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USGA names Walker Cup captain for upcoming match at St Andrews

March 11 2022

The U.S. Golf Association is shaking things up regarding who captains the Americans in the next two Walker Cup matches.

On Wednesday Mike McCoy was announced as the captain for Team USA for the 2023 Walker Cup at the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland. Nathan Smith will lead the squad two years later in the matches at Cypress Point Club in Pebble Beach, California.

This will be the first time since 1995 that a U.S. Walker Cup captain won’t be at the helm for two matches.

“Given the exceptional nature of the venues, we wanted to give both Mike and Nathan the opportunity to be a part of one of these next two Matches,” said USGA Chief Championships Officer John Bodenhamer in a statement to Golfweek. “In addition, given the strong and growing list of candidates we have of potential USA Walker Cup Team captains, while historically we have often awarded each both a home and away match, moving forward we feel comfortable providing this opportunity for one match and re-evaluating as needed.”

“Both Mike and Nathan have long, exceptional histories with the USGA and outstanding amateur golf resumes,” said USGA president Stu Francis via a release. “Given the historic nature of the next two matches being staged at St Andrews and Cypress Point, we wanted to give both of them the time to enjoy this leadership opportunity and plan their next few years accordingly. We congratulate each of them on an honor well deserved and look forward to watching them lead two talented USA Teams.”

McCoy, 59, became the second-oldest winner of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship in 2013, has teed it up in 65 USGA championships and was a member of the 2015 U.S. Walker Cup Team at Royal Lytham & St Annes in England, the third-oldest player to ever compete in the matches.

“I am humbled to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup Team,” said McCoy. “It will again be a privilege to be a part of the Walker Cup competition that I was so fortunate to be a part of in 2015. My experiences with the USGA, and the Walker Cup Match, have provided some of the most unforgettable weeks of my life, and I’m thrilled to build new memories with members of next year’s team. I look forward to the diligent preparation that will be required for the challenge of the Old Course.”

The Walker Cup was last played over the world renowned Old Course in 1975 when the United States team, which included future major champions Jerry Pate, Craig Stadler and Curtis Strange, defeated GB&I 15½ -8½. GB&I won the Walker Cup matches played in 1938 and 1971 at St Andrews. 

The match in 2023 will be the 49th playing of the Walker Cup and, of the 46 matches played to date, the United States has won 36 matches, GB&I nine matches, with one match tied.

The occasion will mark exactly 101 years since the biennial encounter was first contested at the National Golf Links of America in 1922 and will be the ninth time that the Walker Cup has been played at St Andrews; more than any other venue in its history. 

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