ORLANDO, FL – Florida Southern junior John Coultas has been selected to play in the 2017 Arnold Palmer Cup representing the United States in the annual Ryder Cup-style competition that will be played June 9-11 at Atlanta Athletic Club. The Arnold Palmer Cup matches 10 of the best college golfers from the U.S. against 10 of the best from Europe.
Coultas is the only Division II player on the U.S. Team, six of whom were determined by the Arnold Palmer Cup Player Ranking with four others selected by a committee. In addition to Coultas, the U.S. Team includes Sam Burns of LSU, Chandler Phillips of Texas A&M, Collin Morikawa of California, Jimmy Stanger of Virginia, Maverick McNealy of Stanford, Norman Xiong of Oregon, Sean Crocker of Southern California, Nick Hardy of Illinois, and Doug Ghim of Texas.
Team Europe will be represented by Hannes Ronneblad and Fredrik Nilehn of Texas Tech (both from Sweden), Kristoffer Ventura and Viktor Hovland of Oklahoma State (both from Norway), David Wicks of Jacksonville (England), Harry Ellis of Florida State (England), Rory Fransson of Missouri (Scotland), Stuart Grehan of Maynooth (Ireland), and Richard Mansell of Nova Southeastern (England). The final member of the European Team will be determined in April.
Coultas is the second Florida Southern golfer to earn a spot in the Arnold Palmer Cup, joining Jeff Klauk who was on the 2000 U.S. Team. Coultas has won three of his seven tournaments this season for Florida Southern and has four top-five finishes to go along with a 71.29 stroke average. The 2-time All-American is currently ranked No. 2 in the Division II individual Golfstat national rankings and has been named the Sunshine State Conference Men's Golfer-of-the-Week three times this season. He has already played against four of the golfers who will be participating in this year's Arnold Palmer Cup, facing Burns and Ventura at the College All-American Golf Classic in November, Ellis while the Moccasins were playing in the Rod Myers Invitational hosted by Duke, and Mansell in several other tournaments.
The format calls for three types of competition spread over the three day tournament. A total of 30 points will be awarded with 10 points coming from each of the different types of play. Leading the U.S. Team will be University of Texas head coach John Fields, with the University of North Carolina's Andrew Dibitetto serving as assistant coach.
In match play, each golfer will go head-to-head against a member of the opposing team with score kept by the number of holes up (won) and the number of holes to play. When a team is up (winning) by more holes than there are holes remaining, then the match is closed out and a point is awarded to the team. If a match is tied through 18 holes, each team receives half a point.
Four ball play, which features five groups of two-man teams, is a match in which each member of the two-man teams plays his own ball. Four balls are in play per hole with each of the four players recording a score on the hole. The team whose player posts the best score on that hole wins the hole. Should players from each team tie for the best score, that hole is halved.
Foursome play, which also features five groups of two-man teams, is a match in which the golfers compete on a team against two other golfers and each side plays one ball. The golfers play alternate shots (player A hits tee shot, player B hits second shot, etc.) until the hole is played out. Team members alternate on the playing of tee shots, with one golfer hitting the tee shot on odd-numbered holes, and the other hitting tee shots from the even-numbered holes. The team with the better score wins the hole. Should the two teams tie for best score, the hole is halved.
The Arnold Palmer Cup was first held in 1997, and up until 2002 featured the United States taking on Great Britain and Ireland. It was modified in 2003 to include collegiate golfers from across Europe. Overall, the U.S. holds a 10-8-1 advantage in previous Arnold Palmer Cups, though Europe won last year's event held at Formby Golf Club in England. The two teams have alternated wins and losses over the last six years starting with a United States win in 2011.