For the second time in his distinguished collegiate career, Abilene Christian senior will represent the United States this summer at the 2013 Palmer Cup. The annual Ryder Cup-style competition will be played June 7-9 at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Del.
The Palmer Cup teams for both the United States and Europe were announced Monday. Previous players at this event include current PGA tour professionals Luke Donald, Webb Simpson and Graeme McDowell.
“I'm really excited to make the team,” said Carpenter. “I knew there was a good chance that I would be selected, but I hadn't heard anything leading up to today and didn't want to get my hopes up. There are a lot of great players they could have chosen from the non-Division I level, so it was good to find out that I was picked.”
“This is a tremendous accomplishment and Alex is well deserving of this honor,” said ACU head golf coach . “There was only one spot reserved on this year's team for a non-Division I golfer and Alex was right at the top of the heap when comparing everyone's statistics. I really believe the best golfers in D-II are in the same class as D-I, so he's seen a lot of good competition throughout his career.”
Carpenter, who previously represented the U.S. at the 2011 Palmer Cup, has recorded five victories this season and recently accepted his fourth Lone Star Conference Player of the Year award. The three-time all-America also made Sports Illustrated's 'Faces in the Crowd' page in its April 22 issue after winning his 20th collegiate tournament on April 9 at the Dallas Baptist Classic.
Carpenter is believed to hold the NCAA career record for individual collegiate wins, having surpassed the previous record of 16 set by Phil Mickelson from 1989-92. Coincidentally, Carpenter earned the 2010 Phil Mickelson Award presented by the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation as the most outstanding freshman in NCAA D-II men's golf.
A native of Little Rock, Carpenter won the 2011 Jack Nicklaus Award as the NCAA D-II Player of the Year, and earlier this spring, he finished tied for second Sunday at the Jones Cup Invitational, one of the top amateur golf tournaments in the United States.
“I work hard because I love it,” Carpenter said, “and I enjoy improving in different areas, and reaching the goals I've set for myself. So it's really special when I receive these types of honors (named for the greats of the sport). I also feel it's important to take advantage of being at these different tournaments and really enjoy the experience.”
California's Michael Kim led the six U.S. players selected by the Palmer Cup Ranking. He was joined by North Florida's Sean Dale, Patrick Rodgers of Stanford, New Mexico's James Erkenbeck, Alabama's Cory Whitsett and Cal's Michael Weaver off the ranking. Committee selections included Carpenter, Daniel Berger of Florida State and Alabama's Justin Thomas. Bobby Wyatt of Alabama was coach Jay Seawell's coach's pick.
Julien Brun of TCU (France), Iowa State's Scott Fernandez (Spain), Pedro Figueiredo (Portugal) and Pontus Widegren (Sweden) of UCLA, UCF's Greg Eason (England) and California's Joel Stalter (France) were the six European players selected by the Palmer Cup Ranking. Kevin Phelan (Ireland) of North Florida and Nova Southeastern's Ben Taylor (England) were committee selections. Gary Hurley of NIU Maynooth (Ireland) qualified for Team Europe by winning The R&A Foundation Scholars' Tournament. Arkansas' Sebastian Cappelen was coach Andrew Coltart's coach's pick.
Carpenter, Rodgers and Thomas have each previously represented the United States in the Palmer Cup. Widegren will become just the fourth golfer to play in four Palmer Cups while European teammates Cappelen and Brun are competing in their third and second, respectively. Figueiredo is the first player from Portugal to play in the event while Dale, Phelan, Eason and Fernandez were the first golfers from their schools selected.
Carpenter said his routine won't change heading into The Palmer Cup, but expects he'll start contacting his teammates as the event draws closer.
“I play against a lot of these guys week-in and week-out during the offseason,” he said, “but it's still important to be on good terms with everyone once we all get there so we can start building team camaraderie.”
Information provided by ACU athletics department.