Robertson Relishing Palmer Cup Experience
Graeme Robertson, the SGU National Men’s Squad player from the University of Stirling, is among the top college players from Europe and the United States who will meet in this year’s Palmer Cup at The Royal County Down Golf Club from tomorrow until Saturday (28-30 June).
Robertson, the SGU Men’s Order of Merit leader, follows in the footsteps of countrymen like Richie Ramsay (2006) and James Byrne (2010) by turning out in the annual Ryder Cup-style competition.
The event commences with four-ball matches tomorrow morning with foursomes matches in the 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 an elusive hat-trick, something which has never been accomplished before in this event.
Glenbervie’s Robertson is joined by fellow Stirling student and Englishman David Booth (Rotherham) in the eight-man European side, along with US-based TCU’s Julien Brun, Sebastian Cappelen of Arkansas, Liberty’s Robert Karlsson, Thomas Pieters of Illinois, UCLA’s Pontus Widegren and Daan Huizing, the runaway St Andrews Links and Lytham Trophy winner from Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
Jack Nicklaus Award recipient Justin Thomas of Alabama headlines the USA line-up, which also includes Auburn’s Blayne Barber, Patrick Rodgers of Stanford and Washington’s Chris Williams.
During the short 15-year history of this event, the list of outstanding college players 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, Hunter Mahan and Francesco Molinari.
“Obviously, it was great to get picked,” said Robertson. “You look at the names that have been in this competition and all the guys who have gone on to fulfil successful careers on the US PGA Tour and The European Tour.
“It’s a great honour to play. Dan is here and there are a number of other talented players as well.”
The Palmer Cup clashes with the Brabazon Trophy at Walton Heath, meaning Robertson is focused on team duties this week rather than indvidual.
“It’s a real team environment here,” he added. “Since we arrived, everything has been really professional but it’s been relaxed as well. I’ve been speaking to guys for advice before the game face goes on tomorrow.
“Everyone says the environment is a bit like playing in the Walker Cup or other big team events.”
Arnold Palmer, a former collegiate player himself, was approached to start the competition in the late 1990s. With his blessing and the support of the Arnold Palmer Golf Company, the inaugural event was played at his own Bay Hill Club in Florida in June 1997.
Rickard Lindberg - National Men’s Coach for the Swedish Golf Team - serves as Europe’s coach for the second-straight year, while Scotland’s David Inglis - the former Palmer Cup participant, ex-Walker Cup player and current assistant coach at Northwestern in America - will again serve as his assistant.
The United States leads the Palmer Cup series 8-6-1 and, as stated, has won the last two contests.