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

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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

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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.

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 19.40.41

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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The Arnold Palmer Cup – 2016 Preview & Results

26th June 2016

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

It was the sixth consecutive home victory and in the 20th Match reduced USA’s series lead to W10 L9 H1.

Arnold Palmer Cup 2016 Europe

Team Europe (Photo: Formby Golf Club)

Europe won 3 of the 4 sessions with the match turning on Saturday’s Singles where Europe built a near unassailable lead. Here are the series scores: –

Day 1 AM Foursomes – Europe 4 – USA 1
Day 1 PM Fourballs – Europe 2 – USA 3
Day 2 Singles – Europe 7 – USA 3
Day 3 Singles – Europe 5.5 – USA 4.5

French pair Antoine ROZNER and Robin SCIOT-SIEGRIST starred for Europe becoming the 17th and 18th players in the history of the competition to deliver 100% win records. Rico HOEY starred for USA winning both his Singles as well as his Fourball. He was the only American to win 3 matches.

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The Golf Bible APC 2016 Individual Player Contribution Analysis

In his second APC match Adrian MERONK was again unbeaten. His overall playing record is now an impressive W3 H3 L0.

Matthias SCHWAB was voted the recipient of the 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational exemption. His English caddie Kieran OATES will join him at Bay Hill on the PGA Tour.

Arnold Palmer Cup 2016 - Matthias Schwab and Kieran Oates

Kieran Oates with Matthias Scwab (Photo: The Arnold Palmer Cup)

Finally, Robin PETERSSON and Charlie DANIELSON were the recipients of the European and USA Michael Carter awards.

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22nd June 2016

The Arnold Palmer Cup is an annual team golf competition played between American college golfers and European college / university golfers.

The Arnold Palmer Cup is organized by the Golf Coaches Association of America and golf legend Arnold Palmer. Mr. Palmer lent his name to the event in June 1997 and allowed it to be staged for the first time at his own Bay Hill Club in Florida.

This year’s match, the 20th, is being played this coming weekend, 24-26th June, at Formby Golf Club in Lancashire, England.

Arnold Palmer Cup Logo

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

Format / Schedule

The current match play format consists of foursome, fourball and singles matches.

This week’s schedule at Formby consists of: –

Friday 24th June AM        –   Foursomes x 5, starting at 7.30am

Friday 24th June PM        –   Fourballs x 5, starting at 1.30pm

Saturday 25th June           –   Singles x 10, starting at 9.00am

Sunday 26th 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 victory.

Prior to the match commencing there has been a Junior Clinic staged today and there will be an Arnold Palmer Collegiate-Am competition tomorrow.

2016 Teams

Whilst more relevant to the European team it should be noted that selection is based on nationality not the location of the players’ educational establishments.

All but two of the players competing at Formby have played their golf in the USA college system this season.

Europe

Europe were due to be coached by Jean VAN DE VELDE (France) who captained the team at Rich Harvest Farms in 2015. However, his withdrawal has seen his Assistant Coach from last year JANICE MOODIE (Scotland), the former professional golfer, step up to the No. 1 role. Dean ROBERTSON (Stirling) will be Europe’s Assistant Coach this year.

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

Sam HORSFIELD (Florida) – England

Matthias SCHWAB (Vanderbilt) – Austria

Adrian MERONK (East Tennessee State) – Poland

Lars VAN MEIJEL (Memphis) – Netherlands

Robin PETERSSON (Augusta) – Sweden

David BOOTE (Stanford) – Wales

Another place was given up to the R&A’s Scholars Tournament champion, who this year was:

Mathias EGGENBERGER (Stirling) – Switzerland

The final three spots were allocated by Committee Selection (2) and a Captain’s (1) pick:

Stuart GREHAN (Maynooth) – Ireland

Antoine ROZNER (UMKC) – France

Robin SCIOT-SIEGRIST (Louisville) – France

The highlight of this year’s match, at least for me, will be the first home appearance by Sam HORSFIELD.

Horsfield (19), now ranked 3rd in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, was born in Manchester but having emigrated to Florida when he was four will finally make his competitive debut in the country of his birth.

2016 U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying

Sam Horsfield (Copyright USGA/Scott A. Miller)

USA

The USA have selected Mike COOK (Coastal Georgia) as their new Coach for 2016. He will be assisted by John HANDRIGAN (Florida). Of course the player Handrigan knows best, Sam Horsfield, will be playing for the opposition.

As with Europe the first 6 players were automatically selected from the Arnold Palmer Cup USA Ranking. These were (in order):

Maverick MCNEALY (Stanford) – replaced by Doug GHIM (Texas) *

Charlie DANIELSON (Illinois)

Zach WRIGHT (LSU)

Rico HOEY (Southern California)

Michael JOHNSON (Auburn)

Nahum MENDOZA III (San Diego State)

The final four spots in USA’s team were allocated by Committee Selection (3) and a Captain’s (1) pick:

Derek BARD (Virginia)

Alistair DOCHERTY (Chico State)

Will ZALATORIS (Wake Forest)

Will GORDON (Vanderbilt)

* On 10th June 2016 Maverick McNEALY withdrew from the match due to an unspecified injury. His place was allocated to Doug GHIM (Texas) who is of course an excellent replacement.

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 competition 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 golfer prior to the event.

Prior to the match commencing – in fact it took place at 8.30am this morning – there is also a caddie draw involving young, local players. The caddie for the designated Arnold Palmer Cup player is also invited to Bay Hill.

The first Arnold Palmer Cup API Exemption was awarded to Maverick McNealy. McNealy played in 2016 and his Arnold Palmer Cup caddie, Zach Urwiler (16), had the honour of caddying for him on the PGA Tour.

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. Hunter STEWART (USA) and Matthias SCHWAB (Europe) were honored in 2015.

Formby Golf Club

Formby Golf Club was established in 1884 and is a superb links course set close to the Irish Sea just north of Liverpool in the North West of England.

Formby GC Clubhouse

Formby Golf Club (Photo: Formby GC Website)

Off the Blue Championship tees the course measures 7,031 yards, playing 3,380 yards out and a formidable 3,651 yards in. It has a par of 72. A little unusually it has 3 par 3’s and 3 par 5’s. The course record remains the 66 shot by Matt Jaeger at the 2009 Amateur Championship.

The holes closest to the sea which run through undulating sand dunes and towering pines are amongst the most spectacular anywhere in Great Britain.

Formby GC 8th hole

Formby Golf Club – Approach to 8th Green (Photo: Formby GC Website)

As befits a course of this stature it has hosted many of our leading amateur golf events. It has hosted four Amateur Championships with Jose-Maria Olazabal (1984) and Matteo Manassero (2009) its most recent champions. The Club also hosted the Curtis Cup in 2004 and The Brabazon Trophy in 2013. This year it has already hosted the England v. France match and early in August will stage the Seniors Amateur Championship.

Weather Forecast

As at Wednesday 22nd June, 7.00pm the weather forecast looks relatively good: –

Fri 24th June    – Showers. Wind 11 mph W. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 13°C.

Sat 25th June    – Sunny. Wind 13 mph NW. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 13°C.

Sun 26th June  – Sunny. Wind 12 mph W. Temp. Max. 17°C / Min 14°C.

Appendix

History

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 this week’s match in Formby.

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

Previous Results

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

Arnold Palmer Cup Team USA 2015 Winners

Team USA – Winners of the 2015 Arnold Palmer Cup (Photo: Rich Harvest Farms website)

Including the 2016 match at Formby USA have the edge over GB&I / Europe with a won 10, lost 9 and halved 1 record over the 20 matches played to date.

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 09.54.52

Past Players

Former Arnold Palmer Cup players that have gone on to win Majors and other professional tournaments include: –

Europe – Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell, Joost Luiten, Francesco Molinari, Alex Noren and Richie Ramsay.

USA – Ben Curtis, Bryson DeChambeau, Rickie Fowler, Lucas Glover, J.B. Holmes, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kucher, Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker.

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.