Golf

Bluffton's White set for Walker Cup action

sports@islandpacket.comSeptember 6, 2013 

Todd White

Todd White's dream is about to come true.

The Bluffton resident and Hilton Head Island High School social studies teacher learned in August he had been named to the U.S. Walker Cup squad, an addition made possible by rules expanding the inclusion of mid-amateurs.

The 44th Walker Cup Match begins with opening ceremonies Friday, and will be played Saturday and Sunday at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y. The course is hosting the match for the first time since the inaugural Walker Cup in 1922.

"This will be the greatest experience of my life," White said in August. "It's the opportunity to represent your country. There is no higher achievement in athletics than representing your country in competition."

The matches, held every two years, pit a team of 10 amateurs from the United States against 10 from Great Britain and Ireland. The two-day event features 18 singles matches and eight alternate-shot matches.

The U.S. leads the all-time series, 34-8-1, and hasn't lost at home since 2001.

White, 45, is a beneficiary of a new USGA rule that requires two members of the U.S. team to be mid-amateurs -- post-college amateur golfers 25 and older.

"When the USGA made that requirement, they dangled a carrot out there for a lot of mid-ams," White said. "I knew I had a great 2012. I just hoped I'd do well enough this year to be selected."

Joining White on the U.S. team are Alabama senior and 2012 Players Amateur runner-up Bobby Wyatt, U.S. Amateur Public Links and Western Amateur champion Jordan Niebrugge of Oklahoma State, 2012 U.S. Amateur runner-up Michael Weaver of California, four-time U.S. Mid-Am champ Nathan Smith, California's Max Homa and Michael Kim, Stanford's Patrick Rodgers, and Alabama's Justin Thomas and Cory Whitsett.

"I'm looking forward to getting to know them more on a personal level," White said in an interview posted to the Walker Cup website. "We've got different events that are planned to where we're going to be round each other so much."

White reached the semifinals of the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship and finished fifth earlier this year at the prestigious Northeast Amateur, where he was the top mid-am.

He has competed in 11 USGA championships.

The 44th Walker Cup Match

What: Amateur golf team event pitting the United States against Great Britain & Ireland

When: Saturday and Sunday

Where: National Golf Links of America, Southampton, N.Y.

Television: Golf Channel, 4-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Rosters

United States: Max Homa, Michael Kim, Jordan Niebrugge, Patrick Rodgers, Nathan Smith, Justin Thomas, Michael Weaver, Todd White, Cory Whitsett, Bobby Wyatt; Captain: Jim Holtgrieve

Britain and Ireland: Matthew Fitzpatrick, England; Nathan Kimsey, England; Gavin Moynihan, Ireland; Max Orrin, England; Kevin Phelan, Ireland; Garrick Porteous, England; Rhys Pugh, Wales; Neil Raymond, England; Callum Shinkwin, England; Jordan Smith, England; Captain: Nigel Edwards, Wales

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