NORMAN, Okla. – Sofia Garcia of Texas Tech and Paraguay and Keita Nakajima of Nippon Sports Science University and Japan were named International Team coach’s picks while Arkansas’ Kaylee Benton and Patrick Martin of Vanderbilt were selected to represent the United States at the 2019 Arnold Palmer Cup. Karoline Stormo, Kent State and Norway, was additionally added to the International side. Longtime Arnold Palmer partner Rolex is continuing its 50 year relationship through its support of the matches which will be hosted by The Alotian Club June 7-9.
Garcia has posted three victories this season - she tied for first at the Illini Invitational at Medina and won outright at the Reynolds Lake Oconee Invitational and Valspar Augusta Invitational. Garcia has also posted three additional top five showings and has finished nine times inside the top 10. The sophomore currently leads the Red Raiders with a 71.55 stroke average, which would shatter the program’s single season mark. Hailing from Asunción, Garcia is the first Arnold Palmer Cup participant from Paraguay.
In his first year at Nippon Sports Science University, Nakajima won the gold medal at the Asian Games 2018. He also claimed victory at the 2018 Australian Men’s Amateur. Nakajima also posted runner-up finishes at both the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and the Australian Master of the Amateurs. In addition to his stellar play on the amateur circuit, Nakajima tied for fifth at the Emirates Australian Open.
The MAC Golfer of the Year, Stormo won four times this season. The junior from Tvedestrand, Norway, claimed the league crown as well as the Evans Derby Experience and tied for medalist honors at the Illini Invitational at Medinah and the Lady Puerto Rico Classic. Stormo has three additional top-10 finishes and has only placed outside of the top 14 twice in 11 events this season.
A senior from Buckeye, Ariz., Benton most recently finished runner-up at the SEC Championship. Benton also posted two additional top five finishes and has placed 12th or better in all but two events. A qualifier for both the U.S. Women’s Open and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, Benton advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and tied for fourth at the Women’s Mexican Amateur.
A three-time PING All-America selection, Martin is in his senior season at Vanderbilt. His best finish this season is a runner-up showing, one of five top 10s this campaign. The Birmingham native is a three-time All-SEC honoree and earned Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar accolades last season. The most decorated player in the history of Vanderbilt golf, Martin’s current career stroke average of 70.85 is second best in program history.
About Arnold Palmer Cup
The Arnold Palmer Cup was co-founded by Arnold Palmer and The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) and began at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Fla. in 1997. The event is a Ryder Cup-style tournament featuring the top men’s and women’s university/college golfers matching the United States against a team of International players. The Arnold Palmer Cup has been played at some of the world’s greatest courses including The Old Course, The Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, Baltusrol, The Honors Course, and Cherry Hills. The 2018 matches at Evian Resort Golf Club became the only major tournament which features men and women playing side-by-side as partners.
Since its inception, over 100 former Arnold Palmer Cup alumni have gone on to earn cards on either the PGA Tour, European Tour or LPGA, 28 have represented Europe or the USA in the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup, and more than 50 have claimed over 200 victories on the PGA or European Tours. The United States leads the series 12-9-1.
The Arnold Palmer Cup is supported by Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation. The Arnold Palmer Cup provides a platform for perpetuating Arnold Palmer’s commitment to youth development and the growth of amateur/collegiate golf. For more information, please visit ArnoldPalmerCup.com.
About Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation
It all began in the 1960’s when Arnold Palmer’s go-for-broke style of golf bolstered a legion of fans, coined by the press as Arnie’s Army. Palmer’s charisma and unfailing sense of kindness and thoughtfulness endeared him to millions around the world. Over the past four decades, the Palmer family has contributed time and resources to support their passion for helping others and in so doing have made a profound impact on many lives. Founded in 2015, Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation has been entrusted to continue Arnold Palmer’s legacy of philanthropy by ensuring a brighter future for our youth through children’s health, character development and nature-focused wellness. For more information, or to join Arnie’s Army, please visit ArniesArmy.org or contact Chris Kolodinsky at 407-876-3944 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rolex and the Arnold Palmer Cup
Through an unwavering commitment to the game of golf for more than 50 years, Rolex has developed one of the broadest and longest-standing relationships between brand and sport. These strong ties date back to 1967 when Rolex partnered with legendary golfer Arnold Palmer. The charismatic American holds a special place in golf history thanks as much to his natural talent and successful playing career as to his pioneering role in the sport. Since that pivotal bond, Rolex has gone on to establish partnerships at every level of the sport, including the governing bodies responsible for advancing the sport and the finest players, from The Big Three to the New Guard who are leading the rankings at the moment. The decision to partner the Arnold Palmer Cup was thus a natural progression for the Swiss watchmaker, and a tribute to the Arnold Palmer’s inspiring legacy.
An unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise
Rolex, a Swiss watch manufacture headquartered in Geneva, is recognized the world over for its expertise and the quality of its products. Its Oyster and Cellini watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. Founded by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905, the brand pioneered the development of the wristwatch and is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Through philanthropic programmes and a broad palette of sponsorship activities, Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports and exploration, and encourages the spirit of enterprise, as well as the conservation of natural environments.
The exclusive footwear, apparel, headwear, and glove supplier of the Arnold Palmer Cup, Our mission is what drives us to do everything possible to expand human potential. We do that by creating groundbreaking sport innovations, by making our products more sustainably, by building a creative and diverse global team and by making a positive impact in communities where we live and work.