Sofia Garcia of Texas Tech and Paraguay and Keita Nakajima of Nippon Sports Science University and Japan were named International Team coach’s picks while Arkansas’ Kaylee Benton and Patrick Martin of Vanderbilt were selected to represent the United States at the 2019 Arnold Palmer Cup. Karolina Stormo, Kent State and Norway, was additionally added to the International side. Longtime Arnold Palmer partner Rolex is continuing its 50 year relationship through its support of the matches which will be hosted by The Alotian Club June 7-9.
Garcia has posted three victories this season - she tied for first at the Illini Invitational at Medina and won outright at the Reynolds Lake Oconee Invitational and Valspar Augusta Invitational. Garcia has also posted three additional top five showings and has finished nine times inside the top 10. The sophomore currently leads the Red Raiders with a 71.55 stroke average, which would shatter the program’s single season mark. Hailing from Asunción, Garcia is the first Arnold Palmer Cup participant from Paraguay.
In his first year at Nippon Sports Science University, Nakajima won the gold medal at the Asian Games 2018. He also claimed victory at the 2018 Australian Men’s Amateur. Nakajima also posted runner-up finishes at both the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and the Australian Master of the Amateurs. In addition to his stellar play on the amateur circuit, Nakajima tied for fifth at the Emirates Australian Open.
The MAC Golfer of the Year, Stormo won four times this season. The junior from Tvedestrand, Norway, claimed the league crown as well as the Evans Derby Experience and tied for medalist honors at the Illini Invitational at Medinah and the Lady Puerto Rico Classic. Stormo has three additional top-10 finishes and has only placed outside of the top 14 twice in 11 events this season.
A senior from Buckeye, Ariz., Benton most recently finished runner-up at the SEC Championship. Benton also posted two additional top five finishes and has placed 12th or better in all but two events. A qualifier for both the U.S. Women’s Open and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, Benton advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and tied for fourth at the Women’s Mexican Amateur.
A three-time PING All-America selection, Martin is in his senior season at Vanderbilt. His best finish this season is a runner-up showing, one of five top 10s this campaign. The Birmingham native is a three-time All-SEC honoree and earned Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar accolades last season. The most decorated player in the history of Vanderbilt golf, Martin’s current career stroke average of 70.85 is second best in program history.