USGA invites 16 players to Walker Cup practice session


Alabama sophomore Robby Shelton. (Getty)

Robby Shelton, Beau Hossler and Nathan Smith headline the 16 players who have been invited to attend next month’s practice session for the 2015 Walker Cup.

Players not at the Dec. 17-20 event in St. Simons Island, Ga., can still be considered for selection, but this group usually provides an indication of who is on the U.S. team’s radar.

The 10-man team will be finalized following the U.S. Amateur in August. Once again, the USGA is expected to enforce the rule that at least two mid-amateurs (age 25 and older) must make the squad. 

Shelton, a sophomore at Alabama, is the highest-ranked American invited, at No. 3 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Of the 16 players invited, Smith, 36, is the only one with Walker Cup experience.  

The rest of the participants: Charlie Danielson (Illinois), Bryson Dechambeau (SMU), Doug Ghim (Texas), Scott Harvey (mid-am), Rico Hoey (USC), Hossler (Texas), Kyle Jones (Baylor), Denny McCarthy (Virginia), Lee McCoy (Georgia), Mike McCoy (mid-am, no relation), Maverick McNealy (Stanford), Byron Meth (Pacific), Hunter Stewart (Vanderbilt) and Will Zalatoris (Wake Forest).

“This is an informal way to get to know these potential Walker Cup players in an informal setting and we have the opportunity to introduce them to the Match and its unique format,” U.S. captain John “Spider” Miller said in a release.

A notable omission from the group is world No. 1 Ollie Schniederjans. The Georgia Tech senior will almost certainly turn pro following the NCAA Championship in early June.   

The Walker Cup is slated for Sept. 12-13 at Royal Lytham and St. Annes in England. The U.S. leads the overall series, 35-8-1, including a 17-9 victory in 2013 at National Golf Links.