USA and Europe Meet at Palmer Cup at The Royal County Down Golf Club
Top collegiate and Amateur golfers meet June 28-30
NEWCASTLE, Northern Ireland – Top collegiate golfers from Europe and the United States will meet in the 2012 Palmer Cup at The Royal County Down Golf Club June 28-30. The annual Ryder Cup-style competition will commence with four-ball matches Thursday morning with foursomes matches that afternoon and singles matches both Friday and Saturday.
The United States have won the last two Palmer Cup matches - including 2010 at Royal Portrush - and will be seeking the elusive hat trick of three in a row, something which has never been accomplished before in this event.
Last year, at The Stanwich Club in Greenwich, Conn., the United States scored a 13-11 victory.
In the early going, the U.S. held a decisive advantage. From the inaugural event in 1997 through 2002 it was the Americans against a squad made up from Great Britain & Ireland. The U.S. was 4-1-1 in that span.
In 2003, GB&I expanded (much like the Ryder Cup) to include all of Europe and the tone of the matches took on more of a competitive atmosphere. Europe would win five of the next seven competitions. The Americans hold an 8-6-1 advantage overall in the series.
Jack Nicklaus Award recipient Justin Thomas of Alabama headlines the USA lineup that includes four PING First-Team All-America selections. Auburn’s Blayne Barber, Patrick Rodgers of Stanford and Washington’s Chris Williams join Thomas as first-team All-Americans. They will be joined by Derek Ernst of UNLV, Clemson’s Corbin Mills, James White of Georgia Tech and Stanford’s Andrew Yun. Barber, Williams and Yun powered Team USA to its 13-11 victory at The Stanwich Club last summer combining for an 8-1-3 record. Yun became just the 13th players to post a 4-0 record in the Palmer Cup matches.
Making their first Palmer Cup coaching appearances for the U.S. are head coach Josh Gregory of SMU and assistant coach Christian Newton of Georgia Tech.
Three European team members return from 2011. UCLA’s Pontus Widegren will be competing in his third Palmer Cup while fellow Swede Robert Karlsson of Liberty and Sebastian Cappelen of Denmark and Arkansas are making their second appearance. Joining them are PING First-Team All-America selections Julien Brun of TCU and Illinois’ Thomas Pieters. Brun and Pieters are the first Palmer Cup participants from France and Belgium, respectively. The University of Utrecht’s Daan Huizing - who recently won both the Lytham Trophy and the St. Andrews Links joins David Booth and Graeme Robertson from the University of Stirling in Scotland to round out the European squad.
Rickard Lindberg of Sweden returns as head coach as does assistant coach David Ingles from Northwestern and Scotland.
During the short 15-year history of this event, the list of outstanding collegians that have participated include such names as Graeme McDowell, Webb Simpson, Lucas Glover, Ben Curtis, Luke Donald, Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, J.B. Holmes, Rory Sabbatini, Charles Howell, III, Brandt Snedeker, Jonathan Byrd, Bill Haas, Hunter Mahan, Ryan Moore, D.J. Trahan, Alejandro Cañizares, Gonzalo Castaño, Francesco Molinari and Pablo Martin.