SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – The United States’ best match-play performer?
In 2013, at least, it was Alabama senior Bobby Wyatt.
Combining the NCAA Championship, Palmer Cup and the past weekend’s Walker Cup, the 21-year-old from Mobile, Ala., combined to go 8-0-3 in match play this season. Not bad for a player who was twice a late addition to the American team.
With 3 1/2 points in four sessions, Wyatt was the leading points-earner for the U.S. Walker Cup team. The Americans defeated GB&I, 17-9, at National Golf Links for their most lopsided victory in 16 years.
“He’s just so deadly,” said Justin Thomas, Wyatt’s former teammate with the defending NCAA champion Crimson Tide. “He shows no mercy, and he’s so straight-faced. He just gets it done.”
Wyatt was one of the last U.S. players chosen after struggling with his game as he pressed to try and make the team. In foursomes, he partnered with Alabama teammate Cory Whitsett, going 1-0-1, and in singles he twice defeated Neil Raymond, including a tone-setting, 4-and-3 victory on Sunday.
“The guy is just a winner,” said Alabama coach Jay Seawell. “Match play is all about competing, and that’s just really perfect for his game.”
Wyatt has come to embrace match play after initially struggling with the format as a junior player, never advancing deep into either the U.S. Junior or the U.S. Amateur.
“It’s something I really enjoy now,” Wyatt said. “It makes it a little bit like other sports that I grew up playing. I can get really excited to play for other guys, and it’s something, fortunately, I’ve been able to succeed at.”