While the great triumvirate was in Farmingdale, NY, on the Bethpage Binge, Rico Piechowicz represented BuffaloGolfer.Com at the Porter Cup media day. We know that he rubbed elbows with some of NBC’s finest in the clubhouse and on the golfing grounds that Thursday. We are also aware that he has a special preview for the 2011 Porter Cup in the works. I’m hoping to not steal one of Rico’s Rants with this preview, so keep your fingers crossed and read on!
As I type, the Ham-Am at the Porter Cup is little more than a week off. The tournament itself begins on Wednesday, July 27th, at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston, NY. Unless you live in the Out of Bounds portion of your local course (or at the bottom of a Lateral Hazard) you know that the Porter Cup has no admission charge, save a $5 parking donation to the area Boy Scout troop. You also know that dudes like Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Ryuji Imada, Scott Verplank and Spencer Levin have won the event in the past twenty years and that other chaps like Tiger Woods played in the event. In other words, it’s a pretty big deal on the national summer amateur circuit.
The 2011 edition, the 53rd annual competition, holds great importance for the USA side of this year’s Walker Cup, to be contested over the Royal Aberdeen links in Scotland. Ten men and a non-playing captain will attempt to retain the Cup won in 2009 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. By this juncture, the team is typically rounding into shape and few surprises remain; not so in Twenty-Eleven. Patrick Cantlay, Peter Uihlein, Nathan Smith, Russell Henley and David Chung (the defending Porter Cup champion) are all safe bets for selection to the USA side…but that’s where certainty ends.
Five spots remain on the team, with Harris English (recent winner of the Southern Amateur) and Corbin Mills (winner of the USGA Public Links and Players Amateurs in successive weeks) might have an inside track, but what about John Peterson (NCAA and Jones Cup champ) Jack Fields (North & South champ) and others like them? Well, that’s where the Porter Cup comes in. The PC and the Western Amateur (the most grueling amateur competition of them all) are played in successive weeks and will likely set the table for the team selection. Three weeks hence, the US Amateur will be contested at Erin Hills in Wisconsin, with 90% of the team likely selected.
To catch a glimpse of the nation’s finest amateurs, under extreme pressure to represent their country in a once-a-life opportunity, stop by the Porter Cup for one, two, three or four days this July 27-30. For a list of contestants, Click Here.