LAS VEGAS –Steve Desimone of California has been selected to coach the United States at this summer’s Palmer Cup at Walton Heath Golf Club. The annual Ryder Cup-style competition will be played on the club’s Old Course June 26-28. Ryan Murphy of Texas - recipient of the 2013 Jan Strickland Award presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf - will serve as Desimone’s assistant coach. Scotland’s Andrew Coltart and Stanford assistant coach Philip Rowe will again serve as Europe’s head and assistant coach, respectively.
“I’m honored to be a part of the Palmer Cup as a member of the GCAA and representing the USA,” said Desimone. “This news definitely has me smiling. I’ve worked with collegiate players for 35 years and I’m looking forward to this opportunity. I know this is going to be a lot of fun with plenty of great golf and serious competition. All in all, it should be a wonderful experience and Go USA.”
Desimone is in his 35th season at the helm of the Cal men’s golf team in 2013-14 and has led the Golden Bears’ program to sustained success over the last three and a half decades. Cal won its lone national title in 2004 but the run his team has put together since the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign is unprecedented not only at Cal but arguably on a national level.
Cal has won 21 of 33 stroke-play events since the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign and has been in the top five in all 33, as well as each of its four match-play tournaments during the period. The Bears reached the national semifinals each of the past two seasons, while sweeepting NCAA Regional and Pac-12 Championship crowns. Desimone earned the 2013 Dave Williams Award presented by Eaton Golf Pride as the national coach of the year in Division I men’s golf and was the Pac-12 Coach of the Year each campaign to mark the second and third times in his career he earned the honor. In addition to the run Cal has made over the last two seasons, the Bears have also qualified for the NCAA Championship each of the past four campaigns to set a school record.
The Bears are currently ranked fourth after winning three of five events and finishing third and fourth in its other two events during the 2013 fall season.
Cal finished the 2012-13 season as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team by Golfweek and Golfstat despite being defeated by Illinois in the NCAA Championship match-play semifinals. Cal was also the top-ranked team in the final regular season Golf World/Nike Golf Division I Coaches Poll. Cal became the nation’s No. 1-ranked team in all three sets of rankings shortly after winning its first two events of the campaign in late September of 2012 and never dropped out of the top spot in any of them. Cal set a modern-era NCAA record with 12 victories in 14 stroke-play tournaments, eclipsing the previously established record of 10 by the 1985-86 Oklahoma State team.
Michael Kim became the first Cal player to win national player of the year honors, sweeping the Jack Nicklaus Award, Haskins Award, and Golfweek/Sagarin Player of the Year. In addition, he was one of three national finalists for The Ben Hogan Award. Kim, along with Max Homa and Michael Weaver were all first-team PING All-Americans, with Kim adding first-team Golfweek All-America, while Homa and Weaver were second-team choices. All three were also All-West Region and first-team All-Pac-12 selections, while Brandon Hagy and Joël Stalter were both second-team PING and Golfweek All-Americans, PING All-West Region picks and second-team All-Pac-12 selections. In addition, the Bears swept Pac-12 Player of the Month honors in 2012-13, with Kim and Homa winning twice each and Stalter once. Cal players earned medalist honors a school-record 10 times in 2012-13 led by the school-record four captured by Kim. Homa and Stalter won twice each, with Homa becoming the first Cal player to ever win the NCAA title and earn the Arnold Palmer Award presented by Callaway and the third to win the Pac-12 crown. Weaver and Hagy were medalists one time each.
Desimone is a member of the Northern California Golf Association’s Class of 2014 and will be inducted during the California Golf Writers & Broadcasters Association’s 55th annual gala event at The Inn at Spanish Bay during the week of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on February 4, 2014. Last year, he became the first coach to ever by presented with the CGWBA’s Jack Lemmon Ambassador of Golf Award at the same event.
The United States leads the Palmer Cup series 9-7-1.
Photo Credit Cal Athletic Department