The former Harrison High School star became the seventh Georgia Tech golfer to be named to the USA Palmer Cup team and will join other top collegiate players when the team heads to Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle, Northern Ireland to compete against European amateur golfers June 28-30.
In a tournament named after golf legend Arnold Palmer, the U.S. team will compete Ryder Cup-style tournament. The U.S. has won consecutive Palmer Cup titles in 2010 and 2011 after Europe won back-to-back titles. The U.S. victory in 2010 was its first on European soil since 2002 and has an 8-6-1 record overall.
“I’m extremely grateful,” White said on being selected. “There are a lot of candidates that could have been chosen and am glad that I was one of them.”
This will be White’s first visit to Europe. The only overseas trips he’s made were to Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
White, who has led the Yellow Jackets to four straight Atlantic Coast Conference titles, will join an elite group of six former Georgia Tech golfers who already represented the U.S in the Palmer Cup. Four of them — Cameron Tringale (2009), Roberto Castro (2005, 2006), Matt Kuchar (1998, 1999) and Bryce Molder (1998, 1999, 2001) are former U.S. representatives of the Palmer Cup.
Out of those four, three are current members on the PGA Tour, with Castro being the lone exception.
Chesson Hadley (2008) and Kevin Larsen (2006) round out the remaining Georgia Tech golfers selected.
This year, White wll team with Auburn’s Blayne Barber, UNLV’s Derek Ernst, Washington’s Chris Williams, Clemson’s Corbin Mills, Alabama’s Justin Thomas and Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers and Andrew Yun. He’ll also be working with Georgia Tech assistant Christian Newton, who was selected to assist SMU coach Josh Gregory.
“I’m very happy for James. This has been a goal of his for the past two years,” Goergia Tech coach Bruce Heppler said in a press release. “It will be a wonderful opportunity for him to represent his country overseas. He has been a special player here, and it is a great accomplishment to be selected.”
A few well-known golfers who have participate in the Palmer Cup include Bo Van Pelt, Luke Donald, Rory Sabbatini, Lucas Glover, Graeme McDowell, Hunter Mahan and Brandt Snedeker.
White, who was touted as the fourth-best collegiate golfer by Golfweek going into his senior season, is without an individual tournament win this season after winning two a year ago.
But that stat alone doesn’t indicate that White’s having a bad season.
White said he’s been putting well this year and it’s helped him drop his stroke average from 71.56 his junior season to 70.9 his senior year. He’s now shot under par in eight straight tournaments this season. He finished 8-under after three rounds in the Amer Ari Invitational to take fourth overall and 8-under at the Puerto Rico Classic to take third. He was also 7-under at the Seminole Classic to tie for third overall while leading the Yellow Jackets to a second place finish.
However, he is currently making adjustments with his swing off the tee in order to go to the next level.