Forest Little’s Julie McCarthy will join an illustrious list of names when she adds her own to Arnold Palmer Cup history on Friday at The Alotian Club.
The Swords golfer, who picked up her first collegiate victory at the Clemson Invitational in April, has been a model of consistency this term stateside in her sophomore year with the Auburn Tigers and it was her ever-present name on the leaderboard that ultimately earned her selection for this week.
The Arnold Palmer Cup was co-founded in 1997 by Arnold Palmer himself and The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA), with the inaugural event held at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando.
With numerous AP Cup Alumni having gone on to play on the PGA and European Tours, 2018 marked a milestone in the events history when female players were introduced, making it now the only major tournament which features men and women playing side-by-side as partners.
The event is a Ryder Cup-style tournament, which pits the top university/college golfers from the United States against those from around the world (originally from GB&I and then Europe).
Olivia Mehaffey, Chloe Ryan, Ronan Mullarney, Stuart Grehan and Gary Hurley are the most recent Irish representatives at the event. This is the events 23rd staging but further AP Cup Alumni include Major winners Francesco Molinari (2004), Graeme McDowell (2000, 2001), Justin Thomas (2012, 2013) and Webb Simpson (2007).
The United States leads the series 12-9-1 however this is unlikely to faze McCarthy and her International Team peers. McCarthy was an automatic selection for the side when the first phase of player announcements was made in March. The International team is represented by 17 countries across six continents including 2018 Women’s Amateur Champion Leonie Harm (Germany). Takumi Kanaya (Japan) and Chun An Yu (Taiwan), both ranked inside the Men’s World Amateur Rankings top-10 will play alongside McCarthy for the International side.
The Arnold Palmer Cup is supported by the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation, with the tournament providing a platform for perpetuating Arnold Palmer’s commitment to youth development and to the growth of amateur/collegiate golf.
Following three days of practice, junior clinics and an Am-Am, the event gets underway on Friday with 12 mixed fourball matches. Saturday is foursomes’ day with morning session providing further mixed team match-ups while in the afternoon players will pair up man-to-man and woman-to-woman for further foursomes games.
Finally, 24 singles matches on Sunday will determine the 23rd Palmer Cup Champions.
Lahinch Golf Club will host the 24th playing of the Arnold Palmer Cup in 2020.