Ryan Vermeer and the U.S. PGA Cup Team Ready to Represent

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The 2022 U.S. PGA Cup team, made up of 10 of the best playing PGA of America members, will march onto the turf at Foxhills Country Club and Resort in Surrey, U.K., to defend its title against 10 of the top playing professionals from Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. roster consists of five PGA Cup rookies — Jesse Mueller, Frank Bensel, Jr., Larkin Gross, Jared Jones and Wyatt Worthington II — who will join a group of PGA Cup veterans — Alex Beach, Michael Block, Ben Pollard, Omar Uresti and Ryan Vermeer --- in an effort to retain the Llandudno International Trophy, which the U.S. team won at the 2019 PGA Cup in Austin, Texas.  Beach and Vermeer were part of that victorious 2019 squad, and in search of another win. Veteran Ryan Vermeer summed up the feelings of the entire U.S. Team. “It’s top of the heap,” he says when asked where being named to the PGA Cup team ranks among his career accomplishments. “Having experienced it [in 2019], even if we hadn’t won, it was still one of the best weeks of golf I’ve ever had in my life. As much fun as it was to play in the United States, I can’t begin to imagine how fun it will be to go across to Europe and do it on their soil.” This will be Vermeer’s first trip to the U.K., but he’s done his research on the Foxhills course in preparation for this weekend. In particular, he talked to a few teammates who played on the U.S. PGA Cup Team in 2017, when the event was last held at Foxhills. They explained that it’s a great course but short and narrow, requiring strategy and finesse as opposed to strength and length. “We had a lot of guys [in 2017] who hit the ball a long way, and they felt like [the Foxhills course] took away a lot of their advantage,” says Vermeer. “We’ll have to work on that [this year] during the practice rounds. I’ve heard the course is very tight and very tree lined, but sometimes I feel like that narrows my focus and I actually drive the ball very well, so I’m looking forward to it.” As for the advice he’s going to give his PGA Cup rookie teammates, Vermeer says he’ll tell them to relax and play their games, and to not forget to enjoy themselves.  “Because if you do that,” Vermeer adds, “you’re probably going to play well.” That’s not to say he’s not taking the competition seriously. The professionals from Great Britain and Ireland, whom the U.S. will face, have more tournament experience as a whole, and they’re much more familiar with the intricacies of Foxhills. “I think it’s important that we don’t get lost in the fact that so many guys on the opposing team are such accomplished players,” Vermeer warns. “It’s no different from any other round of golf. We’ve just got to go out there and enjoy ourselves and try to make birdies, and not let that other stuff psych us out or else we’ll be playing from behind before we get started.”  Vermeer spent the last three years hoping to qualify for a second straight PGA Cup. In fact, the first question he asked the scorer after the last hole at the 2022 PGA Professional Championship back in April was “Did I get enough points to make the [U.S. PGA] Cup team?” Now that he’s accomplished that goal, all that’s left is to show the world what American golf is all about and bring that Llandudno Trophy back home. It’s a tall order, but Vermeer, like all his teammates, is motivated by wanting to make his fellow U.S. PGA Professionals proud. “I feel like I’m playing for the PGA of America every bit as much as the United States of America,” he says. “While we’re representing our country, we’re also representing the people that do the day-in, day-out work within the PGA of America, the ones working, who help keep the game as popular as it is.”