Seniors Will Zalatoris and Paul McBride faced off in the 2017 Walker Cup, competing for the U.S. and Ireland respectively.
Ahead of this year’s Walker Cup Wake Forest great Webb Simpson tweeted that his participation in 2007 was one of his favorite moments as an amateur and encouraged those competing to soak up this special experience.
Exactly one decade has passed since Simpson competed alongside fellow Americans Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson and against Irishman and future four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, but it was more than just the reflection on 10 years that prompted the 2012 U.S. Open Champion to share words on the historic tournament.
This year, two members of the Wake Forest men’s golf team competed against each other at the Los Angeles Country Club in the bi-annual tournament. The Walker Cup was established in 1922 and features a team of top amateur players from the U.S against a team of top amateur players from Great Britain and Ireland.
Zalatoris and McBride became the 19th and 20th Demon Deacons to compete in the Walker Cup being the 18th Wake Forest member of the American team and second Demon Deacon member to represent the Great Britain and Ireland teams respectively. The participation of Zalatoris and McBride marked the first time Wake Forest teammates competed against each other.
Zalatoris and McBride had a chance to face each other on the first day of competition.
On Saturday, Sept. 9 McBride and partner Connor Syme defeated Zalatoris and Doc Redman 3-2 in the foursome competition. But later in the day, Zalatoris won his singles match while McBride fell to American Collin Morikawa 3-2, giving the U.S. an 8-4 lead after day one.
On Sunday morning, Zalatoris teamed with Cameron Champ for a 6-5 win over David Boote and Jack Davidson. McBride teamed with Syme again, falling to Norman Xiong and Morikawa 2-Up.
The competition concluded Sunday afternoon with the second round of singles. Zalatoris posted his second singles win of the weekend, downing Davidson 3-2. McBride suffered a 6-5 loss to Braden Thornberry.
The competition ended on Sunday and the U.S. team earned a 19-7 victory, giving Zalatoris bragging rights over teammate Paul McBride as the pair returned to Winston-Salem for another week of classes.
After a decade, in 2017, it was Simpson reflecting and sharing words of encouragement to two aspiring professional Demon Deacons competing in the Walker Cup. Perhaps in 2027 it will be Zalatoris and McBride sharing similar words to the next line of Wake Forest golfers.