Sands Leads Staff USA to Arnold Palmer Cup Championship

Sugar Grove, Ill. — Texas Tech head men’s golf coach Greg Sands helped lead Team USA to the 25th Arnold Palmer Cup championship title on Sunday with a 33-27 margin over with Team International. The Americans had not held possession of the Cup since 2019, when they lost to the Internationals at The Alotian Club and Bay Hill Club & Lodge in December of 2020.

Holding just a four point lead heading into Sunday 24 singles matches, the Americans appeared to be in for a heavyweight title fight as they split the first four matches with the  Internationals. Sands just completed his 20th season leading the Red Raider program where the team advanced to the NCAA Championship after winning the NCAA Albuquerque Regional. 

As momentum swung back and forth, seemingly with every shot taken, it wasn’t until Benjamin Shipp grabbed a 7&5 win over Puwit Anupansuebsai that the tide rose in the Americans favor. Having not won a match all week, Shipp continued to trust his game at the advice of USA head coach Greg Sands. Winning the first four holes and carding five birdies, Shipp gave the Americans their largest win of the week.

Despite the big win, the Internationals were able to keep things interesting for much of the morning. Julian Perico took down William Moll 5&3 while Beatrice Wallin defeated Irene Kim 4&3 for a then crucial two points. Emma Spitz, Lauren Walsh, and Isabella Fierro all took close wins over their American opponents.

Two matches ended all square; However, not all ties are created equal. Sam Bennett and Hugo Townsend combined for 18 birdies in their singles match, which ended with the last three holes switching hands, in favor of Townsend to squeak out a half point.

Following the lowest scoring match of the week, the Internationals simply ran out of holes. Wins from Emily Price and Eugenio Chacarra gave the World hope but it was Brad Reeves who ended it.

Reeves picked up where Barrett left off, pushing the United States over the threshold of the 30.5 necessary points with a 3&2 victory over Bo Jin. Of the final 10 matches , the Americans took full points in six of them to take the 2021 Arnold Palmer Cup by six points, 33 to 27.

Each year, a man and woman are voted upon by their peers to receive exemptions into the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Evian Championship. This year’s recipients were Sam Bennett and Brooke Matthews.

Aside from the exemptions, one player from each team is chosen by their peers for the Michael Carter Award. 

On February 13, 2002, former Penn State University golfer and GCAA Arnold Palmer Cup intern Michael Carter died in an automobile accident at the young age of 19.  While Carter tragically left this world too soon, his infectiously fun-loving spirit will forever live in this competition.  The Michael Carter “Junior” Memorial Award is presented to the Arnold Palmer Cup participant from each team who best represents the qualities and ideals that made this young man unique.

This year’s recipients were Sam Bennett and Eugenio Chacarra.

The Internationals will play host to the 2022 Arnold Palmer Cup. An announcement will be made at a later date as to which club overseas will play host.

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