Walker Cup Matches About to Begin

The 2001 version of the Walker Cup Matches will be played August 11-12 at the Rees Jones-designed Ocean Forest Golf Club in Sea Island, Georgia. The match-play event at the 7,140-yard, par-72 course finds the U.S. team heavy favorites against their counterparts from Great Britain and Ireland. That favored status, however, didn’t help the Americans, who lost the 1999 Walker Cup competition in Nairn, Scotland by a wide 15-9 margin.

The 2001 event involves four foursome (alternate-shot) matches each morning and eight singles matches each afternoon. To wrest the cup from its opponents, the U.S. team must tally at least 12 ½ of the 24 available points; to retain the cup, the Great Britain and Ireland team needs to finish the competition in a tie. The U.S. leads the Walker Cup series 31-5-1.

The U.S. team features seven collegiate stars and three longtime amateurs in their 40s. Four members of this year’s team were on the U.S. Palmer Team that downed a Great Britain and Ireland team in June. Led by Captain Danny Yates, the U.S. team includes:

Nick Cassini, Athens, Ga., age 22. Winner of the 2001 Porter Cup, 2001 First Team All-American and SEC Player of the Year at Georgia; two-time Palmer Cup member; co-medalist at 2001 U.S. Amateur Public Links.

Erik Compton, Miami, Fl., 21. 2001 Second Team All-American and first-team All-SEC as a sophomore at Georgia; went 3-1-0 in 2001 Palmer Cup; won Monroe Invitational in June and finished as runner-up in the Northeast Amateur (losing in a playoff).

James Driscoll, Brookline, Mass., 23. Shot 68 in first round of 2001 Masters; runner-up in 2000 U.S. Amateur and semifinalist in 1999 U.S. Amateur; won the 1999 North and South; runner-up at the 1999 NCAA East Regional.

David Eger, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl., 49. Member of 1989 and ’91 Walker Cup teams; semifinalist in 2000 U.S. Amateur; served as senior director of rules and competitions for the USGA from 1992-95; worked for the PGA Tour from 1982-92 and again 1995-99.

Lucas Glover, Greenville, S.C., 21. First Team All-American in 2000 and ’01 at Clemson; winner of the 2001 Sunnehanna Amateur; member of 2000 Palmer Cup team and went 3-0-1 in ’01; enjoyed 19 top-10 finishes in college career, including medalist honors in three events.

Danny Green, Jackson, Tenn., 44. Won 1999 U.S. Mid-Amateur; won four amateur championships in 2000; winner of the 1997 Western Amateur; runner-up in 1989 U.S. Amateur and 2001 U.S. Amateur Public Links.

John Harris, Minneapolis, 49. Member of 1993, ’95 and ’97 Walker Cup teams with a combined 10-1 record (6-0 in singles); won 1993 U.S. Amateur.

Bryce Molder, Conway, Ark., 22. Four-time First Team All-American while at Georgia Tech, where he tied David Duval’s all-time Tech record with eight career victories; finished 2001 season with 69.43 stroke average, best in NCAA history; member of 1999 Walker Cup, 2000 U.S. World Amateur and 2001 Palmer Cup teams.

Jeff Quinney, Eugene, Ore., 22. Won 2000 U.S. Amateur; played in 2001 Masters and U.S. Open; won 2001 Las Vegas Intercollegiate championship while at Arizona State, where he was a two-time All American; member 2000 U.S. World Amateur team; 2000 PNGA Player of the Year.

D.J. Trahan, Inman, S.C., 20. Youngest member of U.S. Team; won 2000 U.S. Amateur Public Links; won 2001 Jones Cup Invitational; played in 2001 Masters; in 2000 set Clemson record for freshman scoring with average of 72.42; named ACC Rookie of the Year in 2000; two-time All-American.

The team from Great Britain and Ireland is headed by Captain Peter McEvoy. Eight of the team’s 10 players are aged 19-23, with Nick Dougherty of Chorley, England the youngest. The team is led by 23-year-old Luke Donald of High Wycombe, England. As a student at Northwestern University, Donald was a three-time All-American, won the 2000 and ’01 Northeastern Amateur, was 1999 NCAA champion, and served as a member of the ’99 Walker Cup team. Donald and Gary Wolstenholme of Market Harborough, England, each went undefeated on that winning 1999 team.