Golf

Head Coach J.C. Deacon was picked to represent Florida at the 2021 Arnold Palmer Cup.

Head Coach J.C. Deacon, Ricky Castillo and Addie Baggarly will all represent the Gators at the 2020 and 2021 Arnold Palmer Cups.

Deacon was selected to be one of the coaches at the 2021 Arnold Palmer Cup next year. He will coach 24 of the best international amateur golfers with Sofie Aagaard — head coach of California Polytechnic State University . Deacon earned this honor after six years as head coach of the men’s golf program at UF.

Deacon was picked to represent Florida in 2021, but two players will be appearing for the Gators in the 2020 tournament this December. Originally scheduled for July 3-5, the tournament was postponed until Dec. 21-23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, both Castillo and Baggarly are still expected to compete after being selected in March.

The sophomore Castillo is the seventh member in the history of Gators men’s golf selected to the Palmer Cup. Castillo was named the nation’s top freshman in a shortened spring season earlier this year and is currently preparing for the U.S. Open, where he will compete as an amateur.

Baggarly is the first woman in the history of the Gators’ program to compete in the Arnold Palmer Cup. During her time at UF, she was named Second Team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman. She finished the abbreviated 2020 spring season as the No. 36 player in the entire country, according to Golfstat.

The Arnold Palmer Cup takes 48 of the world’s best amateur golfers and splits them into two teams: an American team and an international team. The tournament has been played all over the country since 1997, including at St. Andrews in Scotland, Ireland, Wisconsin and South Carolina. The 2020 Cup will take place at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida. The 2021 Cup is scheduled to be played at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois.

The tournament follows a similar style to the Ryder Cup, in that rounds of match play are conducted throughout the weekend. Some are single matches, while others are foursomes. Whichever pairing or person wins the match gets a point for their team, and whoever has the most points at the end of the weekend wins. However, the Arnold Palmer Cup is special in that it’s one of the only tournaments that allows men and women golfers to play together. It became a Coed tournament in 2018. 

Currently, the United States has a lead on the international team overall, winning 12 tournaments to the international team’s 10. Baggarly and Castillo will look to add to the United States’ win total in December, while Deacon will aim  to get the international team a win in 2021.

Contact Michael Hull at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @Michael_Hull33.