From 1997 to 2002 the United States played Great Britain & Ireland before the decision was taken to expand the GB&I side into one representing the whole of the continent of Europe, as has been the case with the Ryder Cup since 1979.
Europe won the 2006 tournament by an emphatic margin and now trail by five wins to four, with one tied match.
Back in 1997, the centennial year of men's collegiate golf, Arnold Palmer was delighted and honored to lend his name to an event which set out to foster cultural relationships across international lines as well as act as a showcase for some fine competitive golf.
Appropriately, the Palmer Cup made its debut at the King's very own Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida and it has rapidly developed into one of the GCAA's premier events with a strong contingent of committed sponsors.
In its brief life, the Palmer Cup has been contested by future PGA stars like Luke Donald, Charles Howell III, J.J.Henry and Ben Curtis, and has been played at prestigious, world–renowned venues like the Old Course at St. Andrews, Baltusrol, Royal Liverpool, Ballybunion and Whistling Straits.
One curiosity which eagle–eyed readers will notice is that Rory Sabbatini, who tied for second in the 2007 Masters at Augusta National in April, represented GB&I in 1998. According to our sources, the South African who has spent nearly all his adult life in the United States qualified for GB&I as an Englishman. Why? Who knows, but it will no doubt become a talking point as the Palmer Cup continues to develop!
2007 PALMER CUP
The Caves Valley. Owings Mills, Maryland, June 6–8
Caves Valley Golf Club is a private, member– owned, non–profit corporation located within a 35–minute drive of Baltimore's Inner Harbor and the Baltimore–Washington International Airport.
A total of 962 acres of rolling hills, pastures, woods, and wetlands, situated amid the natural beauty of Maryland's estate and hunt country, form a spectacular setting for the golf club and its support facilities.
Membership in Caves Valley Golf Club is limited to 600 members, and is by invitation only. To preserve the heritage of this beautiful land, substantial acreage has been deeded in perpetuity to the Maryland Environmental Trust, ensuring forever its protection from development.
Designed by Tom Fazio and opened in July 1991, the course features 18 holes along with a state–of–the–art practice facility which includes multiple practice ranges with sand bunkers, chipping greens and putting greens.
The golf professional staff are highly regarded for their teaching expertise and the caddie program provides a sufficient number of caddies to meet the needs of the membership.
An expansive clubhouse and accessory buildings incorporate all the expected services commensurate with a premier golfing facility and the club dining room is ranked among the top restaurants in the area.
The facilities include 32 overnight rooms in the clubhouse and five on–site golf cottages.
PALMER CUP PLAYERS
Players who have played in the Palmer Cup who have subsequently distinguished themselves either as Tour professionals or at the highest level of the amateur game.
From the U.S.
Jonathan Byrd, Ben Curtis, Brad Elder, Lucas Glover, Bill Haas, J. J. Henry, J. B. Holmes, Charles Howell, Joel Kribel, Matt Kuchar, Hank Kuehne, Doug LaBelle, Edward Loar, Hunter Mahan, Andy Miller, Bryce Molder, Ryan Moore, Ted Oh, Jeff Overton, Michael Putnam, Jeff Quinney, Brandt Snedeker, D. J. Trahan, Bo Van Pelt, Charles Warren, Nick Watney.
From GB&I and Europe
Alejandro Canizares, Luke Donald, Gonzalo Fernandez–Castano, Peter Lawrie, Pablo Martin, Graeme McDowell, Francesco Molinari, Alex Noren, Richie Ramsay, Rory Sabbatini, Oliver Wilson.
PALMER CUP FORMAT
Session 1 — Wednesday A.M.
Four four–ball matches in which two players from each team compete in better– ball competition.
Session 2 — Wednesday P.M.
Eight singles matches in which one player from each team competes in match–play format.
Session 3 — Thursday A.M.
Four foursomes matches in which two players from each team compete in alternate–shot format.
Session 4 — Thursday P.M.
Eight singles matches in which one player from each team competes in match– play format. Each match is worth one team point. Halvedmatches are worth a half–point for each team.
PALMER CUP RESULTS
1997 (Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Florida) U.S. beat GB & Ireland 19–5
1998 (St Andrews, Fife, Scotland) U.S. tied with GB&I 12–12
1999 (The Honors Course, Chattanooga, Tennessee) U.S. beat GB&I 17½–6½
2000 (Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, England) GB&I beat U.S. 12½–11½
2001 (Baltusrol, Springfield, New Jersey) U.S. beat GB&I 18–6
2002 (Doonbeg, Co. Clare, Ireland) U.S. beat GB&I 15½–8½
2003 (Cassique, Kiawah Island, South Carolina) Europe beat U.S. 14–10
2004 (Ballybunion, Co. Kerry, Ireland) Europe beat U.S. 14½–9½
2005 (Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin) U.S. beat Europe 14–10
2006 (Prestwick, Ayrshire, Scotland) Europe beat U.S. 19½–4½