If you have followed Trent Phillips’ junior golf career everything that is happening for the Georgia freshmen is not surprising.
The Bulldog golfer from Inman has added another highlight to his first semester college resume in Athens. He was invited to be part of the practice squad for the next Walker Cup team.
“I got a call Wednesday (while home from school for the Thanksgiving holiday) saying someone had dropped out (Davis Riley from Alabama) and asked if I would like to come to the practice session,” he recalled. “I was pretty excited to get the call, it has been one of my goals to make the team,” said Phillips.
It didn’t take Phillips any time at all to say yes. He joins 15 other players who will spend a few days getting to know each other and the team captain Nathaniel Crosby.
The practice sessions will take place December 14-18 at a yet to be determined location, however Phillips was told he will be traveling to South Beach.
“I know the golf is important, but I think they want to see how everyone gets along and what kind of chemistry could be on the team,” he said.
In just his first four college tournaments Phillips has had his score count in every round. In the Nicklaus Invitational Match Play tournament Phillips won both of his matches.
He has finished second, third twice and eleventh in the fall. Every round he has played this year has been under par. He posted 10 straight rounds in the 60s.
He missed his best chance for a win when the final round of the Jim Rivers Intercollegiate was washed out and he finished second by a shot.
Earlier in the fall Phillips was named to the Haskins Award Watch list. The Haskins Award is the highest honor a college golfer can receive. It is the college golf version of the football Heisman Trophy.
“It is a huge compliment to be picked for the Walker Cup practice. It is great to be recognized as a good player,” he said.
Historically almost all Walker Cup participants go on to have very good professional careers.
“My goal is to play professionally and making the Walker Cup team would be an important step towards that goal,” he said.
Phillips is the second Palmetto State golfer to be chosen for the practice sessions.
Clemson senior Bryson Nimmer, who won two tournaments in the fall, was among the initial group of 16 selected to try to make the team.
In past year’s about 1/3 of the 16 players have been selected to be on the team to play against the team from Great Britian and Ireland.
The Walker Cup is scheduled for September 7th and 8th at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.
Phillips will be practicing with a group of players he has played against either as a junior or in his first few college tournaments.
“I think I know everyone who will be there, being in this group is a real honor,” he said.
While the three-time South Carolina Golf Association Junior Player of the Year is excited to be selected, he is not overwhelmed by the opportunity.
“I am a huge competitor. I work hard and I expect it of myself. I’m not cocky or brash, I just want to let my clubs do the talking and go play golf,” concluded the Walker Cup hopeful.