LSU sophomore Sam Burns to play for USA in Palmer Cup

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Sam Burns

BATON ROUGE – LSU sophomore Sam Burns will lead the United States into international competition this summer as he was officially named to Team USA for the Arnold Palmer Cup with the announcement coming during Thursday’s opening round at the PGA TOUR’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge.

Burns’ selection was assured a week ago when he received the No. 1 ranking as the top American in the final Arnold Palmer Cup Ranking released by the Golf Coaches Association of America on March 9.

Burns will be the fourth LSU Tiger in five years to compete internationally at the Arnold Palmer Cup after former All-American Ben Taylor of Leatherhead, Surrey, England, teed it up for Europe during the event in 2013 and All-Americans Stewart Jolly and Zach Wright represented the United States in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

Ten-man teams featuring the top Americans and Europeans in college golf will compete in the Ryder-Cup-style event being held June 9-11 at the Atlanta (Ga.) Athletic Club following the NCAA Championships.

Burns has performed like a Ben Hogan Award and Haskins Award candidate throughout his sophomore season in 2016-17 while capturing three individual titles among his nine top-10 finishes in nine starts this year. He opened his spring season with a runner-up finish at The Prestige at PGA West on Feb. 22 and his latest victory at the Louisiana Classics on Feb. 28 continue his momentum into 2017.

He capped the fall campaign by becoming the first LSU Tiger in history to win the Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic in November after also winning the David Toms Intercollegiate in October.

Burns is a cumulative 60-under par in his nine appearances this season and leads the Tigers with a 69.23 scoring average in 26 competitive rounds played in 2016-17 with 23 of his rounds being played at par or better. As a sophomore, Burns is on pace to smash his 72.42 scoring average from his rookie season in 2015-16 and Brandon Pierce’s single-season scoring record for the Tigers of 71.16 from the 2014-15 campaign.

2017 Arnold Palmer Cup Teams Announced
Note: Players listed alphabetically

Team USA
Sam Burns, LSU
John Coultas, Florida Southern
Sean Crocker, Southern California
Doug Ghim, Texas
Nick Hardy, Illinois
Maverick McNealy, Stanford
Collin Morikawa, California
Chandler Phillips, Texas A&M
Jimmy Stanger, Virginia
Norman Xiong, Oregon

Team Europe*
Harry Ellis, Florida State (England)
Rory Franssen, Missouri (Scotland)
Stuart Grehan, Maynooth (Ireland)
Viktor Hovland, Oklahoma State (Norway)
Richard Mansell, Nova Southeastern (England)
Fredrik Nilehn, Texas Tech (Sweden)
Hannes Ronneblad, Texas Tech (Sweden)
Kristoffer Ventura, Oklahoma State (Norway)
David Wicks, Jacksonville (England)

* – Team Europe will also feature the winner of The R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament to be contested April 3-4.

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