Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll. Murphy was the 2017 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
Perico earns Palmer Cup invitation
Julian Perico, of Arkansas, tees off on the third hole during an NCAA golf tournament on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas golfer Julian Perico gave himself two major goals this Spring: receive a Palmer Cup invitation and earn All-America status.
Perico’s halfway there.
The Arkansas junior accepted an invitation on Tuesday to play for the international team at the 2021 Arnold Palmer Cup, which will take place June 11-13 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
Perico, winner of this year’s Vanderbilt Legends Collegiate, is the first Peruvian and third South American to make the Palmer Cup squads since the format changed in 2018.
“It’s great to represent my country like that,” Perico said. “Just trying to be the best one to play it for my country and so far I think I’m doing a really good job on that track. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Perico will join Razorback women’s golfer Brooke Matthews at the event. Matthews, a junior from Rogers, had previously accepted an invitation to play for Team USA.
“I’m really excited to see that Julian made the Palmer Cup as well,” Matthews said. “He’s a good friend of mine and so even though we’re gonna be rivals that week, it’s going to be exciting to see a familiar face and somebody I’m that close to. I feel like we’re just proud that we get to have a Razorback on both sides this year. It’s really cool.”
“It says what our program is doing,” he said. “It’s great for Brooke to make it. It’s great to have both a guy and a girl on each team, especially on both sides too.
“It says a lot about our recruiting. Not only do we recruit great in the US, but we recruit great foreign [players] too. I texted Brooke once I got the good news and she was super stoked. She’s like a sister to me, one of my best friends, so I’m really stoked to be able to share that week with her. We’re going to be playing against each other but it’s going to be a blast.”
UA women’s Coach Shauna Taylor said she’s been able to attend a couple of Palmer Cups.
“It’s an awesome week,” Taylor said. “What a great honor and privilege it is for Brooke and Julian to be selected for this amazing opportunity. It just says a lot about them and their great play this year.”
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