Williams wins Mark H McCormack Medal as the leading men's amateur player

Chris WilliamsAmerican player Chris Williams will receive the Mark H McCormack Medal as the leading player in the 2012 World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR).

Williams, who progressed to the quarter-finals of the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship at Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado at the weekend before being knocked out by eventual winner Steven Fox, finished ahead of a clutch of exciting young amateurs, including compatriots Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Bobby Wyatt, last year’s Asian Amateur Champion Hideki Matsuyama from Japan and Daan Huizing from the Netherlands, to win the medal.

The Mark H McCormack Medal is awarded annually by The R&A and the United States Golf Association (USGA) recognising the leading player in the rankings following the European Amateur or the U.S. Amateur, whichever finishes last.

Williams’ performance at the U.S. Amateur capped an excellent season for the University of Washington senior who won the Western Amateur earlier this month while also taking medalist honours there. His other victories are the NCAA Southwest Regional and Washington State Amateur.  He was awarded 1st Team All-America honours by the Golf Coaches Association of America.  The 21-year-old from Moscow, Idaho, also represented the USA in the Palmer Cup team at Royal County Down, with a 3-1-0 record.

In 2011, Williams won the Sahalee Amateur Players Championship and the Pacific Coast Amateur, was medalist at the Western Amateur and qualified for the U.S. Open at Congressional, where he missed the cut by two shots. He was part of the USA Walker Cup Team and he recorded a 2-1-0 record.  He was a second-team All-American in that collegiate season.

Williams said, “It's a huge honour. My teammate Nick Taylor won it a few years back.  I never dreamed I'd be winning it three years later. My friend Patrick Cantlay won it last year. I never thought I'd be in the same circle as those guys. It's truly an honour.  There's tons and tons of good players and to be on top of that ranking is something I definitely cherish."

The World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), which is supported by Rolex, was established in 2007 when the men’s ranking was launched. The Men’s WAGR encompasses more than 2,500 counting events, ranking more than 6,600 players representing 101 countries worldwide. The women’s ranking was launched in 2011.

Glen D. Nager, USGA President said: “Chris has had two terrific years of golf, which include some prominent tournament victories. His body of work in major events is to be congratulated and the USGA wishes him continued success in his career as an amateur and beyond."

Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said: “I would like to congratulate Chris on his outstanding performance to win this year’s medal. He has shown great consistency and already has valuable experience of some major events such as the U.S. Open and the Walker Cup. WAGR is becoming an increasingly important means of tracking the performance of amateur golfers throughout the world on a week by week basis.”