COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M’s Sam Bennett is set to tee off at the Arnold Palmer Cup on Friday at the Rich Harvest Farms Golf Course, representing Team USA and the Aggies.
“It’s an honor to represent the United States against some of the best college golfers in the nation,” Bennett said. “It’s been a great experience getting to meet all the other golfers. Playing in a tournament named for Arnold Palmer is a dream come true for me.”
Bennett tees off at 9 a.m. CT alongside United States teammate Erica Shepard of Duke in a mixed four-ball match against Hugo Townsend (Boise State) and Beatrice Wallin (Florida State) of the International team. In the four-ball format, the team whose player posts the best score on that hole wins the hole.
The 25th playing of the Arnold Palmer Cup is Ryder-Cup style, with the first round featuring a mixed four-ball format. The second day begins with foursome matches, while the afternoon has mixed foursome matches on the docket. The final round on Sunday concludes with single matches.
Bennett is the fifth Aggie to compete in the Arnold Palmer Cup, and just the second to represent the United States. Previously Chandler Phillips (‘17, ‘18, ‘19), Maddie Szeryk (‘18), Ignacio Elvira (‘11) and Andrea Pavan (‘09 & ‘10) all represented A&M.
Bennett, who entered 2020-21 without a collegiate victory, won a trio of tournament crowns as a junior with first-place finishes at the Cabo Collegiate, the Old Waverly Intercollegiate and the Aggie Invitational. Bennett's win at the Cabo Collegiate came with a PGA Tour exemption to the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio. Bennett's three victories were the third-most in a season by an Aggie in school history.
In 10 tournaments, Bennett posted five top-5 finishes and led the Aggies with a 70.53 scoring average, which was second-lowest in school history. He now owns two of the top-three scoring averages in school annals. He was also undefeated in match play during the Aggies' run to the SEC Championship semifinals.
Bennett, from Madisonville, Texas, earned Southeastern Conference Golfer of the Week honors twice and he was the National Golfer of the Month for March by the Ben Hogan Award. Additionally, Bennett was a semifinalist for the Ben Hogan Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate golfer, and he was a First-Team All-SEC selection.
“It’s a well deserved selection for Sammy to play in the Palmer Cup,” Texas A&M men’s golf head coach Brian Kortan said. “He’s definitely earned it after a first-team All-American year with three wins. Competing with some of the best college golfers is an exclamation point on a great year. I’m excited to be there to watch him play.”