PORTRUSH – The United States defeated Europe, 13-11, to claim the Palmer Cup held at Royal Portrush Golf Club. The victory was the Americans first in Europe since 2002 and gives the USA a 7-6-1 overall advantage in the Palmer Cup series.
Each side claimed four matches in final day singles action. Daniel Miernicki and David Chung posted the first two victories of the day for the Americans when they defeated James Byrne and Henrik Norlander, respectively. Miernicki claimed the first hole in his 5 and 3 win and never trailed. Chung holed in from the fairway for eagle on the first hole of his match but Norlander would respond with an eagle of his own at the par 5 second. Chung would reclaim the lead after No. 4 before cruising to a 4 and 2 victory. Chung was the only player to post a 4-0 record at this year’s Palmer Cup. It was just the 12th unbeaten and undefeated performance in the 14-year history of the Palmer Cup.
Europe would claim the next three matches. Pontus Widegren won Europe’s first point of the day downing Corey Nagy 6 and 5. The Swede birdied the first hole to take a lead he would not relinquish. Another Swedish player, David Lingmerth would provide Europe’s second victory. He never trailed in his 2-up victory against Jonathan Randolph and led all but three holes. Andrea Pavan claimed the third of the three-straight wins when he beat Tyson Alexander 2 and 1. Pavan never trailed and moved the match to dormie after No. 15 before settling for the 2 and 1 win.
Russell Henley gave the Americans their 12th point after beating Jesper Kennegard, 4 and 2. Henley never led by more than one hole through the first eight holes, but would control the next eight holes - winning four and only losing one - to win the match.
With six matches in the clubhouse only John Chin and Scott Langley remained on the course for the United States. Chin had led most of his match - including 3-up after three holes - but his opponent Patrick Spraggs battled back to take the lead after No. 15. Chin evened the match after 17 putting himself into a position for either a half or a win to clinch the match for the Americans. Langley meanwhile had led most of his match but had been holding a 1-up advantage since No. 13. While Chin and Spraggs were in the fairway on No. 18, Langley clinched the match for America, ensuring at least a half when both he and Rhys Enoch parred No. 17. Chin would go on to drop his match, 1-down, while Langley would complete his 1-up victory.
“I actually didn’t know at the time that I clinched it,” said Langley. “I knew it was going to be close. That’s what the coaches said all day. I knew we had a couple of wins with David (Chung) and Dan (Miernicki) early. That was key. I knew that the other matches were close but I was confident that the other guys could pull it out. In the end Russell (Henley) won big and I ended up winning too. I knew it was close and I knew that I had to play 17 well. I didn’t know that I didn’t need to play 18 well, but I still tried to do my best and hit two solid shots and I was able to do that.”
“We decided to change the lineup a little bit,” said USA Head Coach Chris Zambri. “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. Daniel (Miernicki) played unbelievably well. Our second match out was David (Chung) and David played unbelievably well. Jonathan (Randolph) gave them a real good fight but lost. 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. 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.”
Royal Portrush Golf Club
United States defeats Europe, 13-11
Final Round Singles Results
Daniel Miernicki, United States def. James Byrne, Europe, 5 and 3
David Chung, United States def. Henrik Norlander, Europe, 4 and 2
David Lingmerth, Europe def. Jonathan Randolph, United States, 2-up
Pontus Widegren, Europe def. Corey Nagy, United States, 6 and 5
Patrick Spraggs, Europe def. John Chin, United States, 1-up
Scott Langley, United States def. Rhys Enoch, Europe, 1-up
Andrea Pavan, Europe def. Tyson Alexander, United States, 2 and 1
Russell Henley, United States def. Jesper Kennegard, Europe, 4 and 2
View results for Arnold Palmer Cup Matches