Justin Thomas’ announcement Tuesday that he will turn pro after the Walker Cup doesn’t appear to be the start of a mass amateur exodus.
Two of Thomas’ former Alabama teammates, Cory Whitsett and Bobby Wyatt – ranked third and seventh in the R&A’s World Amateur Rankings, respectively – both told GolfChannel.com that they intend to stay in Tuscaloosa for their senior seasons. (The defending NCAA champion Crimson Tide will likely be the No. 1-ranked team in the preseason.)
The same goes for Cal junior Michael Kim, the 2013 NCAA Player of the Year, and Stanford junior Patrick Rodgers, who earlier this month finished 15th at the John Deere Classic. The No. 2 and No. 8 amateurs in the world, respectively, both said today that they will return to school in the fall.
Thomas, Whitsett, Rodgers, Kim and Max Homa already have been named to the 10-man U.S. Walker Cup team that will compete against Great Britain and Ireland in September. Wyatt is expected to be added to the squad, as well.
Homa, the 2013 NCAA champion who recently completed his four-year career with the Golden Bears, delayed turning pro until after this year’s event at National Golf Links of America.
Washington’s Cheng-Tsung Pan, who made the cut at this year’s U.S. Open, is the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world. He has given no indication that he will turn pro before his junior season.