April 30, 2002
NORMAN, Okla. - The 2002 U.S. Palmer Cup team, Bill Haas of Wake Forest, Ryan Hybl of Georgia, John Klauk of Texas, Hunter Mahan of Oklahoma State, Troy Matteson of Georgia Tech, D.J. Trahan of Clemson, Nick Watney of Fresno State and Lee Williamson of Purdue, was announced today by GCAA International Competitions Selection Committee chair, Bill Brogden and U.S. Palmer Cup coach, Chris Haack.
The players, currently considered the top eight American college golfers, will represent the United States in the sixth annual match play event July 11-12 at Doonbeg Golf Club in County Clare, Ireland. The U.S. team will compete against their counterparts from Great Britain and Ireland.
"These players are not only tremendously talented golfers," said Haack. "But they are exemplary young men and great leaders. I'm sure they will put our team in great position to defend the cup."
Haas has posted nine top-five finishes this season, and won his first collegiate event, The Birkdale, in March. He followed-up with a career-best 13-under par 203 to take individual medalist honors at The Intercollegiate. Haas's performance as a freshman in 2000-01 earned him ACC Rookie of the Year honors, as well as All-ACC and honorable mention All-America accolades.
Hybl is Georgia's leader in all statistical categories this season. Ranked sixth in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, he has finished third in two events this season and finished second at the SEC Championship. Hybl earned third team All-America honors in 2001.
"Needless to say, this is quite an honor to be selected to the prestigious Palmer Cup," said Hybl. "The goal for all players is to one day represent your country, but to also represent my school along with having my coach as captain, makes it even more special. "
Klauk is in his senior season at Texas, and playing the best golf of his collegiate career. He posted his third-straight top-three finish at the ASU Savane Invitational on April 16. Klauk earned his second career victory at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate in March. His first career win came at the 2001 NCAA Central Regional, en route to earning All-Big 12 and honorable mention All-America honors.
Oklahoma State sophomore Hunter Mahan won his first tournament as a Cowboy at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate in the fall of 2001. A transfer from Southern California, Mahan earned second-team All-America honors and was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 2001, due in-part to back-to-back wins in the fall season. He won two of three matches in the USA vs. Japan Collegiate Golf Championship last summer, helping the United States secure its seventh-straight victory in the event.
Matteson is the top player for No. 1 ranked Georgia Tech. Through the first seven tournaments of the 2001-02 season, Matteson was the top finisher for the Yellow Jackets, and is currently ranked No. 7 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. He earned third-team All-America honors last season, and has posted three tournament victories so far this season.
"This is truly an opportunity of a lifetime and I am thankful that I have been given the chance to play on the U.S. Palmer Cup Team," said Matteson. "It has always been a dream to be selected for this type of competition. I could imagine nothing better than to represent my country in the sport that I play!"
Clemson junior, Trahan entered the spring of 2002 as the top-ranked player in college golf. A member of the 2001 U.S. Walker Cup team, he owns a 71.88 career stroke average (second best in Clemson history, behind two-time Palmer Cup player, John Engler). Trahan won the 2000 United States Public Links Championship, a victory that gave him a spot in the 2001 Masters.
Watney, a junior from Fresno State, was a teammate of Mahan's last summer in the USA vs. Japan Collegiate Golf Championship. In 2001, he finished third in the NCAA Championships, and earned second-team All-America honors. This season, Watney has posted four second-place finishes and three individual victories. Named WAC Golfer of the Month in November, Watney posted a low round of 63 at the Fresno Lexus Golf Classic en route to his first win of the year.
"It is a great honor to be selected to the Palmer Cup team. I look forward to playing with the U.S. team in Ireland," said Watney. "It will be an experience of a lifetime."
Purdue senior, Williamson is closing his collegiate career as one of the most decorated golfers in the school's history. His scoring average of 70.3 this season will likely earn him All-Big Ten honors for a third-straight year. Currently ranked ninth in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, Williamson has won numerous amateur tournaments, including the Indiana Match Play Championship.
The Great Britain & Ireland team is selected by the British University Sports Association, and will be announced at a later date.
- The Palmer Cup will serve as the official opening of this championship course designed by Greg Norman.
- The last time the Palmer Cup was held in Europe, Team GB&I defeated the U.S. 12.5 to 11.5.
- The United States has yet to win the Palmer Cup when GB&I hosts (tie in 1998, loss in 2000).
- None of the U.S. players have any previous Palmer Cup experience.
- The United States leads the series 3 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie.
|2002 U.S. Palmer Cup Team|
|Bill Haas||So.||Wake Forest||Greer, S.C.|
|Ryan Hybl||Soph.||Georgia||Colbert, Ga.|
|John Klauk||Sr.||Texas||Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.|
|Hunter Mahan||Soph.||Oklahoma State||McKinney, Texas|
|Troy Matteson||Jr.||Georgia Tech||Austin, Texas|
|D.J. Trahan||Jr.||Clemson||Inman, S.C.|
|Nick Watney||Jr.||Fresno State||Dixon, Calif.|
|Lee Williamson||Sr.||Purdue||Crawfordsville, Ind.|