Erkenbeck's June Colors Are Red, White and Blue

April 22, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- University of New Mexico golfer James Erkenbeck has earned a spot on the United States team for the 2013 Palmer Cup, the Golf Coaches Association of America announced Monday.

The Palmer Cup is a Ryder Cup-style competition among collegiate golfers playing for U.S. schools. Ten U.S.-born players will vie against 10 players born in Europe on June 7-9 at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Del.

Erkenbeck, a senior from San Diego, automatically qualified as one of the top six ranked players for the U.S. He is currently ranked 19th in the latest poll and No. 29 in the poll. Each team selects the top six players according to ranking, and then has four more at-large berths to distribute.

"It is an honor to be a part of the Palmer Cup, and I am very excited to represent the U.S.," Erkenbeck said. "This was a goal of mine, and qualifying for it feels amazing."

Erkenbeck finished in a four-way tie for the individual championship at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas, Nev., on March 8-10. He has nine top-20 finishes in 11 UNM team events in 2012-2013, including six top-10 efforts.

"James being selected to represent the United States in the Palmer Cup against Europe is a fantastic accomplishment," Lobo coach Glen Millican said. "It is very well-deserved recognition for a great season. We are excited to have James represent UNM and Lobo golf at such a prestigious event and are proud of what he has accomplished as a Lobo."

Erkenbeck is currently averaging 71.52 strokes per round, which currently ranks fourth all-time on the school's single-season low average. His career average of 72.38 strokes ranks third all-time at UNM, just 0.02 strokes behind No. 2 and current PGA Tour member Charlie Beljan (2004-07).

Before Erkenbeck can start thinking about the Palmer Cup, he and the fourth-ranked Lobos will start postseason play May 3-5 at the Mountain West Championships in Tucson. UNM will then head to a regional event at a course to be named May 16-18, in which it will try to qualify for the NCAA Championships from May 28-June 2 in Alpharetta, Ga.