U.S. wins Palmer Cup, beating Europe 13-11

Stanford's Andrew Yun (file photo)

Stanford's Andrew Yun (file photo)

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GREENWICH, Conn. – The United States won five of the eight final-round singles matches to claim the Palmer Cup at The Stanwich Club, 13-11. It was the second consecutive Palmer Cup victory against its counterparts from Europe and gives the Americans an 8-6-1 lead in the annual series.

Bank Vongvanij evened the overall team match with a 6-and-5 win against Jeff Karlsson. Vongvanij won five of the first six holes and maintained a 5-up lead until closing the match on No. 13.

A come-from-behind 3-and-1 victory by the U.S.'s Patrick Cantlay against Nick MacAndrew gave the Americans a brief lead. MacAndrew jumped out to a quick 3-up advantage after five holes. Cantlay cut the lead to 2 up after No. 6 and then won holes 9-12 to go 2 up. A birdie on 14 put him 3 up, but MacAndrew cut the lead back to 2-up on No. 16. Cantlay won 17 to close out the match.

Europe's Nils Floren won 4 and 2 over Alex Carpenter to move the team match back to all-square. Floren won the third hole and would never trail. The Swede would extend his lead to 3 up on four separate occasions. Floren closed out Carpenter on No. 16.

Daniel Miernicki and Chris Williams would win the next two matches to put the U.S. in the lead for good. Robert Karlsson claimed the first hole is his match against Miernicki, but the American would take the next two to move to 1 up. Miernicki would claim Nos. 7 and 8 to take take control of the match at 3 up. Karlsson cut the lead to 2 up at the turn, but Miernicki won the next two holes before closing out with birdie on at No. 15 for a 5-and-3 victory.

Williams won the second hole in his match against Henrik Norlander and never trailed. Williams pushed his lead to 3 up at the turn, but Norlander, whose Augusta State team recently repeated as NCAA champion, trimmed the score to 1 up after No. 14. Williams took the next two holes to claim the match, 3 and 2.

Denmark’s Sebastian Cappelen downed Russell Henley in the next match, 1 up. Cappelen won two of the first three holes, but Henley claimed Nos. 4-6 to take a 1-up lead. Cappelen won back-to-back holes at Nos. 8 and 9 to regain the lead, but Henley brought the match back to all-square with a birdie at No. 10. They traded holes at Nos. 12 and 13. Cappelen won the match with a birdie on No. 18.

The U.S.'s Blayne Barber and Europe's Ignacio Elvira halved their match. Elvira won the second hole and led 3 up through No. 5 before Barber evened the match at No. 11. Barber birdied No. 12 to take his first lead, but the match was back to all-square at No. 14. Barber claimed No. 15, but Elvira birdied No. 16 to move the match back to even.

Andrew Yun claimed the final match of the Palmer Cup, 1 up, to clinch the win for Team USA. Yun birdied the first hole to go 1 up before Pontus Widegren evened the score after No. 3. Yun regained the lead at No. 5, but Widegren won the next two holes for a 1-up advantage. Yun evened the match with a birdie on No. 9. Widegren was back on top with a birdie at No. 11. Yun retook the lead with back-to-back wins at Nos. 14-15. Widegren got the match back to even by winning the next hole, but with a birdie on No. 17, Yun could finish no worse than a halved match and clinched the Palmer Cup for the United States. Both players parred the last hole for the final margin.

With his victory against Widegren, Yun became just the 13th competitor in Palmer Cup history to post a 4-0 record at the matches.

Final-round singles results

• Patrick Cantlay (U.S.) def. Nick MacAndrew, 3 and 1

• Nils Floren (Europe) def. Alex Carpenter, 4 and 2

• Bank Vongvanij (U.S.) def. Jeff Karlsson, 6 and 5

• Daniel Miernicki (U.S.) def. Robert Karlsson, 5 and 3

• Sebastian Cappelen (Europe) def. Russell Henley, 1 up

• Blayne Barber (U.S.) halved Ignacio Elvira

• Chris Williams (U.S.) def. Henrik Norlander, 3 and 2

• Andrew Yun (U.S.) def. Pontus Widegren, 1-up

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