Junior Anthony Maccaglia of the Oglethorpe men’s golf team was selected Thursday morning to participate in the Palmer Cup in late June as part of the U.S. squad. He becomes the first Division III golfer ever selected to participate in the event, which is a Ryder Cup-like international competition pitting the best college players from the United States and Europe. The team was announced live Thursday morning on the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive program.
Maccaglia will join nine other golfers on the U.S. squad, all from Division I schools. Of the 10 players on the squad, six automatically qualify as the top six golfers in the Division I ranks. This selection is based on a point system that runs throughout the season. After that, the coach (Steve Desimone of California, in this case) gets a pick and a committee of coaches and administrators gets to pick three additional players, one of which is guaranteed to be a player from outside the Division I ranks. There had never been a Division III golfer selected in that spot before today.
Maccaglia has enjoyed another standout spring campaign, earning SAA Men’s Golfer of the Week honors after three consecutive tournaments, finishing in the Top 10 in the Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational, the Camp Lejeune Championship and the 2014 Emory Spring Invitational. He’s earned three individual medals over the course of the 2013-14 season, winning the Camp Lejeune Championship in March, the Golfweek D3 Fall Invitational in October and the Rhodes College Fall Classic in September. He’s now earned eight career individual medals, including the individual national championship in 2012.
He’s also competed at a high level in individual events featuring many Division I golfers during the summer. He became the first Oglethorpe golfer to ever qualify for the U.S. Amateur last summer and came close to making the cut at the prestigious event.
The Palmer Cup, named after golfing legend Arnold Palmer, is an annual international team event pitting the best collegiate golfers from the United States against those from Europe. The competition is patterned after the Ryder Cup, which does the same with professional golfers. The two teams compete in various match play formats over three days, including four-ball, foursome and singles competition. Whichever team wins the most holes over the course of the event wins the cup.
The Palmer Cup alternates annually between American and European venues. The 2014 Palmer Cup will be held at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, England, June 26-28. The venue has hosted the Ryder Cup, the Senior British Open and the European Open, as well as numerous British amateur championships.
Before he sets off for England, Maccaglia will first help the Stormy Petrels in their attempt to defend their SAA title April 25-27 at the SAA Championship in Braselton, Ga. The squad will then likely move on to the NCAA Division III Championship in Greensboro, N.C., in mid-May.
Watch the broadcast announcement: