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Walker Cup rankings: Castillo makes big push in U.S. Amateur stroke play

Each of the past three U.S. Walker Cup teams have featured zero junior players. This year, there could be two.

Akshay Bhatia has already secured his place on captain Nathaniel Crosby’s squad, and Ricky Castillo could soon join him. The incoming Florida freshman, a semifinalist at both the U.S. Junior and Western Amateur this summer and ranked ninth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, finished stroke play at the U.S. Amateur in a tie for second at 2 under, easily advancing to Wednesday’s Round of 64 at Pinehurst No. 2.

The last time an American junior played in a Walker Cup was 2011, when two players who had yet to hit a college shot – Jordan Spieth and Patrick Rodgers – teed it up.