Max Homa, 22, of Valencia, Calif.
Homa won the Pacific-12 Conference Championship in early May and was the individual medalist at the 2013 NCAA Men’s Division I Championship, finishing at 9-under 201 to defeat six players by three strokes after a bogey-free, final-round 66 at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course near Atlanta. In his senior year, he captained the University of California-Berkeley to an NCAA-record 11 tournament victories.
He finished as Cal’s career leader in stroke-play events (47), rounds (141) and total shots (10,340), with a stroke average of 71.81. His individual honors include being named a first-team All-American and to the All-Nicklaus Team, both awarded by the Golf Coaches Association of America. While at Cal, he totaled 11 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes, and is the only player in school history to have a top-10 finish at the NCAA Championship (T9th) and at the NCAA Regional (T10th) in the same season, which he accomplished in 2011-12.
Homa tied for second place at the Western Intercollegiate, posted an opening-round 61 at the Pac-12 Championship and tied for 11th at NCAA Regionals before winning the individual title. In June, he survived a playoff at sectional qualifying to reach the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, where he missed the cut by three strokes. Homa, who missed the match-play cut in the 2013 U.S. Amateur, advanced to the Amateur quarterfinals in 2010 at Chambers Bay. He tied for eighth at this year’s Porter Cup, held at Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston, N.Y.
Michael Kim, 20, of Del Mar, Calif.
Kim graduated from Torrey Pines High School in 2011 and is entering his junior year at the University of California-Berkeley. Earlier this summer, he was the low amateur (T-17 overall) at the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., and the runner-up to Walker Cup teammate Jordan Niebrugge at the U.S. Amateur Public Links at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Va., where he fell, 1 down, in the 36-hole final.
During his two seasons at Cal, he has played every round of all 26 stroke-play events, compiling a 70.73 stroke average.
Kim owns 11 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes, and posted Cal’s top score (or tied for the top score) in a stroke-play event 10 times. He has twice shot 64 – as a freshman in the second round of the NCAA Stanford Regional and as a sophomore in the first round of the Alister MacKenzie Invitational.
As a sophomore, he won four collegiate events and was honored as the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year. He was named first-team All-American, All-West Region and All-Pac-12 as well as to the All-Nicklaus Team and the USA Palmer Cup Team. He won the 2013 Golfstat Cup for having the lowest adjusted scoring average entering the NCAA Championship. In May, Kim received the Jack Nicklaus Award as the NCAA Division I player of the year, and in June the Fred Haskins Award as the national collegiate player of the year as determined in voting by collegiate golfers, coaches and members of the national media, becoming Cal’s first player to win those honors. He was one of three finalists for the Ben Hogan Award, presented annually to the top men's college golfer.
He failed to qualify for match play at the 2013 U.S. Amateur. He also for 38th at the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic in July.
Jordan Niebrugge, 20, of Mequon, Wis.
A Homestead High School graduate and Oklahoma State University sophomore, Niebrugge defeated Walker Cup teammate Michael Kim, 1 up, at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Va., to win the 2013 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. Also in 2013, he won the Wisconsin State Amateur and the Wisconsin State Match Play championships, along with the Western Amateur. He won 16 consecutive matches before losing to Seth Reeves, 1 down, in the first round of the U.S. Amateur at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. Niebrugge had defeated Reeves two weeks earlier in the quarterfinals of the Western Amateur. He defeated Sean Dale in the Western Amateur final, 3 and 2.
In 2012, Niebrugge won the Wisconsin Boys State Championship and finished third at the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions. He also tied for sixth at the 2012 Wisconsin State Amateur Championship. He earned honorable mention All-America honors as a freshman after finishing runner-up in the Morris Williams Intercollegiate and in The Prestige at PGA West.
In 2011, Niebrugge became the youngest-ever winner of the Wisconsin State Open at age 18 years, 13 days, firing a 5-under 67 in the final round. Niebrugge also twice competed in the U.S. Junior Amateur (2009 and 2011), advancing to the first and second round of match play, respectively. Niebrugge was named an honorable mention AJGA All-American in 2011 and tied for second at the 2011 Rolex Tournament of Champions. He had four top-20 finishes in five AJGA starts in 2010 and six in seven AJGA starts in 2009.
Patrick Rodgers, 21, of Avon, Ind.
Rodgers is one of two returning USA Walker Cup Team members, having competed in the 2011 Match at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland (with Nathan Smith), and is the ninth golfer from Stanford to be selected. He lost his singles match, 2 and 1, to Rhys Pugh, and halved his foursomes match the next day while paired with Jordan Spieth.
He advanced to the Round of 16 at the 2013 U.S. Amateur at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., and qualified for match play at the Western Amateur, where he was the 72-hole, stroke-play qualifying medalist. He tied for 17th at the 2013 Porter Cup, and won the Southern Highlands Masters in Las Vegas. He also finished tied for 15th at the 2013 John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour.
Rodgers concluded his sophomore season at Stanford with three intercollegiate victories and six top-10 finishes, leading the Cardinal with a 70.88 stroke average. For the second consecutive year, he was named first-team All-American, first-team All-Pacific 12 Conference, and was a Palmer Cup selection. He was also named to the 2013 All-Nicklaus Team.
During the 2011-12 college season, Rodgers produced two tournament wins and 10 top-10 finishes, was named to the All-Freshman Team, was named first-team All-Pac-12 and was a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award. The 2011 Porter Cup champion, Rodgers was also a quarterfinalist at the 2011 U.S. Amateur, where he lost to eventual champion Kelly Kraft at Erin Hills. That year, he also won the 2011 Western Intercollegiate at Pasatiempo.
In high school, he was named First Team Rolex Junior All-American in 2009 and 2010, and was a two-time state high school champion in Indiana, while graduating third in his class of 582 at Avon High School.
Nathan Smith, 35, of Pittsburgh
Smith has won the U.S. Mid-Amateur a record four times, the last coming in 2012 at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, Ill.. He first won in 2003, becoming the youngest-ever champion at age 25. He won two consecutive Mid-Ams in 2009 and 2010, and made history with his fourth win in 2012, breaking a tie with Jay Sigel, a fellow Pennsylvanian who also won two U.S. Amateurs and competed on a USA-Team record nine Walker Cup Teams. The Mid-Am titles earned Smith four invitations to the Masters Tournament. Also in 2012, he finished 18th at the Jones Cup and tied for 20th at the Azalea Amateur.
Smith was a member of the 2009 and 2011 USA Walker Cup Teams, the first Western Pennsylvanian to make two Walker Cup Teams since William C. Fownes Jr. did so in the early 1920s, and was a member of the victorious USA squad at the 2010 Copa de las Americas in Argentina.
Only 16 players in history have won more USGA titles than Smith, a list headed by Tiger Woods and Bob Jones, with nine each. Smith claimed four consecutive victories in the Western Pennsylvania Amateur, from 2007-2010, and he also won the Pennsylvania State Amateur in 2002 and 2009 and was runner-up in 2001, 2007 and 2008.
Additionally, he finished runner-up at the 2002 North & South Amateur and the 2008 Northeast Amateur.
Smith is an investment advisor with Executive Wealth Counselors in Pittsburgh. He was a four-time NCAA Division III All-American and a two-time NCAA Division III regional player of the year at Allegheny College, in Meadville, Pa., before earning his MBA at Clarion (Pa.) University.
Justin Thomas, 20, of Goshen, Ky.
In his sophomore season at the University of Alabama, Thomas was named second-team All-American and first-team All-Southeastern Conference with two wins and six top-10 finishes as he played an integral part in Alabama winning the 2013 NCAA Division I title, the first in the school's history, as well as the 2013 SEC Championship. As a freshman in 2011-12, Thomas was selected as a first-team All-American with a school-record four wins and nine total top-10 finishes. He also won the SEC Championship and the NCAA Athens Regional in 2012 and was a semifinalist for the Ben Hogan Award, presented to the nation’s top amateur golfer. He was selected as the SEC Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. In 2012, Thomas also won both the Fred Haskins and Jack Nicklaus awards as the nation's top collegiate golfer, as well as the 2012 Phil Mickelson Award, for the outstanding freshman in Division I men's golf, becoming the first Alabama golfer to capture those honors.
He also helped the USA win the 2012 World Amateur Team Championship in Turkey, where he finished tied for seventh individually.
Thomas advanced to the semifinals at the 2012 U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills Country Club and to the Round of 32 in 2010 and 2011 at Chambers Bay and Erin Hills, respectively. He also was the runner-up to Jim Liu at the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur at Egypt Valley C.C. He won the 2012 Jones Cup, finished tied for 30th in the 2013 PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship and competed in the 2013 U.S. Amateur, where he missed the match-play cut. He has been a USA Palmer Cup Team selection in each of the past two years.
Prior to enrolling at Alabama, Thomas became the third-youngest player to make a PGA Tour cut at the 2009 Wyndam Championship, at just 16 years, 3 months and 24 days. He is a two-time Rolex Junior All-American, earning first-team honors in 2010. His lowest competitive round is a 64, which he has shot six times. Thomas announced earlier this summer that he will forego his final two years of eligibility at Alabama to turn professional after the Walker Cup.
Michael Weaver, 22, of Fresno, Calif.
Weaver advanced to the championship match of the 2012 U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills Country Club before suffering a 37-hole defeat to Steven Fox, who won the final three holes of the match. In 2013, Weaver advanced to the first round of match play in the 2013 U.S. Amateur, where he was defeated by Greg Eason, of England, 3 and 2. He was selected to compete in the 2013 Palmer Cup, where he recorded 1.5 points to contribute to the USA’s victory at Wilmington (Del.) Country Club. As a redshirt junior at the University of California-Berkeley, Weaver was named first-team All-American, All-West Region and All-Pac-12 selection. In 34 collegiate events, he owns a 71.91 stroke-play average. He has 10 top-five finishes and 15 top-10 showings to rank second among the team’s active players in both categories behind Walker Cup teammate Michael Kim.
Weaver recorded his first collegiate win at the 2013 NCAA Pullman Regional and placed runner-up at the Pac-12 Championship, where he became the only Cal player ever to be in the top two at both the NCAA Regional and the Pac-12 Championship.
With his runner-up finish at the 2012 U.S. Amateur, Weaver earned an invitation to the 2013 Masters and an exemption into the U.S. Open, where he finished 64th at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.
He won the Alameda Commuters and placed runner-up at the Fresno City Championship. In his sophomore season (2010-11), he finished tied for eighth at the NCAA Championships, the second-highest finish ever for a Cal player at this event, and is also Cal’s only NCAA Regional champion in school history. He posted the low round of his career when he shot a 64 to open the Arizona Intercollegiate in 2009-10.
Todd White, 45, of Spartanburg, S.C.
White has competed in 11 USGA championships, including four U.S. Amateurs, two U.S. Mid-Amateurs, four USGA State Team Championships and one U.S. Open. His best finish in a U.S. Amateur was in 2003 at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club, when he advanced to the Round of 16 before falling to Jerry Courville, 4 and 3. His best finish in a U.S. Mid-Amateur was in 2012, when he lost in the semifinals to Garrett Rank, 1 up. The same year, he tied for seventh at the Azalea Amateur and for 10th at the Northeast Amateur.
He also advanced to the Round of 32 at the 2012 U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills Country Club. This past June, White posted a 4-under-par 65 in the final round of the 2013 Northeast Amateur to finish tied for fifth.
White also won the 2010 Palmetto Amateur and the 2004 South Carolina Mid-Amateur, the same year he was runner-up at the Azalea Amateur
White played collegiate golf at Furman University in his home state (Class of 1990) and was inducted to the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. One year later, he was named the Carolinas Golf Association and the South Carolina Golf Association Player of the Year. White was also honored as the South Carolina Golf Association Player of the Year in 2010 and 2012.
In 1990, White won the Northeast Amateur and the South Carolina Amateur, and he is a three-time South Carolina Match Play champion. White is a history teacher at Hilton Head Island (S.C.) High School. Prior to that, he spent 12 years as a teacher and an assistant football coach at Dorman High School in Spartanburg, S.C.
Cory Whitsett, 21, of Houston
Whitsett, who just completed his junior year at the University of Alabama, secured the clinching point as the Crimson Tide captured its first-ever NCAA Division I national championship in June at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course in suburban Atlanta. He was a first-team All-American and a member of the All-Nicklaus Team with three wins and eight top-10 finishes, and was the only player to win all three matches at the 2013 NCAA Championship.
The left-hander owns a 71.39 career scoring average in 72 career rounds, ranking second in school history only to current PGA Tour player and 2009 Walker Cup member Bud Cauley. Whitsett continued his winning ways after the collegiate season, leading the USA to victory over Europe in June in the Palmer Cup at Wilmington (Del.) Country Club, compiling a 3-0-1 record. He then captured the prestigious Northeast Amateur at Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford, R.I., closing with a round of 63, the lowest final-round score by a winner in the tournament's 52 years.
Prior to enrolling at Alabama, Whitsett, 15, won the 2007 U.S. Junior Amateur at Boone Valley Country Club in Augusta, Mo., defeating Anthony Paolucci, 8 and 7. Whitsett has also competed in four U.S. Amateurs.
Whitsett earned second-team All-America honors in 2010-11 and 2011-12 and was named to the 2011 All-Mickelson Team, which honors the nation’s top freshmen. As a sophomore in 2012, Whitsett was named first-team All-SEC and second-team All-American with two wins and five top-10 finishes. He also won the NCAA Elite 89 Award, presented to the student-athlete with the highest GPA at the NCAA Championships, as well as SEC Academic Honor Roll accolades.
Bobby Wyatt, 21, of Mobile, Ala.
Wyatt competed in the 2013 U.S. Amateur at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., losing to 2013 U.S. Open qualifier Gavin Hall in the second round. Wyatt, who just completed his junior year at the University of Alabama, was selected for the 2013 USA Palmer Cup Team, which was captained by his current Alabama coach, Jay Seawell. Wyatt went 3-0-1 record in the competition for the victorious USA side. Also in 2013, Wyatt was runner-up at the NCAA Regionals and the SEC Championships for the second consecutive year. He was a member of the Crimson Tide’s NCAA Division I national championship-winning squad, defeating Illinois’ Thomas Detry, 6 and 5, in the final match. During the stroke-play portion of the competition, he tied for 26th. He was named a 2012-13 first-team All-American, his third consecutive All-America honor, having earned second-team honors in 2011-12 and honorable-mention honors in 2010-11.
While at Alabama, Wyatt has competed in 20 tournaments with nine top-five finishes and a scoring average of 71.98, which ranks fourth in school history.
At the 2012 U.S. Amateur, he was the stroke-play medalist with a score of 9-under 132, which tied the record for lowest stroke-play qualifying score. He advanced to the Round of 16, losing to teammate Justin Thomas, 1 down.
Wyatt first gained national acclaim by shooting a 57 at the 2010 Alabama State Junior Championship.