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Karlsson to Represent Europe at Palmer Cup
Golfweek Video Announcement of 2011 Palmer Cup team
Liberty's Robert Karlsson was one of eight collegiate golfers named to the 2011 European Palmer Cup team, as announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America yesterday.
The 2011 Palmer Cup will be contested at The Stanwich Club in Greenwich, Conn., on June 9-11. The Ryder Cup-style event pits two teams of the top collegiate golfers in the country against each other, with the United States leading the overall series, 7-6-1, dating back to the event's inaugural tournament in 1997.
Some of the best golfers from around the world have competed in this collegiate event, including current PGA and European Tour professionals Alejandro Cañizares, Ben Curtis, Luke Donald, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Pablo Martín, Graeme McDowell, Richie Ramsay, Brandt Snedeker and Oliver Wilson.
Yesterday, Karlsson helped Liberty secure its first-ever Big South Men's Golf Championship, winning the team title by 31 strokes over Gardner-Webb with an eight-under par 866. Karlsson finished the event tied for third place with a two-under par 214 (73-71-70).
The two-time Big South Golfer of the Year is in the midst of his best season since coming to Liberty Mountain, as he ranks No. 37 in the country by Golfstat and No. 36 by Golfweek.
Karlsson leads the Big South with a 71.1 stroke average and has seven Top 5 finishes in 11 events this season, including a tie for first place at the Rio Pinar Invitational. The native of Kalmar, Sweden has finished under par in four-straight events and seven times total during the 2010-11 season.
Karlsson is one of five Swedish-born golfers on this year European team. He is joined by Arkansas' Sebastian Cappelen (Denmark), Texas A&M's Ignacio Elvira (Spain), Texas Tech's Nils Floren (Sweden), Kennesaw State's Jeff Karlsson (Sweden), Aberdeen's Nick MacAndrew (Scotland), Augusta State's Henrik Norlander (Sweden) and UCLA's Pontus Widegren (Sweden).
Norlander will look to lead the European team, as he will be making his third appearance on a Palmer Cup roster. He helped the European team to a Palmer Cup victory in 2009 at Cherry Hills Golf Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colo., and took fifth place at last year's NCAA National Golf Championship, which Augusta State won.
The United State team will consist of Auburn's Blayne Barber, UCLA's Patrick Cantlay, Abilene Christian's Alex Carpenter, Georgia's Russell Henley, Oregon's Daniel Miernicki, Florida's Bank Vongvanij, Washington's Chris Williams and Standford's Andrew Yun.
Team USA will be led by Cantlay, a three-time winner this year and a semifinalist at last year's U.S. Amateur, and Carpenter, who has captured medalist honors in seven out of 10 events this season.
Karlsson and Vongvanij have already gone head-to-head this season, with the Gator's No. 1 golfer besting Karlsson by two strokes at the JU Invitational. Vongvanij finished first at the event hosted at the TPC-Sawgrass Stadium course with a five-under par 211 (69-69-73) to Karlsson's second-place finish with a three-under par 213 (72-72-69).
Karlsson will become the second golfer in Big South Conference history to tee it up at the international collegiate event and the first to represent Team Europe.
In 2007, Dustin Johnson, a graduate of Coastal Carolina and three-time Big South Golfer of the Year, helped lead Team USA to a convincing 18-6 Palmer Cup victory at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md.
2011 Palmer Cup – June 9-11
Sebastian Cappelen, Arkansas (Denmark)
Ignacio Elvira, Texas A&M (Spain)
Nils Floren, Texas Tech (Sweden)
Jeff Karlsson, Kennesaw State (Sweden)
Robert Karlsson, Liberty (Sweden)
Nick MacAndrew, Aberdeen (Scotland)
Henrik Norlander, Augusta State (Sweden)
Pontus Widegren, UCLA (Sweden)
Head Coach: Rickard Lindberg, Swedish National Coach
Assistant Coach: David Inglis, Northwestern (Scotland)
Blayne Barber, Auburn
Patrick Cantlay, UCLA
Alex Carpenter, Abilene Christian
Russell Henley, Georgia
Daniel Miernicki, Oregon
Bank Vongvanij, Florida
Chris Williams, Washington
Andrew Yun, Stanford
Head Coach: Tim Poe, Central Missouri
Assistant Coach: Michael Burcin, South Carolina
The Stanwich Club (Greenwich, Conn.)
Par 71, 7,133 yards