Vandœuvres, Switzerland - Americans Rachel Heck, Brooke Seay, Michael Thorbjornsen, and Rose Zhang, alongside Aline Krauter (Germany) are representing Stanford University at the 2022 Arnold Palmer Cup. The field of 48 arrived at the Ryder Cup-style event on Tuesday and Wednesday and have begun preparation for tomorrow’s opening round, all hosted by Golf Club de Genève.
Stanford has seen momentous results over the last two seasons. In 2021, Heck became the ninth female freshman to win the NCAA Division I Individual National Championship, was named WGCA Freshman and Player of the Year, competed in the Curtis Cup, and won six tournaments over the course of the season. The momentum only grew in 2022.
The Cardinal won their second NCAA Team Championship in school history in 2022. Along the way, Zhang, a freshman, tallied one of the most prolific seasons in collegiate golf history. She followed Heck by winning the individual national championship, earning 2022 WGCA Freshman and Player of the Year honors, and playing in the Curtis Cup with Heck. Zhang also set the NCAA single-season scoring average record with a 69.68, won her first three collegiate starts, participated in the 2022 U.S. Open, and clinched Stanford's team title by winning the final match, 3 and 1.
“Watching her walk up 18 at Nationals was so special,” Heck said of Zhang’s individual national title. “It makes me so proud to see her succeed.”
On the men’s side, Thorbjornsen finished fourth at the 2022 Travelers Championship this past Sunday. In doing so, he became the first amateur this century to finish in the top 10 at a regular PGA Tour event (non-major) with a strength of field of at least 400.
“I’ve played a lot of golf these last couple of weeks and am coming in with a lot of confidence,” he said. “I am now trying to represent Team USA well and bring the trophy home.”
Thorbjornsen, a participant in the 2022 U.S. Open, finds motivation in the successes of the Stanford women.
“It’s really nice to know that I have four close friends here representing Stanford,” said the Wellesley, Massachusetts, native. “We have a really good community amongst the Stanford teams where we feed off of each others’ energy. The success of the women’s team pushes us to work harder and be just like them.”
Seay, a two-time WGCA All-American Scholar, received the 2022 NCAA Elite 90 Award during the NCAA Championships. The award, founded by the NCAA, is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the site of each NCAA championship. She owns a 4.0 in human biology and was a 2022 WGCA Second-Team All-American.
Krauter was named Dinah Shores Trophy recipient and a WGCA Second-Team All-American in 2022. Administered by the LPGA Foundation, the Dinah Shore Trophy recognizes student-athletes in women’s golf who excel in academics (3.2 on a 4.0 scale) and athletics—playing at least 50% of the team’s scheduled events, while maintaining a scoring average of 78 or less. Nominees must also demonstrate outstanding leadership skills and community service.
The Stuttgart, Germany native also won the 2020 Women’s Amateur and carded a top-10 finish at the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
Now, on the other side of the globe from California, the five athletes are competing for a different kind of glory.
“To go from Nationals, where we are wearing the Stanford uniform,” says Heck. “To representing our countries this week, it makes it even more special,”
For more information about the Palmer Cup, visit arnoldpalmercup.com.
About the 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 Palmer Cup has been played at some of the world’s greatest courses, including The Old Course at St. Andrews, The Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, Baltusrol, The Honors Course, and Cherry Hills. Beginning with the 2018 matches at Evian Resort Golf Club, the Arnold Palmer Cup is the only major tournament which features men and women playing side-by-side as partners.
Since its inception, over 125 former Arnold Palmer Cup alumni have gone on to earn cards on the PGA, European, or LPGA Tours; 32 have represented Europe or the USA in the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, or Solheim Cup and more than 65 have claimed over 285 victories on the PGA, European, or LPGA Tours, including three major champions in both 2020 and 2021. The United States leads the Palmer Cup series 13-11-1.
The Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation supports the Palmer Cup, which provides a platform for perpetuating Arnold Palmer’s commitment to youth character development and the growth of amateur/collegiate golf. For more information, please visit arnoldpalmercup.com.
About the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation
The Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation champions its namesakes' legacy through grantmaking and initiatives that support children’s health, youth character development, and nature-focused wellness. Learn more at palmerfoundation.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, making him the first official Rolex Golf Testimonee. 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 began, Rolex has gone on to establish partnerships at every level of the sport, including with the governing bodies responsible for advancing the sport and with the finest players, from The Big Three to the New Guard who lead today’s rankings. The decision to partner with the Arnold Palmer Cup was thus a natural progression for the Swiss watchmaker and a tribute to Arnold Palmer’s inspiring legacy.
An unrivaled reputation for quality and expertise
Rolex is an integrated and independent Swiss watch manufacturer. Headquartered in Geneva, the brand is recognized around the world for its expertise and the quality of its products – symbols of excellence, elegance, and prestige. The movements of its Oyster Perpetual and Cellini watches are certified by COSC, then tested in-house for their precision, performance and reliability. The Superlative Chronometer certification, symbolized by the green seal, confirms that each watch has successfully undergone tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria. These are periodically validated by an independent external organization.
The word “Perpetual” is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster watch. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of the company, instilled a notion of perpetual excellence that would drive the company forward. This led Rolex to pioneer the development of the wristwatch and 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. In the course of its history. Rolex has registered over 500 patents. At its four sites in Switzerland, the brand designs, develops, and produces the majority of its watch components, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly, and finishing of the movement, case, dial, and bracelet. Furthermore, the brand is actively involved in supporting the arts and culture, sport, and exploration, as well as those who are devising solutions to preserve the planet.
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 the communities where we live and work.