There’s only one place to be this week to catch the crème de la crème of the World Amateur Golf Ranking. The Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, September 10-11, features the future stars of world golf.
The 43rd Walker Cup includes the world’s top seven players and eight of the world’s top 10. Twelve of the world top 20 are in action, and 14 of the top 25.
World number one Patrick Cantlay, recent winner of the 2011 Mark H McCormack Medal as the world’s leading amateur, heads the quality field. Jordan Spieth, Patrick Rodgers and Peter Uihlein follow hard on Cantlay’s heels as the world’s number two, three and four players respectively. Harris English is the world number six, giving the United States five of the world’s top six players.
England’s Andrew Sullivan takes his place at Royal Aberdeen as the world’s 5th ranked player. Countryman Tom Lewis is the seventh best amateur in the world, while Chris Williams of the US fills the world number ten spot.
The list of amateur titles the 20 players hold is too lengthy to list here, although Kelly Kraft deserves special mention as recent winner of the US Amateur Championship after defeating Cantlay.
These players have not only excelled in the amateur game, but in the professional ranks too. The US side includes two players to have won on the Nationwide Tour this season. English won the Children’s Hospital tournament, while world number 20 Russell Henley won the Stadion Classic.
Cantlay did not win in the pro ranks, but he was low amateur in the US Open and didn’t finish outside the top 25 in his four PGA Tour starts.
No professional wins for any GB&I players, but impressive performances nonetheless. Tom Lewis was joint first round leader of the Open Championship and went on to win the silver medal as low amateur. Meanwhile, Ireland’s Paul Cutler finished 21st in the Irish Open on the European Tour.
So a feast of talent will be on display at Royal Aberdeen.
Expect many prominent players on the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking to make a big impression on this season’s US college golf circuit. That’s the view of Golfweek magazine in its annual college preview.
World number 15 Marta Silva is expected to excel. The Spaniard is entering her final year at the University of Georgia. If last season is anything to go by, then she should be a force to reckon with in the upcoming college circuit.
Silva only won one tournament last season, but she led the US college system with a 71.51 scoring average. Her fairways in regulation ranked at 81.7% while she hit 78.6% of greens in regulation. No wonder expectations are high.
Northern Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow, the world number nine, won three times during the spring semester in her first year at the University of Alabama. She led her team with a 72.15 scoring average. Since Northern Ireland can do no wrong right now, it’s no wonder she is earmarked for a great college season.
World number four Erica Popson won four tournaments last season, her second of college golf. She lost another in a playoff. So watch for the Tennessee player to make a serious move on the world number one spot.
Germany’s Sophia Popov triumphed three times in her first season for USC and then made the cut in the Women’s British Open at Carnoustie. She currently stands at number 16 in the world, but there is much room for improvement on that status.
Austin Ernst of the United States finished her first season as the NCAA champion, a victory that helped her to world number seven. The student at Louisiana State University has worked hard to bring her short game up to the standard of her long game, and could get better still.
It just might be wise to pay attention to the upcoming US women’s college golf season. It’s sure to have a huge bearing on the WAGR table.