PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The United States will attempt to win back a trophy that it once claimed unofficial ownership rights as it sends six rookies and four veterans to face Great Britain & Ireland in the 29th PGA Cup, to be conducted Sept. 27-29, at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas. The Americans lost the Llandudno International Trophy on home soil for the first time in 2015 at CordeValle in San Martin, California, and the GB&I team held onto the trophy in 2017 with a victory in England.
The 10-member U.S. Team in the biennial international showcase for PGA Club Professionals was determined through a two-year points system that includes the past two PGA Professional Championships and two PGA Championships. The points race ended with last week’s PGA Championship held at Bethpage Black Course in Farmingdale, New York.
The final two players — 2016 PGA Professional Champion Rich Berberian Jr. of Hooksett, New Hampshire, and Sean McCarty of Solon, Iowa — clinched berths after final points were tabulated.
They will join the eight who earned a spot April 28 - May 1, at the 52nd PGA Professional Championship at Belfair in Bluffton, South Carolina: reigning PGA Professional Champion Alex Beach of Stamford, Connecticut; Danny Balin of Irvington, New York; Jason Caron of Oyster Bay, New York; Ben Cook of Caledonia, Michigan; Stuart Deane of Arlington, Texas; Ben Kern of Round Rock, Texas; reigning Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year and 2004 PGA Professional Champion Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio; and 2018 PGA Professional Champion and reigning PGA Professional Player of the Year Ryan Vermeer of Omaha, Nebraska.
Berberian, Balin, Deane and Sowards are all veterans, having competed in a combined six PGA Cups.
The PGA Cup began in 1973, and although the U.S. Team dominated early, GB&I has made a resurgence. The U.S. is 17-7-4 overall, but hasn’t won the trophy since 2011 at CordeValle.
“I am impressed by the talent on the team,” said PGA Past President and U.S. Captain Derek Sprague of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. “We do have six rookies, but they are proven champions in many respects. And, we have those who have won our PGA Professional Championship in Alex (Beach), Rich (Berberian Jr.), Bob (Sowards) and Ryan (Vermeer). Overall, I feel good about this team because of their experience. They will be very competitive this September.”
The Great Britain & Ireland Team is captained by Captain Cameron Clark, who was a player in 2015, and served as a vice captain in 2017 on the way to a 16-10 triumph over the Americans at Foxhills in Ottershaw, Surrey, England.
The PGA Cup originated in 1973 at Pinehurst (North Carolina) Country Club as an outgrowth of the PGA Professional Championship. Structured after the format of the Ryder Cup, with match-play competition between the U.S. and Europe, the PGA Cup features the top PGA Club Professionals from both sides of the Atlantic.
The 2019 United States PGA Cup Team
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