging waterfalls; two well-equipped gyms; function hall rooms for special events; a well-appointed spa; and a world class steak house serving southwestern cuisine (along with a Starbucks and two American-style restaurants). I was also informed that the man-made pond I saw from my balcony was stocked with fish, and a fishing rod could be provided on request. However, like the Arizona settlers before me, I sought only one recreation: Golf. As much golf as I could pack into my brief stay. But, I did look forward to working out the kinks from long hours on the greens under one of those massaging waterfalls.

The sheer amount of greenery on the property is astounding – and the greens today are genuine grass, not the sand of olden days (I can’t imagine what it must have been like to try to putt in what was, essentially, a dressed-up sand trap). In the Arizona desert, water is hard-won, but even during the dust-bowl of 1933-34, in the middle of the Great Depression, there was golf. The Turquoise Valley course near the Mexican border, built in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration, is the oldest continuously operating course in the state. In an early take on the two-for-one deal, golfers could begin their day with 9-holes on the Turquoise Valley course, and finish their game with 9-holes in nearby Warren. There may have been lines for bread during that decade, but that didn’t stop tee-time. A similar course share-program can be found today between the Princess TPC Scottsdale.

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These guys may have lost a limb but they sure didn’t lose their competitive thirst to win in the inaugural ParaLong Drive golf championship held Oct. 29 in Mesquite.

Playing under the same rules and on the same grid as the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship golfers, 14 amputees hit their best drives down the grid to determine who the longest driver was.

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The latest 5 star review simply says it all!

Great guide! Will be showing my golf-loving family!, September 9, 2013

By Katie - See all my reviews

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After a few days of reflecting on The Open Championship, I can definitely say that the pressure effects even the best in the world.  Phil Mickelson won the British Open because he performed the best down the stretch.  Only a few players had good rounds to finish off their week in Scotland.  The ones who did play well didn't seem to have a chance because they were too far back.  The others in position to win collapsed when the heat was on.  These are some of the greatest golfers of a all time and even they succumb to the pressure.   Mickelson started accelerating while everyone was backing up.  He made 4 birdies in his last 6 holes.  I believe the keys to success in this situation is to stick to fundamentals, believe that you love the uncomfortableness of it and focus.  I think that Phil will use these tools to win at least one more major and many more PGA Tour victories.  The real question is will he win the U.S. Open.  This would finish off his career Grand Slam.  I think he will  pull it off, especially after seeing his closing performance at Muirfied.  Do you think he will get another?

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Far Hills, N.J., (July 17, 2013) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced the selection of five of the 10 amateur players who will comprise the 2013 USA Walker Cup Team. The 44th Walker Cup Match against Great Britain and Ireland will be played 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.  

“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.”

The first five players named to the 2013 USA Walker Cup squad are:

  • Max Homa, 22, of Valencia, Calif. – Homa won the Pac-12 Conference Championship in early May and was the individual medalist at the 2013 NCAA Men’s Division I Championship to close out his career at the University of California-Berkeley. In his senior year of 2012-13, he captained a team that won 11 tournaments. His individual honors include being named as a first-team All-American and to the All-Nicklaus Team, both awarded by the Golf Coaches Association of America. In June, he survived a playoff at sectional qualifying to make the field for the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, where he missed the cut by three strokes. Homa also advanced to the quarter finals of the 2010 U.S. Amateur.
  • Michael Kim, 20, of Del Mar, Calif. – Kim won four collegiate events in his sophomore year at the University of California-Berkeley and was honored as the 2012-13 Golfweek/Sagarin Player of the Year and the Pac-12 Conference Golfer of the Year. He was first-team All-American and named to the All-Nicklaus Team, Palmer Cup, All-West Region and All-Pac 12. He also won the 2013 Golfstat Cup for having the lowest adjusted scoring average entering the NCAA Championship. In May, he won the Jack Nicklaus Award as the NCAA Division I player of the year, and in June the Fred Haskins Award as the national collegiate player of the year as determined in voting by collegiate golfers, coaches and members of the national media. He was one of three finalists for the Ben Hogan Award presented annually to the top men's NCAA Division I, II or III, NAIA or NJCAA college golfer. He finished as the low amateur by five strokes at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, tying for 17th place. He also tied for 38th in the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic in July.
  • Patrick Rodgers, 21, of Avon, Ind. – Rodgers is a returning USA Walker Cup Team member, having competed at the 2011 Match at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland. Rodgers wrapped up his sophomore season at Stanford with three intercollegiate victories and six top-10 finishes, leading the Cardinal with a 70.88 stroke average. For the second consecutive year, he was named first-team All-American, first-team All-Pac 12 Conference, and was a Palmer Cup selection. He was also named to the All-Nicklaus Team this year. During the 2011-’12 college season, Rodgers produced two tournament wins and 10 top-10 finishes, was named to the All-Freshman Team, and was a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award. The 2011 Porter Cup champion, Rodgers was also a quarterfinalist at the 2011 U.S. Amateur, where he lost to eventual champion Kelly Kraft. He finished tied for 15th at the 2013 PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic.
  • Justin Thomas, 20, of Goshen, Ky. – In his sophomore season at the University of Alabama, Thomas was named as a second-team All-American and first-team All-Southeastern Conference with two wins and six top-10 finishes. In 2012, he was selected as a first-team All-American with four wins and nine top-10 finishes, and was a Palmer Cup selection in each of the past two years. Thomas played an integral part in Alabama winning the 2013 NCAA Division I National Championship, the first in the school's history, as well as the 2013 SEC Championship. He also played for the victorious USA Team in the 2012 World Amateur Team Championship at Antalya, Turkey, where he finished tied for seventh. Thomas advanced to the semifinals at the 2012 U.S. Amateur, and was the runner-up at the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur. Thomas won both the 2012 Fred Haskins Award and the 2012 Jack Nicklaus Award as the nation's top collegiate golfer, as well as the 2012 Phil Mickelson Award, for the outstanding freshman in Division I men's golf. He won the 2012 Jones Cup, and finished tied for 30th in the 2013 PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship.
  • Cory Whitsett, 21, of Houston, Texas – Whitsett, who just completed his junior year at the University of Alabama, secured the clinching points for the Crimson Tide in its first-ever NCAA Division I National Championship victory. In 2013, he was selected as a first-team All-American and to the All-Nicklaus Team with three wins and eight top-10 finishes, and was the only player to win all three matches at the 2013 NCAA Championship. Whitsett continued his winning ways after the collegiate season, leading the USA to victory over Europe in June in the Palmer Cup, compiling a 3-0-1 record in the matches at Wilmington (Del.) Country Club. He then captured the prestigious Northeast Amateur with a 10-under-par 266 total at Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford, R.I., closing with a round of 63, the lowest final-round score by a winner in the tournament's 52 years. Last year, Whitsett was named second-team All-American with two wins and five top-10 finishes. He is also the 2011 Patriot All-America winner and the 2007 U.S. Junior Amateur champion.

“It is an honor to be involved with this prestigious match and these fine young men who will represent the USA in Walker Cup competition,” said Jim Holtgrieve, captain for the USA, whose stellar amateur career includes a winning record as a member of three victorious USA Walker Cup Teams and the captaincy of the USA Team at the 2011 Match at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland. “I appreciate the commitment on the part of these talented players who were chosen and those who are still being considered.”  

The final five players of the 2013 USA Walker Cup Team will be named later this summer following the conclusion of the 2013 U.S. Amateur, scheduled to be played Aug. 12-18 at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.

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July 22-27, 2013
Martis Camp Club
Truckee, Calif.
www.usjunioram.org

WHO’S HERE – Among the 156 golfers in the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur field, there are:

Oldest Competitors: Daniel Hudson (17, born 8-2-95), Pablo Torres (17, born 8-5-95), Jim Liu (17, born 8-9-95)

Youngest Competitors: Patrick Welch (13, born 3-14-00), Shuai Ming Wong (13, born 11-14-99)

Average Age of Field: 16.35

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