March 5, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina junior J.T. Poston was among the top 50 collegiate golfers - 25 from the United States and 25 from Europe - to be listed in the first spring Palmer Cup Ranking for the 2014 event which was released on Tuesday. The top six golfers in the ranking from both the US and European sides shall be among the 10 individuals chosen to compete in the 2014 Palmer Cup at the Walton Heath Golf Club, June 26-28.
Poston is among 25 elite American-born golfers representing several of the premier conferences. Five different Pac-12 schools combined for seven players on the rankings list, while four SEC schools are represented by six total golfers. Two ACC schools had three golfers on the US side, while two compete in the Big XII.
Among the 50 golfers on the US and European sides, 24 compete in either the SEC (12) or Pac-12 (12).
Poston, who is coming off his sixth top 10 finish of the year with an eight-place showing at the Samford Intercollegiate, currently ranks sixth on the list. With three individual tournament championships to his credit this year, the Hickory, N.C., native leads the Southern Conference with a seasonal stroke average of 69.83. Poston is the only SoCon player listed among the 50 golfers between the United States and European rankings.
According to available research, no Catamount men's golfer has ever been selected to play in the Palmer Cup competition.
Created in 1997 by golfing great, Arnold Palmer, and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) - and expanded in 2013 - the Ryder Cup-style format features the top collegiate players from the United States against their counterparts from Europe on 10-golfer teams. The event will continue to feature 24 matches with every player required to compete twice. Players must participate in either the four-ball or foursomes matches and in one of the two rounds of singles matches.
The first six players for both sides shall be selected using the Palmer Cup Ranking. Using Golfstat's NCAA Player Ranking as a base, the Palmer Cup Ranking will award bonus points for wins and high finishes and a negative bonus for poor finishes. The ranking will also contain a strength of schedule component. The Palmer Cup Ranking debuted following the 2012 fall season.
For the United States, the remaining four players will be selected using three committee picks and one coaches' pick. The selections by the committee may take into account a number of factors including the current college season, results in amateur events since the last Palmer Cup, match play record and performance in previous international team events. One of the US committee picks must be a non-Division I golfer. The coaches' pick will be the final selection on the team and designated as such when announced.
The final four spots on Team Europe shall consist of the champion of The R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament, two committee picks and one coaches pick. European Palmer Cup Selection Committee and coaches picks will use the same criteria as their US counterparts and may select college golfers competing both in the United States and Europe.
The Walton Heath Golf Club is located less than 20 miles to the south of the center of London, England. The next Palmer Cup ranking is scheduled to be released on March 19. All told, the United States leads the all-time series over Europe, 9-7-1.
For more information, visit www.PalmerCup.org.