Ben James, Milford, Conn. and Michael Thorbjornsen, Wellesley, Mass. are one step closer to making the 2023 Walker Cup team. The team event, pitting the United States against Great Britain & Northern Ireland is heading to St. Andrews, The Home of Golf, in September 2023.
The teams are made up of 16 players. Typically, the U.S. team is a collection of golfers ranging in age from college to mid-amateur. Evan Beck, 32, is the oldest player invited to the practice round. Ben James, 17, is the youngest.
An invite to the practice round does not guarantee a spot on the team, and players who were not invited still have a chance to make the team based on future performance if they can catch captain Mike McCoy's eye. Overall, it's a group with limited Walker Cup experience. Stewart Hagestad, a two-time USGA champion (2016 and 2021 U.S. Mid-Amateur), is the only player with previous Walker Cup experience (2017, 2019, 2021) to be invited to the practice session.
Thorbjornsen had an exceptional fall season for Stanford. He opened the season with a win in the Fighting Illini Invitational. In his three other appearances for the Cardinal, he never finished outside the top 8 and had a scoring average of 68.67.