Fernandez starts offseason play at prestigious Palmer Cup


Scott Fernandez

Alex Gookin

As Scott Fernandez began preparing for the Big 12 Championships, coach Andrew Tank checked his Twitter and found that the Cyclone star had been selected to play for Europe in the Palmer Cup in Wilmington, Del. starting June 7-9.

The Cyclone sophomore went on to tie for seventh in the Big 12 Championships, finish 13th at the NCAA Columbus Regional, and break the school record for single-season stroke average. Though his Cyclone season is over, the Palmer Cup is one of the most prestigious events to which a collegiate golfer can be invited.

“There are 27 [Europeans] that have played this [tournament] that are on the PGA Tour right now and a few of them have won majors,” Fernandez said. “So, it’s a good sign that great players come out of this tournament and succeed on the tour. I’m excited to be following in the right steps.”

The Palmer Cup, the equivalent of the Ryder Cup for collegiate players, began in 1997 as a way for collegiate golfers to compete at an international level. The tournament has since featured some of the best golfers in the world, including two consecutive US Open Champions in 2009 (Lucas Glover) and 2010 (Graeme McDowell).

Named after Arnold Palmer, the event features 10 players from both Europe and the United States. Fernandez was the second selection and is the only Spaniard on the European team.

The event is match play, with every match win earning a point. Any match that is tied after 18 holes earns half a point. The team with the most points after four rounds wins.

Fernandez hopes to help the European team to victory and tie the overall Palmer Cup series. The US currently leads with a 8-7-1 record. With a different approach to his putting and a whole summer to practice, Fernandez hopes to be playing his best golf at the Palmer Cup.

“I’ve been playing really well,” Fernandez said. “My ball striking has been pretty good. I’m just ready to show everything off this week.”

In addition to the Palmer Cup, Fernandez has a busy summer of golfing planned. He will have a quick turnaround after the Palmer Cup, competing in the British Amateur on June 17-22. 

Fernandez will then play in the European Team Championships in July. Six players from each country are selected to represent the country in a battle for the best European team.

But as Fernandez looks ahead to the future and his junior year as a Cyclone, he’s taking it one step at a time. With the Palmer Cup being his next step, he hopes to make his team, coaches and country proud.

“The excitement is starting to build up every day that goes by,” Fernandez said of the Palmer Cup. “It’s been one of my targets this year to get on the team and now that I’m in it, I’ve got new expectations of winning it and getting as many points possible for my team.”