Walker Cup

From the Walker Cup to major glory

The R&A
29 Aug 23
2 mins

Brian Harman’s victory in The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool continued a trend of sustained success from Walker Cup alumni in recent major championships.

A dominant triumph at Hoylake made Harman, who featured in the 2005 and 2009 matches between the United States and Great Britain and Ireland, the 19th player since 1991 to follow a Walker Cup appearance with a men’s major title. Even more impressively, former Walker Cup players have won nine of the 15 majors to have taken place since GB&I last hosted the biennial contest, at Hoylake, in 2019.

The 151st Open – Brian Harman

Harman was a class apart at Royal Liverpool as he cantered to a six-shot victory in The 151st Open. Eighteen years prior to that phenomenal performance, the then-18-year-old Harman became the youngest American to be picked for the Walker Cup. The Georgia native certainly rose to the challenge at Chicago Golf Club, remaining undefeated as he picked up 1½ points in partnership with Anthony Kim before beating Rhys Davies in the concluding singles as the USA claimed a slender 12½-11½ victory. Harman was similarly productive on his second Walker Cup outing at Merion in 2009. He again contributed 2½ points to an American success, with his only defeat coming against Gavin Dear on Sunday.
In 2005 the then 18-year-old Brian Harman became the youngest American to be picked for the Walker Cup.

2022 US Open – Matt Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick’s major success came at Brookline last year, as he added the US Open title to the US Amateur crown he had secured at the same venue in 2013. The US Amateur success helped ensure Fitzpatrick went into that year’s Walker Cup as the top-ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®). He duly impressed in a losing cause at the National Golf Links of America, winning three of his four matches including two foursomes victories alongside Neil Raymond.

2022 PGA Championship – Justin Thomas

Thomas claimed his second PGA Championship title in 2022, five years on from winning his maiden major title in the same event. His Walker Cup appearance came in opposition to Fitzpatrick in 2013. Thomas also performed strongly in that contest, earning 2½ points from three outings.

2022 Masters Tournament – Scottie Scheffler

Scheffler tasted major success last April when he won the 2022 Masters Tournament at Augusta National, his fourth title in the space of two months. The man who now sits atop the Official World Golf Ranking was part of the United States’ Walker Cup team in 2017. Scheffler and Cameron Champ were beaten by Scott Gregory and Jack Singh Brar in the opening round of foursomes, but the former bounced back to win his Sunday singles match, edging out Connor Syme on the 18th.

The 149th Open and 2020 PGA Championship – Collin Morikawa

Another member of the US team in 2017 was Collin Morikawa, who picked up a maximum haul of four points at Los Angeles Country Club. Less than three years later, Morikawa was a major champion courtesy of his victory at the 2020 PGA Championship. He then produced a stunning display in his Open debut at Royal St George’s in 2021, overhauling Louis Oosthuizen on the final day to secure the Claret Jug.
Winner of the gold medal and Champion Golfer of the Year is...Colin Morikawa  | The 149th Open Championship

2021 PGA Championship – Phil Mickelson

Few players have demonstrated more impressive longevity than Phil Mickelson, whose sixth major title – at the 2021 PGA Championship – came 32 years on from his Walker Cup debut. After claiming two points in the USA’s narrow defeat to GB&I at Peachtree Golf Club, Mickelson won three matches to help his side regain the trophy at Portmarnock in 1991. A stellar professional career has followed, highlighted by three victories at the Masters Tournament, two at the PGA and success in The 142nd Open at Muirfield in 2013.

2020 Masters – Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson is one of four players to have featured in the 2007 Walker Cup at Royal County Down and then enjoyed major success, along with Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy and Danny Willett. Johnson’s first major title was secured at the 2016 US Open, before he doubled his tally at the delayed 2020 Masters. His Walker Cup return was 1½ points from three matches, although he was beaten 5&4 by Rhys Davies in the opening-day singles.

2020 US Open – Bryson DeChambeau

DeChambeau was the reigning US Amateur Champion when he featured in the 2015 Walker Cup at Royal Lytham & St Annes. After sitting out the opening foursomes, he earned 2.5 points from three appearances but was unable to prevent his team from suffering a 16½ - 9½ defeat to GB&I. A first major came DeChambeau’s way five years later when he produced a dominant performance at Winged Foot to win the US Open by six strokes.

Other major winners to have played in the Walker Cup since 1991:

David Duval – 1991 Walker Cup; 2001 Open Padraig Harrington – 1991, 1993 and 1995 Walker Cup; 2007 and 2008 Open, 2008 PGA Championship Justin Leonard – 1993 Walker Cup; 1997 Open Tiger Woods – 1995 Walker Cup; 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2019 Masters, 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007 PGA Championship, 2000, 2002 and 2008 US Open, 2000, 2005 and 2006 Open Justin Rose – 1997 Walker Cup; 2013 US Open Lucas Glover – 2001 Walker Cup; 2009 US Open Graeme McDowell – 2001 Walker Cup; 2010 US Open Webb Simpson – 2007 Walker Cup; 2012 US Open Rory McIlroy – 2007 Walker Cup; 2011 US Open, 2012 and 2014 PGA Championship, 2014 Open Danny Willett – 2007 Walker Cup; 2016 Masters Jordan Spieth – 2011 Walker Cup; 2015 Masters, 2015 US Open, 2017 Open