Team USA edges Europe for Palmer Cup title

Scott Langley of Illinois, left, and Russell Henley of Georgia tied for low-amateur honors at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

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The United States split the singles matches Saturday and edged Europe, 13-11, to claim the Palmer Cup at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland. It was the Americans’ first win on European soil since 2002, and the victory also gave Team USA a 7-6-1 advantage in the series.

Each side won four singles matches on the final day of competition, as American David Chung improved his record to 4-0 and Scott Langley delivered the clinching point for Team USA.

“We decided to change the lineup a little bit,” Team USA coach Chris Zambri said in a release. “We had a couple of guys who had a great week so far, so we figured we’d put them out early and see what happens. ... In the end we thought we had eight real strong players and they obviously had eight also. Luckily we had a two-point lead coming into the day and the guys just played really well. We got the wins we needed with our buffer. It worked out really well.”

Daniel Miernicki got on the board first for the Americans, after never trailing in his match against British Am runner-up James Byrne en route to a 5-and-3 victory. Chung holed out from the fairway on the first hole and never looked back, cruising to a 4-and-2 victory over Henrik Norlander. Chung was the only player to post a 4-0 record at this year’s Palmer Cup, delivering just the 12th undefeated performance in the 14-year history of the event.

Europe would win the next three matches, as Pontus Widegren defeated Corey Nagy, 6 and 5, David Lingmerth beat Jonathan Randolph, 2 up, and Andrea Pavan edged Tyson Alexander for a 2-and-1 victory.

Russell Henley, Golfweek’s player of the year, gave Team USA its 12th point after beating Jesper Kennegard, 4 and 2. With only two matches still on the course, Langley clinched the match for the Americans when he ensured at least a half-point after parring the 17th hole against Rhys Enoch. Langley went on to complete his 1-up victory, while John Chin dropped his match against Patrick Spraggs.

“I actually didn’t know at the time that I clinched it,” Langley said. “I knew it was going to be close. That’s what the coaches said all day. I knew we had a couple of close wins ... that was key. I knew that the other matches were close but I was confident that the other guys could pull it out.”

Said Zambri: “Russell (Henley) played great for us in the anchor match and Scott Langley played great. They were a couple of guys coming off a really great finish at the U.S. Open, and we figured that they would come through for us and they did.”

Information from the GCAA was used in this report.

• • •

United States def. Europe, 13-11

Day 3 singles matches:

Daniel Miernicki (U.S.) def. James Byrne (E), 5 and 3

David Chung (U.S.) def. Henrik Norlander (E), 4 and 2

David Lingmerth (E) def. Jonathan Randolph (U.S.), 2 up

Pontus Widegren (E) def. Corey Nagy (U.S.), 6 and 5

Patrick Spraggs (E) def. John Chin (U.S.), 1 up

Scott Langley (U.S.) def. Rhys Enoch (E), 1 up

Andrea Pavan (E) def. Tyson Alexander (U.S.), 2 and 1

Russell Henley (U.S.) def. Jesper Kennegard (E), 4 and 2

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

Thursday 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

Friday 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

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