San Diego State's Nahum Mendoza Named to Arnold Palmer Cup
NORMAN, Okla. – San Diego State men’s golfer Nahum Mendoza III (San Diego, Calif.) has been named to the 2016 Arnold Palmer Cup as announced Friday by the Golf Coaches Association of America. With his selection, the Aztec junior becomes the first SDSU player to compete in the prestigious tournament since former All-American Aaron Goldberg in 2008.
Mendoza is one of 10 collegiate players who will represent the United States against their European counterparts in the 20th annual event, which features a Ryder Cup-style format.
This year’s Arnold Palmer Cup is scheduled for June 24-26 at Formby Golf Club in Formby, England.
A Francis Parker High alumnus, Mendoza was one of six U.S. players selected via the Arnold Palmer Cup rankings, along with Stanford’s Maverick McNealy, Charlie Danielson of Illinois, LSU’s Zach Wright, Rico Hoey of USC and Auburn’s Michael Johnson. In addition, Mendoza will be joined by Derek Bard of Virginia, Wake Forest’s Will Zalatoris and Alistair Docherty of Chico State, who were all committee choices, with Docherty earning the non-Division I berth. Rounding out the American squad will be Vanderbilt’s Will Gordon, who was the coaches’ pick by Mike Cook of Coastal Georgia. Cook will guide the U.S. squad, along with Florida assistant John Handrigan.
Mendoza, who is currently the No. 1 player in the Mountain West, leads SDSU with a 70.54 stroke average and tops the squad with 16 out of 24 rounds below par, including eight in the 60s. He has six top-10 placements to his credit this season, including three in the top five. At the Southwestern Jones Invitational on March 1, Mendoza matched his collegiate-best finish, tying for second place with a combined 7-under 209. He also fired a season-low 5-under 66 during the second round of the ASU Thunderbird Invitational on April 2 en route to fourth-place tie.
Last season, Mendoza garnered all-Mountain West accolades for the first time in his career after helping the Aztecs to their third conference title in five years with a seventh-place individual finish. In addition, he captured the 2014 San Diego City Championship, highlighted by a pair of eagles during an opening-round 67 at Balboa Park.
The Arnold Palmer Cup was christened in 1997 and originally pitted the top eight collegiate golfers from the United States against Great Britain and Ireland. Following the 2002 tournament, the American opponent was expanded to include all European players, while roster size for both sides was increased to 10 competitors in 2013. The U.S. leads the all-time series 10-8-1, including an 18-12 victory last year at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
Since its launch, over 90 former Arnold Palmer Cup participants have gone on to earn cards on either the PGA or European Tours. In addition, over 40 alumni from the matches have claimed more than 160 victories on the PGA or European Tours, including U.S. Open champions Graeme McDowell, Lucas Glover and Webb Simpson, as well as British Open champion Ben Curtis.
According to the tournament’s website, the Arnold Palmer Cup will expand to include United States men's and women's teams against collegiate golfers from around the world in 2018.
Mendoza and San Diego State will be aiming for their second straight conference title and fourth in the last six years when they compete in the Mountain West Championships, April 22-24, in Tucson, Ariz.