IRVINE, Scotland (June 27, 2008)--Europe capped an impressive second-day performance winning three and halving three singles matches to reclaim the Palmer Cup presented by Monster at Glasgow Golf Club Gailes Links, 14-10.
Europe swept the morning foursomes matches to win 8.5 of the days 12 points. The United States still holds 6-5-1 advantage in the Palmer Cup series but has lost three straight in Europe.
“I’m ecstatic for the eight guys on the European team,” said European Captain Mårten Olander. “Our attitude is what made us through the matches. Our swings did not change from yesterday but our belief that we would play great golf today. Winning the four matches this morning really put us in a positive mood entering the singles matches and to beat such a strong American team in singles is quite an accomplishment. My assistant captain Adam (Mednick) did a great job and our team believed in our preparation and worked hard all week. That being said, our part was only 10-percent and the foundation of our success was the players’ own games.”
The two sides split the first match between Spain’s Jorge Campillo and Rickie Fowler. The two players raced around the course - completing 18 holes in 2 hours and 45 minutes - in a back-and-forth affair with each player winning five holes.
Jonas Blixt of Sweden would claim the first win of the singles session when he defeated Michael Thompson, 2 & 1. Blixt took the first hole before Thompson won the next two. Blixt reclaimed the lead by winning the fourth with a par and an eagle at the fifth. He would push the lead to three by the turn. Thompson capitalized on a Blixt double bogey on No. 10 and bogey on No. 12 to cut the lead to a single hole but conceded the 14th. The two would halve the next three holes to give Blixt a 4-0 record at this year’s Palmer Cup and a career total of seven wins - third most in event history.
Blixt only trails Alejandro Cañizares of Spain (13 wins) and Wales’ Rhys Davies (9) on the career list.
Sweden’s Jonas Enander Hedin would clinch the Cup for Europe when he downed Adam Mitchell, 3 & 2. Enander Hedin won the first and third holes, but an eagle-birdie combination by Mitchell on Nos. 5 and 6 even the match. Enander Hedin took the lead for good with a win at the seventh and would also claim No. 14. He assured Europe’s victory when he won the 16th hole to claim his match with Jonathan Caldwell’s match against Aaron Goldberg standing dormie 3.
Charlie Ford of England battled back from dormie 2 to halve his match against Billy Horschel. Ford won the first hole but Horschel won the second and would lead most of the match. The American won both the fourth and fifth before Ford responded with a pair of wins of his own at Nos. 7 and 8, respectively. Horschel would push his lead back to two holes by claiming the 12th and 15th but failed to capture the match after posting bogey on the final two holes.
Jonathan Caldwell of Northern Ireland won Europe’s final match of the Palmer Cup when he beat Aaron Goldberg 3 & 2. Goldberg won the second and held the advantage for three holes before a Caldwell birdie moved the match back to all square.
He took control of the match by winning with birdie at No. 11 and posted two more birdies at Nos. 14 and 15, respectively, to move to dormie 3. Caldwell closed the match after both players birdied the 16th.
Chesson Hadley won the American's first match of the day with a 1-up victory over Gareth Shaw. Hadley won the first hole with birdie and would hold the lead until conceding the fifth. The two players traded wins - Hadley at No. 6 and Shaw at the seventh - on the next two holes. Hadley rattled off three-straight birdie victories starting at No. 10. Shaw battled back with wins at the 14th and 15th but was unable to completely close the deficit.
Local favorite Scott Borrowman halved Kevin Chappell in a match in which the Scotsman never trailed. Borrowman took a lead he would hold for four holes when he birdied the fifth before a Chappell birdie at No. 9 evened the match. The Scot would again take a brief lead by winning the 11th but relinquished his advantage after Chappell eagled No. 13. Borrowman claimed the advantage yet again after the 17th. Chappell would halve the match when he birdied the final hole.
Team USA’s Derek Fathauer claimed the final match of the 2008 event, 3 & 1, over Tim Sluiter. Fathauer won the first hole and led the entire match. He went ahead by two holes through three but Sluiter birdied the par 3, No. 6. Fathauer again moved to 2-up after No. 10 before Sluiter birdied another par 3 - this time at No. 12. The American won two of the next three to close the match with birdie at the 15th and a Sluiter concession on 17 green.
Enander Hedin of Taby, Sweden, and Thompson of Tucson, Arizona, were named recipients of the Michael Carter Award. The Carter award is given to a player from each side that best represents the qualities represented by the Palmer Cup.
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