CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia golfers Amanda Sambach (Pinehurst, N.C.) and Ben James (Milford, Conn.) are set to open play for the United States team at the 27th Arnold Palmer Cup matches on Thursday. This year’s event is hosted by Laurel Valley Golf Club in Ligonier, Pa. Sambach is a rising junior at Virginia while James just completed his first year on Grounds.
The Arnold Palmer Cup will be live streamed at this link.
The three-day tournament is a Ryder Cup-style tournament featuring the top men’s and women’s university/college golfers matching the United States against a team of International players. The Arnold Palmer Cup was co-founded by Arnold Palmer and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) and began at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Fla., in 1997.
The Arnold Palmer Cup Champion is the team with the most points at the conclusion of the four rounds of play. If the two sides are tied the holder retains the Cup. Team International won the Arnold Palmer Cup in 2022. Currently the United States leads the all-time series 13-12-1.
Palmer Cup Schedule
Thursday, June 8 – Mixed Four-Ball Matches (7:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.)
Friday, June 9 – Foursomes (7:30 a.m. to 8:20 a.m.) & Mixed Foursomes (1:30 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.)
Saturday, June 10 – Singles (7:30 a.m. to 9:20 a.m.)
This year James led UVA to its best finish at the NCAA Championships in program history as the Cavaliers qualified for the quarterfinals of match play for the first time. He was named the Phil Mickelson Award winner as the nation’s most outstanding freshman golfer, was a first-team All-American and the ACC Freshman of the Year.
In 13 tournaments he posted a school-record stroke average of 69.0 for 40 rounds of play. He posted 11 top-six finishes, had 24 rounds in the 60s and 33 rounds of par or better. His sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships tied as the second best by a Cavalier. He helped UVA reach match play at the NCAA Championships for the first time and post the best finish in stroke play (seventh) in program history.
Sambach was named a second-team All-American by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association and was a finalist for both the Division I PING Women’s Golf Coaches Association Player of the Year honor and the ANNIKA Award, both of which are presented to the nation’s top female collegiate golfer.
This season she set the UVA record for wins in a season with three. She opened the year by taking medalist honors at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate. She won the ACC Championships by shooting 14-under 202, which was the best performance in the event’s history and also set the Virginia 54-hole scoring record. At the NCAA Regional, she finished as co-medalist. Over the course of 10 tournaments, she posted five top-10 finishes.
James is the third Cavalier men’s player to participate in the Palmer Cup. Jimmy Stanger was named to the 2017 United States team. Derek Bard became the first Cavalier to play in the event in 2016. Sambach is the first participant from the UVA women’s golf program. Head coach Ria Scott led the International team to victory in 2020 and was an assistant coach for the International squad in 2019.
More About the Palmer Cup
The Palmer Cup has been played at some of the world’s greatest courses, including The Old Course at St. Andrews, The Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, Baltusrol, The Honors Course, and Cherry Hills. Beginning with the 2018 matches at Evian Resort Golf Club, the Palmer Cup is the only major tournament which features men and women playing side-by-side as partners.
Since its inception, over 125 former Arnold Palmer Cup alumni have gone on to earn cards on the PGA, DP World, or LPGA Tours; 34 have represented Europe or the USA in the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, or Solheim Cup and more than 75 have claimed over 315 victories on the PGA, DP World, or LPGA Tours, including 2022 major champions Jennifer Kupcho (The Chevron Championship) and Justin Thomas (PGA Championship). The United States leads the Palmer Cup series 13-12-1.
The Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation supports the Palmer Cup, which provides a platform for perpetuating Arnold Palmer’s commitment to youth character development and the growth of amateur/collegiate golf. For more information, please visit ArnoldPalmerCup.com.
Mixed Four Ball
12 Groups of two-person teams
“Four Ball” play is a match in which each member of the two-person teams plays their 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.
12 groups of two-person teams
“Foursome” play 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.
24 groups of one-man teams
“Singles” is a match in which one player plays against another player. A player wins the match when the player is up by more holes than there are holes remaining to play.