Assistant Coaches Named for 2020 Arnold Palmer Cup


NORMAN, Okla. – Kate Golden of Texas and Arizona State’s Armen Kirakossian will serve as the United States assistant coaches while the International assistants will be Sofie Aagaard of Cal Poly and Sweden along with Barry Fennally of Maynooth and Ireland at the 2020 Arnold Palmer Cup at Lahinch Golf Club in Lahinch, Ireland. The matches will be held July 3-5.

One of the most accomplished golfers in University of Texas history and an 18-year LPGA veteran, Golden enters her 10th season on the women’s golf coaching staff at her alma mater, currently serving as associate head coach. Golden has helped return the Longhorns to among the nation’s elite programs. Together with head coach Ryan Murphy over the past five seasons, Golden has helped the Longhorns win three consecutive Big 12 Conference Championships and advance to the NCAA Championships for four consecutive years. In 2018-19, Texas posted its best NCAA Championship finish since 2003. Golden returned to the Forty Acres in advance of the 2010-11 season as a volunteer assistant coach. In total, she has worked with teams that have advanced to six NCAA Championships and have won four Big 12 Conference Championships. She has helped mentor several All-America selections in Bertine Strauss, Sophia Schubert, Kaitlyn Papp, Hailee Cooper, and Agathe Laisne. Golden joined the Texas staff after serving as the interim women’s golf head coach at Florida State during the spring 2010 season. Under her tutelage, the Seminoles finished in 10th place at the 2010 NCAA Championship to earn their best national finish since winning the 1981 AIAW Championship. Additionally, Golden guided FSU to a No. 14 finish in the national rankings by GolfStat and a No. 22 showing in GolfWeek’s season-ending standings after inheriting a team that was unranked in both polls.

Kirakossian joined the Arizona State coaching staff as assistant coach on August 1, 2017, and after just two years was promoted to Associate Head Coach. Kirakossian was named the GCAA’s Strickland Award recipient as the most outstanding assistant coach in college golf in 2018-19. ASU's 2018-19 season included four team wins, six individual wins, a PING First-Team All-American, and six second place finishes as well as a Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award winner. The Sun Devils won three straight tournaments with a different Sun Devil winning each event in March and April, on the season they won the Thunderbird Collegiate, the San Diego Lamkin Grips Classic, and the John Burns Intercollegiate on Feb. 21-13 shooting a 24-under 840. Kirakossian joined ASU from Pepperdine where he served as assistant coach for two years. During his tenure, he helped the Waves to their best finish at the NCAA Championships and their best end-of-season ranking since 2004. Prior to his stint at Pepperdine, Kirakossian was the head coach at his alma mater, Texas Pan American (UTPA), where he led the Broncos to three top-five finishes in 2014-15. One of his golfers won the Western Athletic Conference's individual crown and advanced to an NCAA Regional, becoming the school's first student-athlete to participate in the NCAAs since 1978.

Sofie Aagaard, was named head coach of the Cal Poly women's golf team in July 2015. In her first season as head coach of the Mustangs, Aagaard guided the squad to a second-place finish in the Big West Conference Championship. Cal Poly led after the first two rounds of play. Aagaard was named Big West Coach of the Year by her peers and Madison Hirsch earned second-team All-Big West honors. Steady improvement the next season (2016-17) produced four tournament wins, including Cal Poly's first Big West team championship in women's golf and an appearance in the NCAA Albuquerque Regional. Sophie Bergland was named to the All-Big West first team while Jamie Binns and Desiree Gillaspy landed on the second team. Aagaard was honored as conference coach of the year for the second straight season. Aagaard was also an assistant coach at California for three seasons prior to Cal Poly.

Fennelly is in his ninth season as head coach of both the men’s and women’s programs at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Under Fennellys’ direction, Maynooth has become the perennial leaders in Ireland having won two National club titles and numerous Irish, British and European University titles. Fennelly has worked with three Maynooth men who have gone on to win The R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament, which is highly regarded as the leading college tournament in Europe. Maynooth have been represented at five of the last seven Arnold Palmer Cup matches, a feat not matched by any institution outside of the United States. Maynooth have produced five Arnold Palmer Cup participants, two Walker Cup players, one Curtis Cup player and numerous Irish men and women Internationals. In 2012, Fennelly led Ireland’s men’s team to a bronze medal at the World University Golf Championship. A member of the Arnold Palmer Cup men’s selection committee in 2016 & 2017, Fennelly has been serving on the international women’s selection committee the past two years.


About Arnold Palmer Cup
The Arnold Palmer Cup was co-founded in 1997 by Arnold Palmer and The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA), with the inaugural event held at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando. The event is a Ryder Cup-style tournament that pits the top university/college golfers from the United States against an International Team. Co-ed since 2018, it is one of the amateur game’s premiere events and its only major tournament that features men and women playing side-by-side as partners.

Since its inception, over 125 former Arnold Palmer Cup alumni have gone on to earn cards on either the PGA Tour, European Tour or LPGA, 28 have represented Europe or the USA in the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup, and more than 60 have claimed over 230 victories on the PGA or European Tours. The United States leads the series 12-10-1.

The Arnold Palmer Cup is supported by the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation, with the tournament providing a platform for perpetuating Arnold Palmer’s commitment to youth development and to the growth of amateur/collegiate golf. For more information, please visit

About Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation
It all began in the 1960’s when Arnold Palmer’s go-for-broke style of golf bolstered a legion of fans, coined by the press as Arnie’s Army. Palmer’s charisma and unfailing sense of kindness and thoughtfulness endeared him to millions around the world. Over the past four decades, the Palmer family has contributed time and resources to support their passion for helping others and in so doing have made a profound impact on many lives. Founded in 2015, Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation has been entrusted to continue Arnold Palmer’s legacy of philanthropy by ensuring a brighter future for our youth through children’s health, character development and nature-focused wellness. For more information, or to join Arnie’s Army, please visit or contact Chris Kolodinsky at 407-876-3944 or

Rolex and the Arnold Palmer Cup
Through an unwavering commitment to the game of golf for more than 50 years, Rolex has developed one of the broadest and longest-standing relationships between brand and sport. These strong ties date back to 1967 when Rolex partnered with legendary golfer Arnold Palmer. The charismatic American holds a special place in golf history thanks as much to his natural talent and successful playing career as to his pioneering role in the sport. Since that pivotal bond, Rolex has gone on to establish partnerships at every level of the sport, including the governing bodies responsible for advancing the sport and the finest players, from The Big Three to the New Guard who are leading the rankings at the moment. The decision to partner the Arnold Palmer Cup was thus a natural progression for the Swiss watchmaker, and a tribute to the Arnold Palmer’s inspiring legacy.

About Rolex
An unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise

Rolex, a Swiss watch manufacture headquartered in Geneva, is recognized the world over for its expertise and the quality of its products. Its Oyster and Cellini watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. Founded by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905, the brand pioneered the development of the wristwatch and is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 500 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Through philanthropic programmes and a broad palette of sponsorship activities, Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports and exploration, and encourages the spirit of enterprise, as well as the conservation of natural environments.

About Nike
The exclusive footwear, apparel, headwear, and glove supplier of the Arnold Palmer Cup, Our mission is what drives us to do everything possible to expand human potential. We do that by creating groundbreaking sport innovations, by making our products more sustainably, by building a creative and diverse global team and by making a positive impact in communities where we live and work.