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.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 19.15.39

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.

Amateurs In The 2016 Masters

10th April 2016

UPDATE

Bryson DECHAMBEAU lived up to his star billing and won the Silver Cup. Rounds of 72, 72, 77 and 72 saw him finish on +5 and a creditable Tied 22nd.

Bryson DeChambeau Masters 2016

Bryson DeChambeau Receives The Silver Cup (Photo: Jon-Michael Sullivan)

France’s Romain LANGASQUE shot the lowest ever round by a European Amateur in Rd 4 – his 68, followed rounds of 74, 73, and 83. He finished on +10 for Tied 42nd.  As the only other amateur to make the cut he won the Silver Medal.

Derek BARD (76, 77), Sammy SCHMITZ (81, 75), Cheng JIN (79, 78) and Paul CHAPLET (83, 82) all missed the cut.

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3rd April 2016

There will be six amateurs competing at this week’s Masters. The 2016 intake will take the total number of amateurs who have competed in the tournament to 415.

Masters 2016 Journal

The Masters Tournament – 2016 Journal

Listed below are all of the potential eligibility routes to The Masters for amateurs and the 2016 beneficiaries (where applicable): –

Current U.S. Amateur champion (honorary, non-competing after one year*)
Bryson DECHAMBEAU (United States) won the 2015 U.S. Amateur at Olympia Fields C.C. last August.

DeChambeau was just the fifth golfer in history to win the Individual title at the NCAA Division I Championship and follow it up with the U.S. Amateur Championship a few months later.

He has made a big noise in golf since becoming U.S. Amateur champion and it will be interesting to see how he goes at the Masters. He plans to turn pro at the RBC Heritage Classic at Hilton Head the week immediately after his Augusta experience.

Current Amateur Rankings – SPWAR 1 / WAGR 3.

Bryson DeChambeau US Amateur 2015

Bryson DeChambeau (Photo: USGA)

Current U.S. Amateur runner-up
Derek BARD (United States) lost the U.S. Amateur final 7&6 to DeChambeau but gained the consolation of an invitation to The Masters.

Bard is a Junior at the University of Virginia. He has won once this season at the U.S. Collegiate in October and more recently has had two Top 5’s in March; at the Palmetto Invite (71-65-71, -3 5th) and the Linger Longer Invitational (68-71-71, -6 4th).

Current Amateur Rankings – SPWAR 13 / WAGR 25.

Derek Bard

Derek Bard (Photo: USGA)

Current British Amateur champion (honorary, non-competing after one year*)
Romain LANGASQUE (France) won the 2015 Amateur Championship at Carnoustie last June.

The 20 year old Amateur champion seems to be going from strength to strength in recent weeks winning the Spanish Amateur, coming second at the Barclays Kenya Open on the European Challenge tour and then earlier this week defeating DeChambeau 4&3 in The Georgia Cup challenge match.

He also plans to turn pro straight after the Masters – few would doubt he is ready.

Current Amateur Rankings – SPWAR 5 / WAGR 7.

Romain Langasque Amateur 2015 Photo 2

Romain Langasque (Photo: Getty Images)

Current Asia-Pacific Amateur champion (since 2014)
Cheng JIN (China) won the 2015 Asia-Pacific at the Clearwater Bay G.&C.C. in Hong Kong last October. A first round 62 (-8) set him up for a famous victory.

Jin was 18 on 6th March but has been making a name for himself for a few years now. He won a PGA Tour China pro tournament in 2014 and has impressed when given invitations to play in both Asia and European Tour events in recent months.

He will become the second Chinese player to compete in The Masters and no one would be surprised to see him making the cut like Tianlang Guan did back in 2013.

Current Amateur Rankings – SPWAR 16 / WAGR19.

Cheng Jin Asia-Pacific 2015

Cheng Jin (Photo: APAC)

Past Asia-Pacific champions invited to the following year’s Master’s include: –
2009 Chang-Won Han (Korea)
2010 Hideki Matsuyama (Japan)
2011 Hideki Matsuyama (Japan)
2012 Tianlang Guan (China)
2013 Chang-Woo Lee (Korea)
2014 Antonio Murdaca (Australia)

Current Latin America Amateur champion (since 2015)
Paul CHAPLET (Costa Rica) won the 2016 Latin America Amateur in January at the Casa de Campo Resort in the Dominicon Republic.

Despite winning the Costa Rican National Junior Championship in both 2014 and 2015 16 year old Chaplet was something of a surprise winner of the 2016 Latin American Amateur.  The second youngest player in the field he was ranked 834th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking at the start of play in January.

He will easily be the youngest player at this year’s Masters.

Current Amateur Rankings – SPWAR 380 / WAGR 441.

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Paul Chaplet (Photo: LAAC)

Matias Dominguez (Chile) won the inaugural Latin America Amateur at Pilar G.C. in Argentina, thus gaining entry to the 2015 Masters.

Current U.S. Mid-Amateur champion
Sammy SCHMITZ (United States) won the U.S. Mid-Amateur (over 25’s) at John’s Ireland Club in Florida last October. A hole-in-one on a par 4 normally gets the job done. It certainly did for Schmitz (35) on the final hole of last year’s championship.

Schmitz was a 3-time All-American at St. John’s University before moving to Florida to pursue his pro ambitions. It didnt work out so he regained his amateur status and now works in the healthcare industry back home in River Falls, Minnesota.

Current Amateur Rankings – SPWAR 509 / WAGR 2,535.

Sammy Schmitz 2016 US Mid-Amateur

Sammy Schmitz (Photo: USGA)

The first 12 players, including ties, from the previous year’s Masters
Last year none of the 7 amateurs who competed made the cut so no one has taken advantage of a return trip.

The 2015 amateur scores were: –
Corey CONNERS (Canada)            80 69
Byron METH (United States)           74 76
Anthonio MURDACA (Australia)     78 73
Matias DOMINGUEZ (Chile)           76 76
Scott HARVEY (United States)        76 81
Bradley NEIL (Scotland)                 78 79
Gunn YANG (South Korea)             85 74

The first 4 players, including ties, from the previous year’s other Majors, the U.S. Open, the British Open and the U.S. P.G.A. Championship  

No amateurs were able to take advantage of this exemption criteria last year although at The Open Championship at St. Andrews they were queuing up to try.

The low amateur at the 2015 U.S. Open was Brian Campbell (United States) +5 T27.

The low amateur at the Open Championship was Jordan Niebrugge (United States) -11 T6. Oliver Schniederjans (United States) and Ashley Chesters (England) -9 T12 as well as Paul Dunne (Ireland) -6 T30 were also noteworthy.

No amateurs compete in the U.S. P.G.A. Championship.

Prior to this year the Current U.S. Public Links champion also earned a berth. The U.S.G.A. decided to discontinue the Championship in 2015 and as a result Byron Meth was the last player to gain an exemption via this route.

* Honorary, non-competing after one year invitations are awarded to the U.S. Amateur and British Amateur champions. In other words they are invited to play in the tournament the following year after their Amateur victory (so long as they remain amateurs) but then are also invited annually to attend the tournament as guests of the Club.

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Walker Cup 2015 – Team USA (2)

24th August 2015

Last night following the completion of the U.S. Amateur Championship the USGA’s International Team Selection Committee and Captain John “Spider” Miller finalised the 2015 USA Walker Cup team.

US Walker Cup Logo 2015

On the 10th August 2015 the USGA named the first five members of their team.  These players and their World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) and Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings (SPWAR) on the date of this announcement were: –

Bryson DeChambeau (21)  – WAGR 8 / SPWAR 1
Beau Hossler (20)               – WAGR 9 / SPWAR 5
Lee McCoy (21)                   – WAGR 6 / SPWAR 15
Maverick McNealy (19)       – WAGR 3 / SPWAR 22
Hunter Stewart (22)            – WAGR 5 / SPWAR 4

All five attended the December 2014 Squad Session and have enjoyed strong playing seasons.  Of course DeChambeau also went on to win the U.S. Amateur in convincing fashion yesterday.

US WC Team Photo 1

Bryson DeChambeau, Beau Hossler, Lee McCoy and Maverick McNealy

The remaining members of the USA team were confirmed late last night.  These players and their WAGR and SPWAR rankings as of yesterday were: –

Scott Harvey (37)               – WAGR 98 / SPWAR 78
Denny McCarthy (22)        – WAGR 10 / SPWAR 6
Mike McCoy (52)                – WAGR 202 / SPWAR 167
Jordan Niebrugge (22)      – WAGR 17 / SPWAR 3
Robby Shelton (19)           – WAGR 8 / SPWAR 2

US WC Team Photo 2

Hunter Stewart, Scott Harvey, Denny McCarthy and Mike McCoy

The final U.S. Amateur selections were as expected. The only minor surprise here was the selection of Mike McCoy as the second Mid-Amateur, where Nathan Smith, who played in 2013, was a very credible alternative. I have heard it said that the USGA were keen to get McCoy on this team as he is considered a potential future U.S. Captain (of which there are few on either side) and at 52 this was almost certainly his last chance to make his debut.

I admire the USGA for sticking with their policy of two Mid-Amateur selections.  However, it does, at least on paper, weaken their team.  As of yesterday there were respectively 36 and 73 other U.S. Players (not already selected) ahead of Scott Harvey and Mike McCoy in the WAGR.

Two Alternates (Reserves) were also confirmed: –

Matt NeSmith (21)             – WAGR 21 / SPWAR 11
Scottie Scheffler (19)        – WAGR 15 / SPWAR 17

US WC Team Photo 3

Jordan Niebrugge, Robby Shelton, Matt NeSmith and Scottie Scheffler

Here’s how the final US Team rates according to the current World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) and Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings (SPWAR): –

US Walker Cup Team 240815

A formidable team on paper it will be interesting to see how they play at Royal Lytham in a few weeks time.  The Team are scheduled to meet up for a final training session at Latrobe Country Club next week where Arnold Palmer will be their host.

Fore more information on the Walker Cup and the two teams click here – Walker Cup

Copyright © 2015, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.