Starting in 2018, there will be some changes to the Arnold Palmer Cup Palmer and the Golf Coaches Association of America announced on Monday.
Beggining in 2018, the Arnold Palmer Cup, a Ryder Cup-style competition that matches the top collegiate male players in the United States against the top collegiate players in Europe will expand to include both men and women from around the world.
The competiton will continue its match play format with team, mixed team, and sinlges sessions. Each team will consist of 12 men and 12 women. The first seven men's and women's golfers from each side will be determined via the Arnold Palmer Rankings, with the remaining four being selected by a committee and one being saved for a coaches pick. Thos college golfers who have citizenship outisde of the United States will compete for the International squad, even if they play collegiately here.
“I am delighted that this event, which we started at my Bay Hill Club & Lodge in 1997, has found such prominence in the world of collegiate golf. It no doubt will continue to flourish in the years to come with the addition of women and international players,” said Palmer.
The inaugural Palmer Cup in 1997 was contested between eight-man teams from the U.S. and Great Britain & Ireland. In 2003, the Arnold Palmer Cup expanded to include all of Europe. The Arnold Palmer Cup Ranking was used for the first time in 2013 to select the first six golfers for both sides and teams were expanded to 10-man squads.
“Having had the honor of coaching the United States team and players and assistant coaches who have represented their countries, I know how special it is to be part of the Arnold Palmer Cup,” said GCAA President Conrad Ray. “We could not be more pleased that men’s and women’s collegiate golfers from around the globe will now have the opportunity for these same experiences. With the 20th anniversary of the Arnold Palmer Cup in 2017, 2018 seems the perfect time for new beginnings.”
“What a tremendous honor it will be for our collegiate golfers to be a part of such a prestigious event,” added WGCA President Amy Bond. “This is a very exciting opportunity not only for our players from the United States but also for our international players from around the World. Our players and coaches are thrilled to be a part of the Arnold Palmer Cup and we look forward to 2018.”
The list of courses that have hosted past editions of the Palmer Cup is quite prestigious. The Old and New Courses at St. Andrews, Royal Liverpool, Baltusrol, Whistling Straits, Royal Portrush, Royal County Down, Wilmington Country Club and Walton Heath have all played host. This year’s event will be played at Rich Harvest Farms June 12-14 with Formby Golf Club and Atlanta Athletic Club hosting in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Palmer Cup alumni have gone on to win 153 times on the PGA and European Tours, including Graeme McDowell, Loxahatchee River resident and 2015 PLAYERS Champion Rickie Fowler, and back-to-back defending Arnold Palmer Invitational Champion Matt Every (pictured about with Palmer after his 2015 win).