A series of revisions have been made to the USGA’s selection process for its international teams to allow for automatic selections and create more transparency to how those individuals are chosen.
The revised guidelines, which have been approved by the USGA Executive Committee, impact the selection of the organization’s most prestigious international teams: the USGA’s men’s and women’s teams for the World Amateur Team Championships, starting in 2018, as well as the selection of the USGA’s teams for the Walker Cup Match (men) and Curtis Cup Match (women), starting in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
In short, these USA teams will now have automatic selections for the first time. The U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur champions, as well as the No. 1-ranked men’s and women’s golfer in the World Amateur Golf RankingTM (WAGRTM), will be automatically selected to each of the respective teams if they are amateurs and U.S. citizens, as will the best-ranked USA players in the WAGR when applicable.
The selection process, beginning with the 2018 World Amateur Team Championships (scheduled Aug. 29-Sept. 8 in the Republic of Ireland) and continuing with the next Walker Cup and Curtis Cup matches, will now work as follows:
World Amateur Team Championships (men’s and women’s 3-person teams):
- The best-ranked American female and male in the WAGR will be automatically named to each respective team, as of the July 25 WAGR update for women and the Aug. 1 WAGR update for men
- The U.S. Women’s Amateur champion and U.S. Amateur champion will be automatically named to each respective team (named after each championship)
- The men’s and women’s Mark H. McCormack Medal winners (WAGR world No. 1) will be automatically named to each respective team (named immediately after each U.S. Amateur championship)
- Any other remaining selections will be decided by the USGA’s International Team Selection Committee (ITSC)
Walker Cup Team (10-person team – selected in two segments in August)
- 2019 U.S. Amateur champion will be automatically named to the team
- 2019 Mark H. McCormack Medal winner (WAGR world No. 1) will be automatically named to the team (named immediately after U.S. Amateur Championship)
- Top 3 ranked USA players in the WAGR (as of early August) will be automatically named to the team
- The remaining selections, which will include at least one mid-amateur (25 years and older) player, will be decided by the USGA’s ITSC
Curtis Cup Team (8-person team selected all at once in spring)
- 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion will be automatically named to the team (named immediately after championship)
- 2019 Mark H. McCormack Medal winner (WAGR world No. 1) will be automatically named to the team (named immediately after U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship)
- Top 3 ranked USA players in the WAGR (as of team selection date) will be automatically named to the team
- The remaining selections will be decided by the USGA’s International Team Selection ITSC
“Adding these elements of transparency to our selections helps players understand the process and aspire to earn coveted spots on these top teams,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director of Championships & Governance. “Representing your country in team competitions is one of golf’s highest honors and among the best experiences of a player’s career, and we want excellence to be rewarded.”
For selection of additional players, the USGA’s ITSC will place primary emphasis on playing accomplishments, rankings and awards over the past two years, with an emphasis on results in USGA competitions.
The selection committee will also continue to adhere to an overarching guideline that a player named to any of its teams must have an unquestioned ability to appropriately represent the USA and USGA with character, sportsmanship and integrity – an inherent component of the final selection process.
The 2018 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship will be conducted Aug. 29-Sept. 1 at Carton House Golf Club in Dublin, Ireland, followed by the 2018 World Amateur Team Championship Sept. 5-8 at the same location.
The USA Walker Cup Team, which defeated the Great Britain and Ireland team 19-7 in 2017 at The Los Angeles Country Club, will defend its title at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England, Sept. 7-8, 2019.
Following a resounding 17-3 victory this May at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y., the USA Curtis Cup Team will defend its title June 12-14, 2020 at Conwy Golf Club in Caernarvonshire, Wales.
The USGA International Selection Committee consists of 10 members, including representatives of the USGA Championship Committee, Executive Committee and international competition staff members. It is currently chaired by Martha Lang, who has competed in more than 60 USGA championships, winning the 1988 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship and playing on the 1992 USA Curtis Cup Team. She captained the 1996 USA Curtis Cup Team as well as the USA Team in the 2014 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship.