Gifted University of Stirling golfers David Booth and Graeme Robertson have been named in the European team for the 2012 Palmer Cup.
It is the first time two British-based students have been selected for the Ryder Cup-style tournament, named after legendary player Arnold Palmer, which pits the cream of European student amateur golf against their American counterparts.
The eight-player teams will compete against one another at The Royal County Down Golf Club in Northern Ireland from 28 to 30 June 2012.
Booth, a Sport Management postgraduate student, secured his place following victory at the R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament earlier this month.
The Rotherham player is captain of the Stirling team which has enjoyed continued success, crowned the Scottish, British and European Universities team champions.
Robertson, from Larbert, is fast emerging as one of Scotland’s leading amateur lights, underlined with victory at the Craigmillar Park Open, the opening event in the Scottish Golf Union Men’s Order of Merit.
Both Stirling golfers are part of the University’s International Sports Scholarship Programme, which has helped develop such talent as Richie Ramsay and Catriona Matthew. It is backed by the R&A and sees the men’s team play home matches at Gleneagles, while the programme is managed by former European Tour pro Dean Robertson.
“I’m delighted to be selected and get the opportunity, along with David [Booth] to test myself against some of the best amateurs in the world,” said Robertson, who is also supported by Winning Students, Scotland’s national sports scholarship programme for student athletes.
Booth added: “I feel I am in good form and one of my targets for the year was to make the Palmer Cup team. It’s another opportunity to see how my game has come on and hopefully we can help Team Europe win the Cup.”
Rickard Lindberg, National Men’s Coach for the Swedish Golf Team, will serve as Europe’s coach for the second-straight year, with Scotland’s David Inglis as his current assistant.
The 2012 squad includes three players from Team Europe which narrowly lost 13-11 last year, Swedes Robert Karlsson and Pontus Widegren and Sebastian Cappelen from Denmark. They are joined by the Stirling duo and by Frenchman Julian Brun, Belgian Thomas Pieters and Holland’s Daan Huizing.
“This is a very strong European team with links experts that will suit this kind of course,” said Lindberg. “Top players from both college golf in the U.S. and strong successful European amateurs will team up at The Royal County Down Golf Club in late June. It’s going to be a great match and I can’t wait.”
The United States leads the Palmer Cup series 8-6-1 and has won two straight. Team Europe last won the event in 2009, one year after victory on home soil at Glasgow Golf Club Gailes Links in Ayrshire.
The last Stirling student to gain selection was Patrick Spraggs, from Westhorpe in Suffolk, who represented Team Europe at the 2010 event.
The full European Palmer Cup team comprises: David Booth (University of Stirling); Julian Brun (Texas Christian University); Sebastian Cappelen (University of Arkansas); Daan Huizing (Utrecht University); Robert Karlsson (Liberty University); Thomas Pieters (University of Illinois); Graeme Robertson (University of Stirling) and Pontus Widegren (University of California, Los Angeles).