Californians will play a big role for the United States on Saturday and Sunday in the 46th Walker Cup matches against Great Britain and Ireland on the famed North Course at Los Angeles Country Club.
Maverick McNealy, 21, of Portola Valley and Stanford is the only returning player on the American side, which lost, 16½ -9½, two years ago at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in Lancashire, England.
Also on the U.S. team from the Golden State are Cameron Champ, 22, of Sacramento and Texas A&M, Collin Morikawa, 20, of La Canada Flintridge and Cal, Norman Xiong, 18, of Canyon Lake and the University of Oregon, and Stewart Hagestad, 26, of Newport Beach, who played college golf at USC.
Rounding out Captain John “Spider” Miller’s squad are Doug Ghim, 21, of Arlington Heights, Ill., the 2017 Pacific Coast Amateur champion; Doc Redman, 19, of Raleigh, N.C., the 2017 U.S. Amateur champion; Scottie Scheffler, 21, of Dallas, low amateur in the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills, and Braden Thornberry, 20, of Olive Branch, Miss., the 2017 NCAA Division I individual champion.
The Californians also have collected their share of hardware, with Hagestad capturing 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship; Xiong winning 2017 Western Amateur; Champ claiming the 2017 Trans-Mississippi Amateur; Morikawa taking the 2017 Northeast Amateur, and McNealy tying Tiger Woods’ record of 11 tournament victories at Stanford.
“It is a great honor to serve as the USA captain and to work with a group of young men who represent the best of amateur golf in this country,” said Miller, who played on the 1999 U.S. Walker Cup Team and won two U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships.
“The squad members have a long list of individual and team accomplishments but they are now committed both to representing the United States and to the spirit and tradition of the Walker Cup Match.”
Making up the Great Britain and Ireland team are David Boote, 23, of Walton Heath, Wales, and Stanford; Jack Davidson, 20, of Llanwern, Wales; Harry Ellis, 21, of Meon Valley, England and Florida State; Scott Gregory, 22, of Corhampton, England; Matthew Jordan, 21, of Royal Liverpool, England; Paul McBride, 21, of The Island, Ireland, and Wake Forest; Robert MacIntyre, 21, of Glencruitten, Scotland; Alfie Plant, 25, of Sundridge Park, England; Jack Singh Brar, 20, of Remedy Oak, England, and Connor Syme, 22, of Drumoig, Scotland.
The Americans lead the overall series, 35-9-1, but the teams have split the last 14 meetings since 1989.