NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Junior Abbey Carlson will represent the United States this summer in the Arnold Palmer Cup competition, it was announced Wednesday.
Carlson, from Lake Mary, Florida, was named to the American team during a Wednesday press conference on Golf Channel. She will become the first Commodore woman to play in the Palmer Cup, scheduled this June near Little Rock, Arkansas.
Carlson learned of her inclusion surrounded by Commodore teammates in Hilton Head, South Carolina, prepping for the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate, which starts Friday at Long Cove Golf Club on the island.
“We watched the broadcast as a team and it got pretty crazy right after the announcement. It meant a lot having everybody there to enjoy it,” Carlson said.
— Greg Allen (@GregAllenVU) March 6, 2019
The Palmer Cup, which pits American and international men and women collegiate players in a Ryder Cup-style competition, will be Carlson’s first chance to represent the red, white and blue. She will be joined by two members of the Vanderbilt men’s golf team, senior Will Gordon and junior John Augenstein.
“I’m just so excited about making this team and getting a chance to represent my country. It means a great deal to me and to play in a competition honoring Mr. Palmer, someone who has just a remarkable legacy in golf, means the world to me,” Carlson added.
Carlson, an engineering major and avid airplane pilot, is currently in the midst of her best collegiate golf. In September, she captured medalist honors at the Mason Rudolph Championships, firing back-to-back rounds of 6-under-par 66 at the Vanderbilt Legends North Course. Additionally, Carlson also earned top-10 individual finishes at the Battle at the Beach in Cabo, Mexico, and the Cougar Classic near Charleston, South Carolina, and helped the Commodores to recent team titles at the UCF Challenge and Reynolds Lake Oconee Invitational.
Carlson, named to the ANNIKA Award watch list last fall, currently owns a No. 9 national ranking from Golfweek.
Carlson says her improvement in the last six months is related to getting a different approach to the game. “Honestly, I’ve started having more fun just playing golf and tried to get more enjoyment from the game. It sounds pretty simple, but that approach has helped my overall game and ability to score.”
American coaches will add a 12th at-large member to the U.S. squad in early May. Two of Carlson’s Vanderbilt teammates, freshman Auston Kim and senior Courtney Zeng, are strong candidates for the at-large spot.
The Palmer Cup will be staged June 7-9 at the Alotian Club. The Americans captured the 2018 edition at the Evian Resort Club in southeastern France by a 38.5-21.5 margin.