PORTRUSH – Europe and the United States stand all-square following four-ball matches in the Palmer Cup at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Each side claimed two matches. Afternoon foursomes matches are currently under way.
The Europeans were on the board first when they won the opening two matches of the morning. Henrik Norlander and Pontus Widegren downed Scott Langley and Corey Nagy, 4 and 3, in the first match of the competition. The Swedes won holes with birdie at Nos. 3, 5, 12 and 13 and by eagle on both the ninth and tenth holes. They led all but the first two holes and only allowed American wins when they birdied No. 8 and No. 11. The United States conceded the match on the 15th green.
Rhys Enoch and Andrea Pavan and John Chin and Daniel Miernicki were even thru four holes in the second mach before Pavan birdied No. 5 to take a lead Europe would not relinquish on its way to a 3 and 2 win. Europe conceded the eighth and eagled No. 9 to push its lead to three holes before the two sides trades the next three holes to drop the lead back to two holes. Enoch birdied No. 15 to move the advantage back to three holes before both teams birdied No. 16.
David Chung and Jonathan Randolph scored the first point for the United States after holding on for a 1-up victory against David Lingmerth and Patrick Spraggs. The Americans never trailed in their match and led by 3-up after 13 holes. Both teams posted par the next two holes to move the match to dormie. Lingmerth would birdie Nos. 16 and 17 for Europe to close the gap to 1-down on the 18th tee box with Europe looking to deny the USA its first victory of the competition. Lingmerth missed his birdie attempt to win the hole and Europe conceded Chung’s par putt after he left his birdie attempt a foot short.
The United States would claim the final bout of the first round when Tyson Alexander and Russell Henley downed James Byrne and Jesper Kennegard, 3 and 1. Europe appeared to control the match early, leading leading three of the first six holes and holding a 1-up advantage after the sixth. Alexander evened the match with a par on No. 7 and followed with a birdie on the eighth to give the U.S. its first lead. Henley eagled the ninth to move to 2-up. A birdie by Byrne on No. 10 would get Europe back to 1-down, but that was the closest they would get the rest of the way. The Americans pushed the lead to three holes after No. 14, dropped a hole on the 15th and clinched the match with a Henley birdie on No. 17.
NOTES: Dean Robertson's European side has the backing of new US Open champion Graeme McDowell, the first Northern Irishman since 1947 to win a Major title.
McDowell will be in attendance at his home course this week as the leading college golfers from both sides of the Atlantic clash in the Ryder Cup-style contest on the Antrim coast. Europe won the last contest, at Cherry Hills in Denver, 13-11.
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Royal Portrush Golf Club
Four-Ball Matches Results
Henrik Norlander/Pontus Widegren, Europe def. Scott Langley/Corey Nagy, United States, 4 and 3
Rhys Enoch/Andrea Pavan, Europe def. John Chin/Daniel Miernicki, United States, 3 and 2
David Chung/Jonathan Randolph, United States def. David Lingmerth/Patrick Spraggs, Europe, 1-up
Tyson Alexander/Russell Henley, United States def. James Byrne/Jesper Kennegard, Europe, 3 and 1
Foursomes Matches Pairings
Rhys Enoch/Andrea Pavan, Europe vs. John Chin/Daniel Miernicki, United States
David Lingmerth/Patrick Spraggs, Europe vs. David Chung/Jonathan Randolph, United States
James Byrne/Pontus Widegren, Europe vs. Scott Langley/Corey Nagy, United States
Jesper Kennegard/Henrik Norlander, Europe vs. Tyson Alexander/Russell Henley, United States
View results for Arnold Palmer Cup Matches