Team USA defeats Internationals to claim the Arnold Palmer Cup
by Mike Dudurich, for

The Arnold Palmer Cup was created to bring high-octane collegiate golfers for a few days of fun and competition.

“I had long thought that an international such as this would enrich the lives of young men through the universal bond of the great game of golf,” Palmer said early in the event’s existence.

When play concluded Saturday with Team USA knocking off the International team, 32-28, it certainly seemed Palmer’s vision for the event had been 20-20.

“It really was a lot of fun,” said Nick Gabrelcik, who was a monster in the four rounds, going unbeaten in those matches. He picked up a big win on the final day, including 1-up win over Sampson Zheng. Zoe Campos (2-0-2) and Gordon Sargent (3-0-1) also finished unbeaten. This was Gabrelcik’s third, and most likely, final appearance in the event.

The coaches of the American team, Derek Radley of Oregon and Pepperdine’s Michael Beard will lead Team USA, put a unique perspective on the victory moments after. They were thrilled, almost beyond words, but were very respectful of the place they were in, the man who was behind the event and how proud they were of their team.

“This our first chance to participate in the Palmer Cup and I’m not really sure we knew what to expect,” Radley, who coaches at the University of Oregon, said.

“Now that was so much fun," Radley told his players after the round. “You made us all very proud. I’m extremely honored for our team to win. We made so many new friendships. The whole thing was just awesome.”

Rachel Kuehn, a member of one of college golf’s greatest families, was named, along with David Ford to receive exemptions into the Arnold Palmer Invitational Kuehn will be make a trip to France to compete in the 2024 Evian Championship.

“I’m really honored because I got voted in by the rest of the players,” Kuehn, who celebrated her 22nd birthday Saturday, said. “I feel really lucky to be given the opportunity to represent the Arnold Palmer Cup and everyone here well that week. This is my fourth appearance in this event and it’s at the top of my list. It’s just such an honor.”

One constant subject all week was that Laurel Valley was so special to Palmer, whose influence at the club was always very strong.

And now there’s another bit of a twist to that. Laurel Valley becomes the only host club to have held both the Ryder Cup and the Palmer Cup.

And don’t bet against the Palmer Cup coming back to Western Pennsylvania again.

With the victory the United States takes a 14-12-1 lead in the overall Palmer Cup series.

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ABOUT THE Palmer Cup

The annual Ryder Cup-style competition features top men and women collegiate players from the United States against their International counterparts.

Each team will be comprised of 12 men's and 12 women's golfers. Day one will feature Mixed Four-Ball competition, day two will see Mixed Foursomes in the morning and Four-Ball in the afternoon, with 24 singles matches on the final day.

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