Aug 19, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama senior Bobby Wyatt and incoming freshman Gavin Moynihan were selected to participate in the 2013 Walker Cup Match on Sept. 7-8, at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y., it was announced Sunday evening.
Wyatt, from Mobile, Ala., joins teammates Cory Whitsett and Justin Thomas from the Crimson Tide's 2013 NCAA National Championship team on the United States squad. Moynihan, from Dublin, Ireland, was named to the Great Britain and Ireland team. He is the first Alabama player to play for GB&I and gives the Crimson Tide a Walker Cup-record four players participating in this year's match.
"What a testament to the talent and desire of these young men that represent both their countries and the University of Alabama," Crimson Tide head coach Jay Seawell said. "For a University or a coach to have one player selected to the Walker Cup Match is special, to have four is an honor that defies explanation. I am excited for these guys personally, but I also know that an experience like this will only make them better players and more hardened competitors going forward.
"It will also be the last time our big three - Bobby, Cory and Justin - get to play together with Justin turning pro after the Walker Cup. These three guys mean so much to our program and have played such a crucial role in what we have been able to build at Alabama. It is fitting that they get to go out together on such a big stage."
Whitsett and Thomas were just the third and fourth Alabama players selected to play in the Walker Cup Match earlier this summer and Wyatt and Moynihan now make it six, joining Bud Cauley (2009) and Jerry Pate (1975).
Alabama's three players selected to the United States team also ties a record set by current Alabama assistant coach Mike McGraw's 2009 Oklahoma State squad, who sent Rickie Fowler, Morgan Hoffmann and Peter Uihlein to the Walker Cup Match at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.
The biennial Walker Cup Match consists of 18 singles matches and eight foursome matches. The United States won three straight matches (2005, 2007 and 2009) before Great Britain and Ireland recaptured the Cup in 2011. The United States lead the series overall, 34-8-1, and has not lost on American soil since 2001.
Wyatt, a first team All-American in 2012-13, was the SEC and NCAA Regional Championship runner-up for the second straight year. He was the U.S. Amateur medalist in 2012, advancing to the round of 16 before losing to Thomas and then made it to the round of 32 in 2013. Wyatt posted a 3-0-1 record at the 2013 Palmer Cup, earning 3.5 points for the victorious USA team. He was also a second-team All-American in 2012 for UA's NCAA runner-up team and an honorable mention All-American in 2011 as a freshman.
Moynihan won the 2012 Irish Amateur Open and finished runner-up in this year's event at Royal Dublin. He became the youngest player to play in the Irish Open in June. The former Junior Ryder Cup player represented Ireland in the 2013 European Men's Team Championships and in the 2012 World Amateur Team Championships. He also played for his home company in the recent Men's Home Internationals. Moynihan won the Irish Order of Merit Award in 2012. He finished third at the 2012 Irish Boys Championship and 92nd in the British Amateur.
The American team is comprised of the three players from Alabama, along with Max Homa, Michael Kim, Jordan Niebrugge, Patrick Rodgers, Nathan Smith, Michael Weaver and Todd White. Along with Moynihan, the GB&I team features Matthew Fitzpatrick, Nathan Kimsey, Mac Orrin, Kevin Phelan, Garrick Porteous, Rhys Pugh, Neil Raymond, Callum Shinkwin and Jordan Smith.
Many of the game's greatest players have participated in Walker Cup competition, including U.S. Open champions Francis Ouimet, Bob Jones, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods for the USA and Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose for Great Britain and Ireland.
The first USA Walker Cup Team in 1922, which defeated the Great Britain and Ireland team, 8-4, at the National Golf Links of America, is considered to be among the best Walker Cup teams ever comprised and included Ouimet, Jones, Charles "Chick" Evans and Jess Sweetser.
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