The Walker Cup is the oldest of golf's biennial competitions, and St. Louis native Jim Holtgrieve captained the U.S. team to victory. Nathan Smith, a 35-year-old investment adviser, scored the clinching point in a 17-9 victory against Britain and Ireland in the sport’s top amateur team competition.
The victory was also a measure of redemption for Holtgrieve, Patrick Rodgers and Nathan Smith—the holdovers from the 2011 team, which suffered a two-point defeat at Royal Aberdeen in Scotland.
But Holtgrieve had preached that the 2013 competition wasn't only about coming to the East End of Long Island to win; he wanted the Walker Cup to be about the overall experience and bonding with teammates. To that end, he took his players to see the 9/11 Memorial in lower Manhattan when they first arrived last week.
"It's something I have been wanting for a long, long time, particularly after we lost in 2011," Holtgrieve says. "I was hoping I would get a mulligan for '13; and when I knew it was going to be at National Golf Links, which is where it all started, I wanted so badly to come here. I wanted to win, but I wanted to do something good for golf; and this, to me, was truly good for golf."
College Men's Golf
Loyola of Chicago senior Alex Cusumano recently was named the Missouri Valley Conference Men's Golfer of the Week.
The left-handed Westminster grad compiled an impressive 72.2 scoring average through five rounds, while never shooting worse than three-over par, over Loyola University Chicago's first two tournaments of the fall season.
"I am thrilled to receive the honor and it is a result of the work I put in over the summer and the past few weeks while at school," Cusumano says.
It is Cusumano's second weekly conference award. In April 2012, he was honored by the Horizon League.
Two standout local golfers competed in the recent United States Golf Association's 113th U.S. Amateur championship at the historic Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
Whitfield graduate Mitch Rutledge and CBC graduate Tanner Bulejski were among the 312 players who qualified to play in the nation's top amateur golf tournament.
Rutledge, a sophomore at Michigan State, missed the cut after two rounds of stroke play. He finished tied for 182nd with a 151 on rounds of 72 and 79.
Bulejski, a junior at Rockhurst, wound up in a tie for 307th with rounds of 86 and 80.
U.S. Women's Amateur
Ellen Port of St. Louis competed in the U.S. Women's Amateur. The tournament was held at the Country Club of Charleston in S.C., where the course measured 6,488 yards and played to a par 71.
Port shot rounds of 78 and 76 for a 154 to miss the cut. The cut was 150.
Several St. Louis area junior golfers compete in the recent Optimist International Junior Golf Championships in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The event at PGA National Resort & Spa brought together some of the world's most talented young competitors, many of whom have the potential to become leading collegiate and professional golfers in the future.
In the boys 16-18 age group, three area youngsters played well. The final round featured the top 50 boys plus ties and Marquette graduate Zachary Gollwitzer was in that group. Gollwitzer ended the tournament in a tie for 17th place. He had rounds of 75-74-77-74 to end with a 300. Gollwitzer is a freshman at the University of Akron.
Daniel Venker, of St. Louis University High, finished in a tie for 97th place with a 239 on rounds of 81-82-76. De Smet's Kyle Szyhowski finished play in a tie for 130th place with a 246 on rounds of 82-81-83. Szyhowski is playing at Loyola New Orleans.
In the boys 14-15 age group, Drew Faust of Ballwin, who will be a sophomore this fall at Parkway South, ended the tournament in 92nd place on the challenging courses of PGA National. He had a three-day total of 275 on rounds of 84-89-102.
In the girls 10-12 age group, Grace Aromando of Lake St. Louis finished 29th out of 38, with a three-day total of 260 on rounds of 87-90-83. Momo Kikuchi of Maryland Heights ranked 32nd out of 38, with a three-day total of 268 on rounds of 97-85-86.
High School Girls Golf
The fall season for high school girls golf has begun. Defending back-to-back Class 1 state champion Westminster lost three girls from last year's squad. However, coach Steve Bradley's Wildcats will not be rebuilding, he says. The program is on solid ground with several girls back and some talented newcomers ready to step in.
Lafayette went undefeated in dual matches last fall and the Lancers have four girls back this season.
Parkway West has one of the best players in the state in senior Emily Goldenstein and the Longhorns will strive to qualify as a team for the state tournament.
St. Joseph's Academy, under veteran coach Carol Fromuth, should be strong again, as will the teams from Parkway North and MICDS.
That's it for this month. Take advantage of the cooler days and enjoy a round of golf at one of many fine facilities around the area. Until next month, keep them in the fairway.