Irish pair Olivia Mehaffey and Caolan Rafferty will add to their team appearances after securing International selection for the Arnold Palmer Cup on home soil at Lahinch this summer.
Mehaffey, a two-time Curtis Cup team member, and Walker Cup player and R&A Foundation Scholar Rafferty will take on the United States side from 3 – 5 July after the committee selections for the event were announced on the Golf Channel at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at Bay Hill Club & Lodge earlier this week.
This week’s Invitational is the fourth event in The Open Qualifying Series, concluding on Sunday.
Three men and three women per side were named on each Arnold Palmer Cup team, as the International side look to defend the trophy after winning 33.5 – 26.5 at The Alotian Club in Arkansas last June. The Arnold Palmer Cup is a Ryder Cup-style tournament featuring the top men’s and women’s university/college golfers.
On the International side, Mehaffey (Arizona State) and Matthias Schmid of Germany (Louisville) will both make their second appearances in the match. Four newcomers come in, namely Ingrid Lindblad (LSU/Sweden), Pauline Roussin-Bouchard (South Carolina/France), Ludvig Aberg (Texas Tech/Sweden) and Rafferty (Maynooth/Ireland).
Maynooth is one of the 17 universities provided with support from The R&A to deliver their golf programmes, including 14 in Great Britain and Ireland. In addition, The R&A Foundation Scholarship programme supports in the region of 170 individuals each year.
The United States team is led by a pair of returners in Emilia Migliaccio (Wake Forest) and Kaitlyn Papp (Texas), who will become the second and third Americans to play in three Arnold Palmer Cups, with the duo combining to contribute 11.5 of a possible 16 points in the past two events. Joining them on the American side will be Ricky Castillo (Florida), Kaitlin Milligan (Oklahoma), John Pak (Florida State), and Davis Thompson (Georgia).
Student Tour Series finale
Each team, which will consist of 24 players (12 men and 12 women), will include a coach's pick. The International team will also include the men's and women's winners from The R&A Student Tour Series Final event played at Carnoustie and St Andrews over 5 – 7 April (what was previously The R&A Scholars Tournament). Rafferty finished tied for second in the Scholars event last year, helping seal his Walker Cup place.
For both men and women, six further Arnold Palmer Cup Ranking selections will be announced on the Golf Channel on 25 March, along with two additional committee picks for the United States and one additional committee pick for the International side.
Lahinch Golf Club is one of the finest links courses in Ireland and played host to the Irish Open on the European Tour last summer, won by Spain’s Jon Rahm.
The Arnold Palmer Cup was co-founded by the late Arnold Palmer, a two-time Open champion, and The Golf Coaches Association of America. It began at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando in 1997, with over 100 former Arnold Palmer Cup alumni going on to earn cards on either the PGA Tour, European Tour or LPGA.
Last summer, the International team claimed 13 of the 24 points up for grabs during the Sunday singles matches, becoming the first visiting team to win on US soil since 2009.
For more information, visit www.arnoldpalmercup.com