“I’m really excited about the players we have competing in this year’s Palmer Cup,” Oklahoma State men's coach Mike McGraw said about the team he'll be coaching at this summer's 11th annual Ryder Cup-style competition between American collegians and their European counterparts. ”We have a great group of kids who are very talented players. I like the team we’ve put together and we’re looking forward to the matches.”
McGraw's statements would have no doubt been the same regardless of the actual team that was picked, but the group of eight selected Thursday is quite impressive. Here is the roster that will play for the U.S. at Caves Valley GC outside of Baltimore June 7-8 and each player's current Golfstat ranking.
Brian Harman, Georgia, Soph. (13)
Billy Horschel, Florida, Soph. (6)
Dustin Johnson, Coastal Carolina, Sr. (8)
Chris Kirk, Georgia, Sr. (15)
Luke List, Vanderbilt, Sr. (40)
Jamie Lovemark, Southern California, Fresh. (1)
Jonathan Moore, Oklahoma State, Soph. (76)
Webb Simpson, Wake Forest, Jr. (119)
List, Moore and Simpson, meanwhile, might not rank high in the Golfstat listing but the later two have wins this spring and List has four top-10 finishes.
Nice to see too Kirk's name on the list. The Georgia senior had been mulling turning professional right after school, bypassing the Palmer Cup as well as an chance to make the U.S. Walker Cup team later this summer. In recent weeks, however, Kirk talked with contemporaries and other golfing confidantes and decided the chance to play for his country in these type events one more summer before making the jump to the pro ranks was too good an opportunity to let pass.
Give kudos to the Golf Coaches' Association of America's selection committee; charged with picking a team that could help erase the ugly memory of a disappointing 19½-4½ defeat to the Europeans last year at Prestwick (the U.S. leads the overall series 5-4-1) it has got a group of players that can do just that.