Sports

Stanford's McNealy joins his rival for Walker Cup action

 

They've played as teammates, and they've gone head-to-head. This weekend, the two NCGA members again will team up in representing the red, white and blue.

Starting Saturday, U.S. Amateur champion Bryson DeChambeau and NCAA Player of the Year Maverick McNealy from Stanford will make their debuts as the 45th Walker Cup gets underway at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in England.

In recent months, the dynamic duo has crossed paths both as friend and foe.

At July's Pacific Coast Amateur Championship, DeChambeau and McNealy were part of the three-man NCGA squad (along with Corey Pereira) that won the Morse Cup, a team competition held during the first two days of the championship.

In August, meanwhile, the two met in the U.S. Amateur Round of 16. At least that time, it was DeChambeau who walked away on top, as the Southern Methodist University senior defeated the Stanford junior, 3 and 2, in a battle between the NCAA champion and NCAA Player of the Year.

McNealy, the No. 2-ranked amateur in the world, and DeChamebeau, the No. 4 amateur on the planet, now have their sights set on bringing home another Walker Cup title for Team USA. The two were among five players named as early picks for the team by Team USA captain John 'Spider' Miller.

As for what each of them brings to the table, McNealy described DeChambeau's game as "rock solid."

"He takes a very unique approach to the game, he buys into it 100 percent and that type of commitment is a huge part of what makes him so successful. He's very analytical and very calculated. It's very cool and fun to watch," said McNealy.

DeChambeau, meanwhile, called McNealy "awesome."

"Maverick is such a class act," DeChambeau said. "We're going to have a lot of fun over in England."

It's believed that McNealy, of Portola Valley, and DeChambeau, who hails from Fresno, are the first two Northern California natives to play on the same U.S. Walker Cup squad.

At the 2013 Walker Cup, Fresno native and former Cal great Michael Weaver was a part of the U.S. team along with Patrick Rodgers of Stanford and then-Bears member Max Homa. Neither Rodgers nor Homa are NorCal natives, however.

The U.S. leads the overall Walker Cup series, 35-8-1, including a 17-9 victory in the 2013 championship at National Golf Links of America.

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