After winning three of eight singles matches Friday, the United States will take a 9-7 lead over Europe into the final round of the Palmer Cup at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland. Team USA needs 3 1/2 points to win its first Palmer Cup on European soil since 2002, while a victory by Europe would mark the first time either side has claimed three straight matches.
Europe won the first four singles matches Friday, as Henrik Norlander, Andrea Pavan, Pontus Widegren and David Lingmerth each recorded victories and tied the match at 6-all.
“We loaded the top with players I knew were going to deliver,” Europe coach Dean Robertson said in a statement.
Jonathan Randolph defeated James Byrne, 4 and 3, to pick up the first point for Team USA, David Chung followed with a 4-and-3 victory over Rhys Enoch, and Tyson Alexander won the final three holes for a 2-and-1 victory over Patrick Straggs.
“The Alexander match was pivotal to make sure that we kept our lead,” Team USA coach Chris Zambri said. “For him to get a full point was crucial for us. Today was interesting only because it seemed like we were down quite a bit most of the day. I feel fortunate that we picked up three points.
“It looks like there is a lot of good golf being played, so even though we had some guys that didn’t win their matches, everybody is playing pretty well. I think that’s a testament to the tournament and college golf that there are so many good players.”
Europe jumped out to an early lead when Norlander defeated Daniel Miernicki, 1 up. Pavan followed and collected Europe’s second win with a convincing 5-and-4 victory over Scott Langley, who shared low-amateur honors last week at the U.S. Open. A third straight win for Europe came from Widegren, who defeated Corey Nagy, 3 and 2. Lingmerth downed John Chin, 2 and 1. In the final match of the day, Jesper Kennegard beat Russell Henley, 2 and 1.
“Going into tomorrow, we set our lineup with a few alterations, but not many,” Zambri said. “We’re just hoping that everyone goes out and has a good day and competes really hard. I think it should be fun and interesting. … We came here to win this match, and that’s all I really want.”
Saturday’s final round will consist of singles matches.
Information from the GCAA was used in this report.
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United States leads Europe, 9-7
Day 2 singles matches:
Henrik Norlander (E) def. Daniel Miernicki (U.S.), 1 up
David Lingmerth (E) def. John Chin (U.S.), 2 and 1
Pontus Widegren (E) def. Corey Nagy (U.S.), 3 and 2
Andrea Pavan (E) def. Scott Langley (U.S.), 5 and 4
Jonathan Randolph (U.S.) def. James Byrne (E), 4 and 3
David Chung (U.S.) def. Rhys Enoch (E), 4 and 3
Tyson Alexander (U.S.) def. Patrick Spraggs (E), 2 and 1
Jesper Kennegard (E) def. Russell Henley (U.S.), 2 and 1
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Morning Four-Ball Matches Results:
Henrik Norlander/Pontus Widegren (E) def. Scott Langley/Corey Nagy (U.S.), 4 and 3
Rhys Enoch/Andrea Pavan (E) def. John Chin/Daniel Miernicki (U.S.), 3 and 2
David Chung/Jonathan Randolph (U.S.) def. David Lingmerth/Patrick Spraggs (E), 1 up
Tyson Alexander/Russell Henley (U.S.) def. James Byrne/Jesper Kennegard (E), 3 and 1
Afternoon Foursomes Matches Results:
John Chin/Daniel Miernicki (U.S.) def. Rhys Enoch/Andrea Pavan (E), 1 up
David Chung/Jonathan Randolph (U.S.) def. David Lingmerth/Patrick Spraggs (E), 5 and 4
Scott Langley/Corey Nagy (U.S.) def. James Byrne/Pontus Widegren (E), 2 up
Tyson Alexander/Russell Henley (U.S.) def. Jesper Kennegard/Henrik Norlander (E), 1 up