Arnold Palmer Honorary Captain of U.S. World Junior Cup Team
NORMAN, Okla. ? Golf legend Arnold Palmer has accepted to serve as honorary captain for the United States team at the 2004 Toyota Junior World Cup. The competition will take place June 22-24 in Bear?s Paw Golf Club - a par-72 mountain course outside of Shiga, Japan. Arkansas head coach Mike Ketcham has been tabbed to coach the American squad."I am pleased to serve as the honorary captain of Team USA for the upcoming Toyota Junior World Cup," said Palmer. "I have always felt it important to support all forms of international competition in golf and particularly enjoy this opportunity to be involved with junior golf in this respect. I was thrilled by the chances I had early in my career to represent our country in World Cup competition. Six times between 1960 and 1967, I played for my country in that competition throughout the world, twice with Sam Snead and four times with Jack Nicklaus. Every one of those was a memorable experience."
Currently In his third season at Arkansas, Ketcham earned Eaton Golf Pride South Central Regional Coach of the Year honors in 2003. He led the Razorbacks to 13 top 10 finishes last season, including three tournament victories and eight top-five performances and advanced to the NCAA Championships. Ketcham has led three programs to the NCAA Championships, placing 10th while coaching San Jose State in 1996 and 12th while at Oregon State in 2001.
The Toyota World Junior Cup will be entering its 13th year. The United States has won five team titles at the event, its last coming in 2000. U.S. medalists include David Gossett, Joel Kribel, Sal Spallone, Justin Roof and Hunter Mahan.
To be eligible for the competition a junior golfer must be an incoming college freshman that has signed a letter of intent to compete collegiatelly and not reached his 19th birthday by date of the World Junior Cup. For the first 12 years of the event, Team USA was selected and administered by the Junior Orange Bowl Committee (JOBC). Beginning with the 2004 competition, the JOBC has joined forces with the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) in the selection, and administration and promotion of Team USA.
"We feel this association with the GCAA will bring together the best available incoming college freshmen to compete against the best junior golfers in the world," stated J.R. Steinbauer of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee. "More importantly, it will give young men the opportunity to represent their country in an international competition, a chance that some may never receive again in their lifetime."