U.S. opens 9-point lead at Arnold Palmer Cup after dominating singles

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U.S. opens 9-point lead at Arnold Palmer Cup after dominating singles

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U.S. opens 9-point lead at Arnold Palmer Cup after dominating singles

The home team took back control emphatically Saturday at the Arnold Palmer Cup.

Team USA and Europe began the day tied, 5-5, at Atlanta Athletic Club, but the Americans put on an onslaught in Day 2 singles. The U.S. squad won nine of 10 matches and halved the other Saturday in Johns Creek, Ga., to move into a nine-point cushion, 14.5-5.5, heading into the final day.

It was quite the response to Team Europe’s strong performance in Friday afternoon four-ball (taking that session, 3.5-1.5) that knotted up the proceedings heading into the weekend.

Team USA’s Doug Ghim got the spirit of the day started with gusto for the Americans. In the second match, Ghim won six consecutive holes at one point over Harry Hall on the way to a 7-and-5 win.

That opening point was followed by Norman Xiong downing Richard Mansell, 4 and 3, in the first match out. Nick Hardy defeated David Wicks, 5 and 4, and Jimmy Stanger overcame an early 2-down deficit to post a 3-and-2 victory over Harry Ellis.

Sam Burns eagled his opening hole and led the whole way in a 2 and-1 win over Stuart Grehan, and Collin Morikawa also led from the first hole on in his 3-and-2 triumph over Rory Franssen.

Now 6-0 on the day, the U.S. continued to pile on. John Coultas beat Kristoffer Ventura, 4 and 3, and Sean Crocker took down Fredrik Nilehn by the same score.

The U.S. was nearing a complete sweep of the day until Europe’s Viktor Hovland fought back from a 3 down deficit through 12 to halve his match with Maverick McNealy.

Still, the U.S. remained undefeated and that was sealed for the day when Chandler Phillips outlasted Hannes Ronneblad in a 1-up win.

The 9.5 points from Day 2 singles puts the U.S. very close to the magic number to finish this thing off. With 10 singles matches awaiting Sunday, the final day of the event, the Americans only need 1 point to take back the Cup. Europe needs 9.5 points to retain it (the team captured the 2016 competition, 18.5-11.5).

The U.S. leads the all-time Arnold Palmer Cup series 10-9-1, and the Americans appear poised to continue a trend of home teams winning. Neither group has captured the Cup on the road since Team USA’s 13-11 win at Royal Portrush Golf Club in 2010.

Play in the 2017 Arnold Palmer Cup concludes with those Sunday singles matches. Below are tee times for Sunday’s action. (Note: All times Eastern)

• • •

  • 9 a.m.: Norman Xiong, USA vs. Harry Hall, Europe
  • 9:10 a.m.: Doug Ghim, USA vs. Stuart Grehan, Europe
  • 9:20 a.m.: Jimmy Stanger, USA vs. Viktor Hovland, Europe
  • 9:30 a.m.: Nick Hardy, USA vs. Harry Ellis, Europe
  • 9:40 a.m.: Sam Burns, USA vs. Kristoffer Ventura, Europe
  • 9:50 a.m.: Collin Morikawa, USA vs. Fredrik Nilehn, Europe
  • 10 a.m.: Maverick McNealy, USA vs. Rory Franssen, Europe
  • 10:10 a.m.: John Coultas, USA vs. Richard Mansell, Europe
  • 10:20 a.m.: Sean Crocker, USA vs. David Wicks, Europe
  • 10:30 a.m.: Chandler Phillips USA vs. Hannes Ronneblad, Europe

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