June 7, 2005
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s Roberto Castro and nine other collegiate golfers begin competition against a team of European collegiate players Wednesday in the annual Palmer Cup matches at the Whistling Straits Golf Club in Kohler, Wis.
The annual Ryder Cup-style competition is contested over two days on the 7,201 yard, par 72 Irish Course. Europe retained the trophy last year by defeating the United States, 14.5-9.5, at Ballybunion Golf Club in County Kerry, Ireland. The victory was the largest in the series for the Europeans and moves the all-time record of the event to 4-3-1.
Castro is the third Tech player to earn an invitation to the United States team for the Palmer Cup, joining Matt Kuchar (1998, 1999) and Bryce Molder (1998, 1999, 2001). It caps a tremendous season for the sophomore from Alpharetta, Ga., who earned first-team All-America and All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors. He finished third in the NCAA Championship and led the ACC in stroke average at 70.86.
“It’s a chance to play on a great course and represent your country,” said Castro. “You watch matches where golfers represent their native lands, and they can get pretty intense. That’s a great feeling to have, and you never really fully understand it until you do.”
The ninth annual Palmer Cup returns to the United States after being held at Ballybunion Golf Club in Ireland last summer. Past venues for the event include Bay Hill, both the Old and New Courses at St. Andrews, The Honors Course, Royal Liverpool, Baltusrol, Doonbeg and Cassique. Past participants include British Open Champion Ben Curtis, Jonathan Byrd, Luke Donald, Charles Howell III, Michael Hoey, Matt Kuchar, Peter Lawrie, Hunter Mahan, D.J. Trahan and Ryan Moore.
Castro is joined on this year’s USA team by Ryan Blaum of Duke, Matt Every of Florida, John Holmes of Kentucky, Spencer Levin of New Mexico, Jeff Overton of Indiana, Michael Putnam of Pepperdine, and Matthew Rosenfeld of Texas.
The format for the Palmer Cup includes four better-ball matches Wednesday morning, eight singles matches Wednesday afternoon, four alternate-shot matches Thursday morning, and eight singles matches to close out the competition Thursday afternoon. Each match is worth one team point. Halved matches are worth a half-point for each team.
Whistling Straits previously hosted the 1999 PGA Club Professionals Championship and the 2004 PGA Championship. Whistling Straits will also be the site of the 2007 U.S. Senior Open. Its sister golf venue at Kohler – Blackwolf Run – hosted the 1999 U.S. Women’s Open.
Progress of the matches Wednesday and Thursday can be tracked at the official Palmer Cup site: http://gcaa.collegiategolf.com/files/gcaa/2005pc_index.html.
PALMER CUP SCHEDULE
Four-ball MatchesSession 1 - Wednesday A.M.Four matches in which two players from each team competein better-ball competition.Singles MatchesSession 2 - Wednesday P.M.Eight matches in which one player from each team competesin match-play format.Foursomes MatchesSession 3 - Thursday A.M.Four matches in which two players from each team competein alternate-shot format.Singles MatchesSession 4 - Thursday P.M.Eight matches in which one player from each team competesin match-play format.