The Arnold Palmer Cup – 2017 Preview, Reports & Results

11th June 2017

USA won the 2017 Arnold Palmer Cup 19.5-10.5 at the Atlanta Athletic club.

img_7673

Team USA (Photo: @GolfChannel)

The final day Singles were halved 5-5.

USA now leads the all-time match series 11-9-1.

Norman XIONG quickly secured the single point USA required to win. He beat Harry HALL 8&7 in the opening game of the day.

Four of the Five European Singles wins on Day 3 came from the Scandinavian players in the team. Richard MANSELL secured the other. He beat fellow Division II player John COULTAS 2 Up. Two down with four to play Mansell birdied the par 3 15th before Coultas capitulated bogeying the final three holes and allowing Mansell a fighting comeback win.

The other four GB&I players lost their matches: –

Stuart GREHAN lost 2&1 to Doug GHIM

Harry ELLIS lost 3&2 to Nick HARDY

Rory FRANSSEN lost 8&7 to Maverick MCNEALY

David WICKS lost 3&2 to Sean CROCKER

Doug GHIM was the only player to win all four of his matches. He became the 19th player to achieve this feat in the history of the match.

Here is the full individual performance analysis:-

Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 20.18.32

David WICKS and Maverick MCNEALY were named winners of the Michael Carter Award which is presented to the players from each team that best represent the qualities and ideals of sportsmanship and integrity.

Collin MORIKAWA was selected by both teams to receive the Arnold Palmer Cup exemption into the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational. Nathan Peterson, his junior caddie, will also be on the bag at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The match was clearly a sobering experience for the European team and a reminder to all of us of the challenge that the GB&I Walker Cup team will face in Los Angeles in September.

As I said in my Preview below the opportunity was there for the six GB&I players in Europe’s Arnold Palmer Cup team to lay down a Walker Cup marker. Unfortunately none of them were able to do so.

Click here to view the – Day 3 Singles Results

ME.

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10th June 2017

The Day 2 Singles proved to be a disaster for Europe with the 9.5-0.5 reverse effectively ending the match as a contest.

All six of the GB&I players lost their matches to an inspired US team: –

Richard MANSELL lost 4&3 to Norman XIONG

Harry HALL lost 7&5 to Doug GHIM

Harry ELLIS lost 3&2 to Jimmy STANGER

David WICKS lost 5&4 to Nick HARDY

Stuart GREHAN lost 2&1 to Sam BURNS

Rory FRANSSEN lost 3&2 to Collin MORIKAWA

It looked for most of the afternoon as if USA would complete a clean sweep. However, Maverick MCNEALY, who was 3 Up with 5 to play, surprisingly bogeyed three of the final holes to let Viktor HOLLAND in to secure a half.

Scant consolation for Europe. Their 9.5-0.5 loss was the worst Singles series result in the history of the event. The previous worse being USA’s final day 8.5-1.5 collapse at Walton Heath in 2014.

Click here to view the hole-by-hole – Day 2 Singles Results

ME.

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9th June 2017

Day 1 of the Arnold Palmer Cup finished all square, USA and Europe having 5 points each.

USA won the morning Foursomes Series 3.5-1.5 with Europe coming back well in the afternoon to reverse the score in the Fourballs.

In the Foursomes Rory FRANSSEN and Stuart GREHAN halved their match with Sam BURNS and Chandler PHILLIPS. However, they were two up with three to play so will be a little disappointed not to hold on for the win, particularly as the 17th was lost to a USA par.

Europe’s only morning win came from Harry ELLIS and Harry HALL who beat Nick HARDY and Norman XIONG by 1 hole.  Having got to 3 Up after 11 holes the USA pairing fought back well with three birdies but the two Harry’s ultimately prevailed.

Richard MANSELL and David WICKS lost the final game of the series 2&1 to arguably the USA’s strongest pairing Maverick MCNEALY and Collin MORIKAWA. The American pairing got to 3 UP after three holes and despite a European fightback on the front nine quickly reasserted their dominance as the match moved into the back nine.

Click here to view the – Day 1 AM Foursomes Results

Captain Inglis chose to send out the same European pairings, albeit in a different order, in the afternoon Fourball games. He was ultimately rewarded for not tinkering with a good team comeback.

Richard MANSELL and David WICKS beat a disappointing Sam BURNS and Chandler PHILLIPS in game 1 3&1.

Stuart GREHAN and Rory FRANSSEN halved again, this time in a tight match against Nick HARDY and Norman XIONG. In what must have been an exciting finish both pairs could only manage bogey 5’s on the final hole.

Harry ELLIS and Harry HALL were unable to follow up their morning win, going down 3&2 to Doug GHIM and Maverick MCNEALY.

Click here to view the – Day 1 PM Fourballs Results

Whilst GREHAN and FRANSSEN halved their two Day 1 games the remainder of the team managed to win one and lose one.

The USA’s Doug GHIM and Maverick MCNEALY are the only two players to retain 100% win records at the end of day 1.

ME.

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6th June 2017
The Arnold Palmer Cup is a team golf competition played annually between American college golfers and European college / university golfers.

Europe convincingly beat USA 18.5-11.5 in the 2016 Arnold Palmer Cup played at Formby Golf Club in England.

The 2017 match, the 21st in the series, is being played this coming weekend, 9th-11th June, at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Georgia.

More information on the history of and future plans for the match can be found in an Appendix at the end of this article.

Arnold Palmer Cup Logo

The 2017 Teams

Both teams were announced on 16th March at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando on the opening day of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

I have added each team member’s current Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) to the lists below to give you a feel for the relative strengths of the two teams.

Europe

The first 6 players were automatically selected from the Arnold Palmer Cup European Ranking. These were (in order): –

Hannes RONNEBLAD (Texas Tech) – Sweden / SPWAR 132
Fredrik NILEHN (Texas Tech) – Sweden / SPWAR 85
Kristoffer VENTURA (Oklahoma State) – Norway / SPWAR 40
David WICKS (Jacksonville) – England / SPWAR 107
Harry ELLIS (Florida State) – England / SPWAR 184
Rory FRANSSON (Missouri) – Scotland / SPWAR 279

The next two spots were allocated by Committee Selection: –

Stuart GREHAN (Maynooth) – Ireland / SPWAR 93
Viktor HOVLAND (Oklahoma State) – Norway / SPWAR 39

Finally a Captain’s pick was made: –

Richard MANSELL (Nova Southeastern) – England / SPWAR 364

Subsequently Stuart Grehan went on to win the R&A Scholars Tournament on 3-4 April at St. Andrews. Having already been selected the allocated spot for the winner of this event reverted to a Committee Pick. This was awarded on 10th April to: –

Harry HALL (UNLV) – England / SPWAR 78

Europe’s Captain this year is David INGLIS (Northwestern, Head Coach / Scotland). He will be supported by Alan MURRAY (Washington, Assistant Coach / Ireland).

Arnold Palmer Cup 2016 Europe

Team Europe – Winners of the 2016 Arnold Palmer Cup (Photo: Formby GC)

USA

The first 6 players were automatically selected from the Arnold Palmer Cup United States Ranking. These were (in order): –

Sam BURNS (LSU) – SPWAR 12
Chandler PHILLIPS (Texas A&M) – SPWAR 49
Collin MORIKAWA (California) – SPWAR 5
Jimmy STANGER (Virginia) – SPWAR 22
Maverick MCNEALY (Stanford) – SPWAR 11
Norman XIONG (Oregon) – SPWAR 51

The next three spots were allocated by Committee Selection: –

John COULTAS (Florida Southern) – SPWAR 206
Sean CROCKER (Southern California) – SPWAR 9
Nick HARDY (Illinois) – SPWAR 14

The Captain’s pick went to: –

Doug GHIM (Texas) – SPWAR 4

The USA’s Captain is John FIELDS (Texas, Head Coach) and Assistant Captain is Andrew DIBITETTO (North Carolina, Assistant Coach).

Stuart Grehan and Doug Ghim both played in last year’s match at Formby GC. Maverick McNealy played in 2015 but withdrew from the 2016 match having been selected.

All but Stuart Grehan have played their golf in the US collegiate system this season.

In this Walker Cup year all of the players will be looking to make a positive impression and to hopefully catch the eye of the USGA and R&A selectors ahead of September’s match at Los Angeles CC.

Format / Schedule

This week’s match play format consists of foursomes, fourballs and singles matches: –

Friday 9th June AM – Foursomes x 5, starting at 7.30am
Friday 9th June PM – Fourballs x 5, starting at 1.30pm
Saturday 10th June – Singles x 10, starting at 9.00am
Sunday 11th June    – Singles x 10, starting at 9.00am

With a maximum total of 30 points available and one point awarded for each match a team will be required to accumulate 15.5 points to secure an outright victory.

Venue – The Atlanta Athletic Club

The Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC) was founded in 1898.

In 1967 it moved 23 miles north of the city of Atlanta, selling it’s East Lake course which had been the home of the great Bobby Jones, and setting up at a much larger Johns Creek site.

AAC has two par 72 courses, the Highlands (7,613 yards) and the Riverside (7,428 yards). Both were used to stage the 2014 US Amateur Championship. The Highlands course is being used to host the 2017 Arnold Palmer Cup.

img_7657Highlands Course Scorecard (Photo: Rees Jones Inc)

Weather Forecast

As at Tuesday 6th June the weather forecast for Atlanta looks near perfect: –

Fri 9th June  – Sunny. Wind 5 mph SW. Temp. Max. 26°C / Min 18°C.
Sat 10th June  – Sunny. Wind 6 mph SE. Temp. Max. 28°C / Min 19°C.
Sun 11th June  – Sunny. Wind 7 mph SE. Temp. Max. 29°C / Min 20°C.

Arnold Palmer Invitational Exemption

In 2015 Mr. Palmer agreed to allocate an Arnold Palmer Cup amateur invitation to his prestigious Arnold Palmer Invitational (API) tournament played annually at Bay Hill in Florida.

Prior to the match commencing each of the 20 players is asked to vote for a member of each team (excluding themselves) who they think best represents the “Arnold Palmer Legacy,” that is, the values that Arnold Palmer has exhibited during his legendary career.

The player from the winning team who receives the most votes is awarded the API invitation. To take up his place in the field at Bay Hill the selected player must remain a collegiate amateur golfer up until the tournament.

Prior to the match commencing there is also a caddie draw involving young, local players. The caddie for the selected Arnold Palmer Cup player is also invited to Bay Hill to caddie for them again.

The two previous recipients of the Arnold Palmer Cup API Exemptions were Maverick McNealy (2016, with caddie Zach Urwiler) and Matthias Schwab (2017, with caddie Kieran Oates).

The Michael Carter Award

This award is presented in honour of former GCAA Arnold Palmer Cup intern Michael Carter who tragically died in a car accident in 2002 aged 19.

It is presented to the player from each team who best represents the qualities and fun-loving ideals that made Michael Carter unique.

Charlie DANIELSON (USA) and Robin PETERSSON (Europe) were honoured at the 2016 match.

Past Results & Future Venues

As one would expect the match has been played on some of most famous courses in the world.

Europe’s 2016 win represented the sixth consecutive home victory and in the 20th Match reduced USA’s series lead to W10 L9 H1.

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Appendix – History and Future

The match was established by the Golf Coaches Association of America and first played in 1997. Known as simply the Palmer Cup back then it was originally played between 8-man teams from the USA and Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I).

With the USA winning 4 and halving 1 of the first 6 matches a decision was taken after the 2002 match in Doonbeg, Ireland to extend the GB&I team to include Europe. A decision which of course helped to further differentiate the match from the biennial Walker Cup as well as increase it’s international appeal and competitiveness.

In 2013 the teams were extended to 10 players.

In 2014 the Golf Coaches Association of America announced that they had entered into a formal agreement with Arnold Palmer and his group of companies to jointly operate and expand the Palmer Cup.

In 2015 the name of the match was changed to the Arnold Palmer Cup, effective from the 2016 match in Formby.

It was also announced in 2015 that with effect from 2018 the match would become a mixed event with 12 men and women competing for each side.

Following Arnold Palmer’s death on 25th September 2016 the Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation agreed to support the event into the future.

ME.

Copyright © 2014 – 2017, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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