Dec. 3, 2002
NORMAN, Okla. – The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) President Joe Feaganes announced today the dates for the 2002 Palmer Cup. The competition between the United States and their counterparts from across the Atlantic will be held July 7-11 at The Kiawah Island Club’s Cassique course at Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Georgia Tech Head Coach Bruce Heppler has been selected to lead the U.S. Palmer Cup team.
Inspired by the classic courses of the Irish and Scottish Isles, Cassique is the first solo course design in America by five-time British Open champion Tom Watson. Set at the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Kiawah River, Cassique was named by Golf Digest as one of “America’s Best New Private Courses” in January.
“This year’s Palmer Cup was a perfect conclusion to our grand opening at Doonberg Golf Club, so we’re honored that the 2003 matches will be the first international competition held at Cassique,” said Charles P. Darby III, chairman and CEO of Kiawah Development Partners, the company that created the 2002 and 2003 host venues. “Watson’s design presents players with many strategic risk-reward decisions, so Cassique is ideally suited for match-play competition.”
Heppler, one of the most successful coaches in collegiate golf, is in his eighth season as the head coach of the Georgia Tech golf program. Heppler was named 2002 National and ACC coach of the year after leading the Rambling Wreck to a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships. It was the third time that he was named ACC coach of the year. Heppler has guided three national players of the year and last season’s NCAA individual champion, Troy Matteson. Two of Heppler’s former players, Bryce Molder (1998-99, 2001) and Matt Kuchar (1998-99), have previously competed in the Palmer Cup.
“I went to the 1998 Palmer Cup held at St. Andrews when Bryce (Molder) and Matt (Kuchar) played and it was a neat event,” said Heppler. “To be picked from all of the coaches in the GCAA is overwhelming. For your peers to entrust you with their players is certainly an honor. I’m excited and looking forward to meeting all of the players that will be on the team. We’re going to go out and compete in the spirit of golf, but, like in any competition, we’ll try to win and do our best.”
“Speaking on behalf of the Coach of the Year Committee, who selected the coaches for our international teams, we are extremely happy that Bruce Heppler has accepted the role as coach of the 2003 Palmer Cup team,” commented Feaganes. “Bruce is a proven coach with an exceptional record and has coached at the highest level of NCAA competition.”
The U.S. team leads the Palmer Cup Series, 4-1-1, and has won all three matches in the United States.