Men’s Golf: James begins Walker Cup play with Team USA Saturday

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia second-year men’s golfer Ben James will open play Saturday at the 49th Walker Cup as part of the United States Golf Association’s 10-man team. The U.S. squad will face its counterparts from Great Britain and Ireland.

This year’s matches are being held at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. It will be the first time the Walker Cup has been held at the Old Course since 1975. The United States of America will defend the trophy after their 14-12 success at Seminole in 2021.It was the third straight win by Team USA in the series.

The Walker Cup Match is an amateur team competition played over two days with 18 singles matches and eight foursomes (alternate-shot) matches. The competition started in 1922, and this year’s event is the 100-year anniversary of the second Walker Cup (the first overseas), which was also held at St. Andrews, in 1923. The U.S. leads the all-time series 38-9-1 and has won the last three competitions.

The Old Course has hosted eight previous Walker Cups, more than any other venue, most recently in 1975, when the USA defeated GB&I, 15.5 to 8.5 led by future U.S. Open champions Jerry Pate and Curtis Strange. 

James advanced to the quarterfinals of this year’s U.S. Amateur just prior to being named to the Walker Cup team. He is coming off an accolade-filled freshman year at Virginia, where he was named winner of the 2023 Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman Award, a First-Team Ping All-American, ACC Freshman of the Year and a finalist for both the Haskins and Jack Nicklaus Awards.

He finished sixth at the NCAA Championships, set the UVA record with five first-place finishes and finished in the top six in 11 of 13 tournaments. James is only the second player in Virginia history to earn first-team All-America honors. He was also selected to the 2023 U.S. Palmer Cup Team. He received a sponsor exemption to play in the 2023 Travelers Championship in his home state of Connecticut. 

How to Watch the Walker Cup at St. Andrews

Saturday (all times Eastern)
4 Foursomes Matches – 3:30 a.m. start
8 Singles Matches, 8:45 a.m. start

4 Foursomes Matches, 3 a.m. start
10 Singles Matches, 8:15 a.m. start

TV Schedule (all times Eastern)
Saturday: 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (Golf Channel)
Sunday: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. (Golf Channel)