US Amateur champion Nick Dunlap owns unique piece of Old Course history

Ronan MacNamara

Nick Dunlap and Gordon Sargent of the United States with team Captain Mike McCoy (Photo by Oisin Keniry/R&A via Getty Images)

Rónán MacNamara at the Old Course

Sitting either side of non-playing USA captain Mike McCoy are World Number One amateur Gordon Sargent and reigning US Amateur champion Nick Dunlap which tells you all you need to know about the pedigree of player the Stars and Stripes have touched down at St Andrews with.

Also part of a star-studded USA outfit are NCAA All-Americans, players with multiple major championship appearances and of course 32-year-old Steward Hagestad who is set for his fourth successive Walker Cup appearance having won on all three of his previous bows. He is very much part of the furniture here.


Donning peculiar navy caps with a large W on the front – the meaning of the W is of your own interpretation – Dunlap and Sargent are here to win, not just this weekend but as future professionals as well.

This weekend will be the 49th edition of the Walker Cup which marks the centenary of the first playing at the Home of Golf and while the Americans will be looking to make some new Old Course memories, Dunlap (19) has a unique momento from way back in 1922.

“For me at least, I’ve told a couple people this. I have a ball – I’m not sure exactly how I got it – from the very first Walker Cup here. It’s sat on my nightstand ever since it was announced it was going to be played here,” said Dunlap.

“For me, representing my country means a great deal. It’s something that I haven’t really gotten to do. You’re playing for more than yourself. You’re playing for your teammates, your captain, your coaches, your people at home, your family. It’s going to feel a little bit different teeing it up Saturday morning in a good way, and whenever that flag gets raised, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Sargent added: Obviously feel similar to what Nick said. Just when you talk to people about the Walker Cup, it kind of hasn’t — it’s starting to sink in a lot. Just thinking about that first tee, how cool it is and all that stuff.

“But then also hearing like kind of it’s cool to be on a Walker Cup, but to be on a winning Walker Cup team means the world.

“Yeah, kind of everybody is putting in the proper prep work and everyone knows what it means to be a Walker Cup team, but our job is not finished. Yeah, I think it would be a pretty special Sunday evening to be lifting the trophy.”

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