ATLANTA, Ga. (June 6) — Georgia Tech golf standouts Matt Kuchar (Lake Mary, Fla.) and Bryce Molder (Conway, Ark.) will play in the Palmer Cup for the United States Friday through Sunday and then travel to Pinehurst, N.C., next week to participate in the nation’s championship, the U.S. Open.
Kuchar and Molder will be two of the five amateurs in the National Open, joining Erik Ciotti, Hank Kuenhe and Tom McKnight.
Both players will be playing in the Palmer Cup for a second consecutive year. The event, which is sponsored by the Arnold Palmer Golf Company, pits American collegians against counterparts from Great Britain and Ireland. The Palmer Cup is played in Ryder Cup-style competition and will take place June 11-13 at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn. The first Palmer Cup was held in 1997 at the Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Fla., and the U.S. prevailed 19-5. A year ago, the second Palmer Cup was staged at the Old and New Courses in St. Andrews, Scotland and the two teams tied 12-12 as Molder sank a 10-foot birdie putt in the last match to allow the Americans’ to retain the trophy.
Joining the pair of Yellow Jackets will be Jeremy Anderson of UNLV, Jonathan Byrd and John Engler of Clemson, Ben Curtis of Kent, Hank Kuehne of Southern Methodist and Michael Morrison of Georgia. Comprising the Great Britian and Ireland team will be NCAA champion Luke Donald, Max Harris and Phillip Rowe of England; Johnny Foster and Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland; Oliver Lindsay and Andrew White of Scotland; and Kyron Sullivan of Wales.
The pair will then head to North Carolina to one of the world’s favorite golf courses, Pinehurst No. 2, at the Pinehurst Resort and Country Club for the U.S. Open June 17-20. The famed Donald Ross course will be played at par 72, and extended to 7,175 yards from its usual 6,600 yards for the National Open. Kuchar will be playing in his second straight U.S. Open, after finishing tied-for-14th as the low amateur a year ago at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. During his time at Georgia Tech, Kuchar has made the cut in seven of eight professional tournaments he has played in, including this year’s Masters Tournament. Molder will be participating for the first time and qualified during the Georgia State Golf Association qualifier at East Lake Golf Club. He defeated Charles Howell of Oklahoma State in a playoff and will be playing in his first professional event.
The duo will have extra incentive to make the cut in this year’s U.S. Open, as points will be awarded toward the Golfweek/Titleist men’s world amateur ranking and toward making the Walker Cup team. Kuchar is currently the No. 1-ranked amateur and Molder is tied for 10th. Molder will also play the Northeast Amateur, Dogwood Amateur, Western Amateur, Southern Amateur and in the U.S. Amateur Championship this summer. Kuchar will participate in the Loch Lomond Invitational, a qualifier for the British Open, the Greater Hartford Open and the U.S. Amateur Championship.
The U.S. Open will be televised on ESPN and NBC with coverage on network television all four days.
This year’s U.S. Open television schedule:
June 17 ESPN 11 a.m.-3 p.m. NBC 3-5 p.m. ESPN 5-6:30 p.m.
June 18 ESPN 11 a.m.-3 p.m. NBC 3-5 p.m. ESPN 5-6:30 p.m.
June 19 NBC 12:30-7 p.m.
June 20 NBC 12:30-7 p.m.