USGA Hopes New Approach Will Improve Walker Cup


FAR HILLS, N.J. -- The United States Golf Association is trying a new approach to fielding the best 2003 Walker Cup squad by inviting 23 of the nation's leading amateurs to participate in a three-day practice session.
The U.S. Walker Cup team will face a squad from Great Britain and Ireland at the Ganton Golf Club in North Yorkshire, England, Sept. 6-7.
The USGA noted on Wednesday that a practice session, scheduled for Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 at Berkeley Hall Club, Hilton Head Island, S.C., would be used to help determine the team for that 2003 match.
'We are trying to develop the strongest 2003 squad we can and this will be a wonderful opportunity for the players to meet and get to know each other,' said Fred Ridley, USGA vice president and chairman of the USGA international team selection committee.
Most of the players invited to the practice are already among the top contenders for a spot on the Walker Cup team, but the final selections have not been made. Even if a player is not invited, he can still earn a spot on the 10-member team based on performances in competitions.
Ricky Barnes, the 2002 U.S. Amateur champion, is among those invited to the session.