Two Tide Players Make Walker Cup

Alabama junior Justin Thomas and senior Cory Whitsett were among the first five players selected for the United States 2013 Walker Cup Team the USGA announced on Wednesday morning.

The remaining five spots will be announced in August with fellow Crimson Tide senior Bobby Wyatt, ranked seventh in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, under consideration. Thomas and Whitsett become just the third and fourth Alabama players selected to play in the Walker Cup Matches, joining Bud Cauley (2009) and Jerry Pate (1975).

Alabama won the 2013 NCAA Men's Golf Tournament and Whitsett, Thomas, and Wyatt were on the United States team earlier this summer that won the Palmer Cup, a match of top American collegians against those from Europe.

The prestigious Walker Cup event will be held Sept. 7-8, at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y., which hosted the first Walker Cup Match in 1922. The American's 10 amateurs will competed against a group of 10 amateurs representing Great Britain and Ireland.

Whitsett was a first-team PING/GCAA All-American and the SEC Player of the Year in 2013 as he helped lead the Crimson Tide to the NCAA National Championship. He finished with a team-best 71.08 scoring average and was 8-under par for the season. Whitsett is currently ranked third in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, after winning the Northeast Amateur and finishing second at the Sunnehanna Amateur.

Thomas was the National Player of the Year in 2012 and is just the second two-time first team All-America in school history (Bud Cauley, 2009-11). He finished just one shot behind Whitsett in scoring average for the season at 71.11 and is 39-under par during his two years in Tuscaloosa. Thomas is ranked fourth in the World Amateur Golf Rankings after finishing tied for 30th at the PGA's Travelers Championship and missing the cut by one shot at the PGA's John Deere Classic.

Whitsett and Thomas will be joined in New York by University of California teammates Max Homa and Michael Kim as well as Stanford's Patrick Rodgers.

The biennial Walker Cup Match consists of 16 singles matches and eight foursome matches. The United States won three straight matches (2005, 2007 and 2009) before Great Britain and Ireland recaptured the Cup in 2011. The United States lead the series overall, 34-8-1.

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