Tennessee’s Chris Paisley and Robin Wingardh were selected to participate in the 2009 Palmer Cup, a Ryder Cup-style competition set for June 3-5 between top collegians from the United States and Europe.
Paisley, a senior from Newcastle, England, and Wingardh, a sophomore from Morarp, Sweden, were named to the European side.
“Being selected to the Palmer Cup team is a tremendous achievement as well as a great honor,” UT head coach Jim Kelson said. “We are thrilled for Chris and Robin.
“Both have had very fine years, and it was terrific to see them selected for this event. We look forward to watching them compete on an international stage in a fantastic competition.”
Paisley has been UT’s No. 1 golfer all season, leading the team with a 72.23 stroke average and compiling five top-10 finishes. He captured the Arizona Invitational in early February on the strength of three consecutive rounds in the 60s.
“I just missed out on the Palmer Cup last year, and it’s been one of the goals of my senior year,” Paisley said. “I’m obviously very happy and glad the work has paid off.
“It’s also a sign of how the Tennessee program has come along. I don’t think you’ll find too many teams with two players in the Palmer Cup. Hopefully, Robin and I will get to play together in the foursomes.”
Wingardh is riding a streak of five straight top-20 showings. He rallied to a 16th-place finish this past week at the SEC Championship and owns a season stroke average of 72.50. Wingardh also tied Paisley for tops on the UT squad with his 14th round of par or better.
“Two players from the same team -- I guess that’s pretty rare,” Wingardh said. “I’m very honored to be a part of it. Tons of world-class players have been in this event, and the Swedish coach told me recently I was right on the edge of making it. I’ve been working really hard to be part of this tournament, and I’m just thrilled.
“It’s right after our NCAA finals, and hopefully we will be there this year. I think that would be perfect preparation.”
Last year in Scotland, UT golfer Charlie Ford helped the Europeans to a 14-10 victory that narrowed the U.S. margin in the series to 6-5-1.
“Charlie said the whole experience was great,” Paisley added. “He loved it, and I’m really looking forward to it, too.”
Cherry Hills Country Club, located in the Denver suburbs, is hosting the 2009 event and plays to 7,600 yards. Arnold Palmer, for whom the competition is named, captured his only U.S. Open at Cherry Hills in 1960.
“We’re extremely honored to be playing the Palmer Cup at such a fine course as Cherry Hills,” said Mark Crabtree, head coach at Louisville and president of the Golf Coaches Association of America. “It’s always great to be at a venue that has hosted so many championships, but staging the Palmer Cup at the site of Arnold Palmer’s 1960 U.S. Open triumph is extra special.”
Denver also will be the farthest west the event has been held in its 13-year history.
“I haven’t seen the course or played it, but I hear it’s great with a lot of history,” Paisley said of Cherry Hills. “That’s why I came to Tennessee — to play some of the best courses in the country.