Golf legend Arnold Palmer will be in Kane County this week for the opening ceremonies and to hit the first shot in the international college championship that bears his name.
In case you haven’t heard, Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove plays host this week to the 2015 Palmer Cup, a Ryder Cup-style golf event that brings together the top 10 collegiate players in the United States against their counterparts from Europe. Name a pro golfer of renown of the past 10 years, and that golfer likely participated in this event — either for the U.S or the European team.
This is a huge event, and the best part is that it’s in our back yard and admission and parking are free. And unlike a professional event, spectators can also walk the fairways with the players during tournament play.
Palmer is expected to be there for the opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 11, and to take the first ceremonial swing on Friday.
“Mr. Palmer is expected to hit the opening tee shot on Friday around 7:10 a.m., which will be awesome to see,” said Whitney Goodbred, Rich Harvest Farms communication manager.
Golfers tee it up Friday, June 12, through Sunday, June 14. The event is open to the public.
THIS JUST IN: Arnold Palmer and GCAA Announce Changes to Arnold Palmer Cup
Arnold Palmer and the Golf Coaches Association of America announced today that beginning in 2018 the Arnold Palmer Cup, a Ryder Cup-style competition that matches the top collegiate male players in the United States against their counterparts from Europe, will expand to include both men and women collegiate golfers chosen from around the world.
The Arnold Palmer Cup will continue to be contested in a match play format with team, mixed team and singles sessions. Each team will consist of 12 men and 12 women players whose combined efforts will contribute to one team score. The first seven men’s and women’s golfers from both teams will be selected using the Arnold Palmer Cup Ranking with the remaining team members selected by four committee selections and one coach’s pick. College golfers with citizenship outside the United States will comprise the International team, including those attending colleges and universities in the United States.
“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, whose legendary career inspired the creation of the event and its expansion to include women and international players.
Schedule of Events
Thursday, June 11
- 6 p.m. – Palmer Cup Opening Ceremonies
Friday, June 12
- 7:30 a.m. – Foursome matches begin
- 1:30 p.m. – Four ball matches begin
Saturday, June 13
- 8:30 a.m. – Singles matches begin
Sunday, June 14
- 8:30 a.m. – Singles matches begin
- The Palmer Cup Closing Ceremonies and trophy presentation will take place after play has finished.
- There will be free parking available at 2330 Granart Road, Sugar Grove, IL 60554
- The 2015 Palmer Cup teams were announced in April. See the full team rosters here.
- The 2015 Palmer Cup teams will be coached by Georgia Tech’s Bruce Heppler (USA) & Jean Van de Velde (Europe). Read more about the coaches here.
The inaugural Palmer Cup was played at Bay Hill Club in Florida in June 1997. Since its inception, the tournament has been played at such historic venues as The Honors Course, Royal Liverpool, Baltusrol, Doonbeg, Cassique, Ballybunion, Whistling Straits-The Irish, Prestwick, Caves Valley and, most recently, Wilmington Country Club in 2013.
In 2002 a decision was made to alter the team composition by adding all European players instead of just those from Great Britain and Ireland. The affects of this decision has significantly changed the Palmer Cup in its international appeal and competitiveness of the matches. Teams were expanded to 10 players each starting in 2013 and currently the United States leads the all-time series 9-7-1.
Former Palmer Cup players include: Luke Donald, Rory Sabbatini, Russell Henley, Charles Howell, III, Jonas Blixt, Jonathan Byrd, Ben Curtis, 2009 U.S. Open Champion Lucas Glover, Bryce Molder, 2010 U.S. Open Champion Graeme McDowell, Bill Haas, Hunter Mahan, Ryan Moore, D.J. Trahan, Alejandro Canazares, Gonzalo Castano, J.B. Holmes, 2006 USGA Amateur Champion Richard Ramsey, Open de Portugal winner Pablo Martin, Dustin Johnson, and Luke List.
For more information on the 2015 Palmer Cup, please visit PalmerCup.org. For more on volunteering for the tournament visit PalmerCup.org/Volunteers, and to sign up email Rich Harvest Farm’s Tournament Director, Vicky McGowan firstname.lastname@example.org.