The United States swept the afternoon foursomes matches to take a 6-2 lead in the 2010 Palmer Cup at Royal Portrush Golf Club. The sweep was the first session sweep at the Palmer Cup since the Americans swept the round two singles matches at Caves Valley in 2007. Charlotte 49ers all-America Corey Nagy teamed with Scott Langley to win one point in the foursome matches. The two were defeated in the morning's four-ball matches.
The Americans got off to a quick start in the third foursome match when Langley and Nagy were 3-up after four holes. The European duo of James Byrne and Pontus Widegren would close to within 1-down after winning holes six and seven. The Euros would even the match after a birdie on No. 11 and took a 1-up lead after No. 13. They would hold that advantage until 16 when the U.S. evened the match. Europe conceded No. 17 to give the Americans a 1-up lead. The Europeans would also concede No. 18 after driving left into the bushes, hitting its provisional into the cross bunker and it's fourth shot out of the bunker into the fairway to give Team USA a 2-up win.
David Chung and Jonathan Randolph won their second match of the day after beating David Lingmerth and Patrick Spraggs, 5 and 4 in the first foursome match of the day. The Americans won the first hole with birdie and led throughout. The two teams halved the next two holes before the U.S. won No. 4 by concession and the fifth and sixth with birdie to move to 4-up. Chung and Randolph moved the lead to five after eight holes. Europe would trim the lead to 3-down after No. 11, but the Americans won Nos. 13 and 14 to close out the match.
The U.S. would claim its second foursomes match when John Chin and Daniel Miernicki downed Rhys Enoch and Andrea Pavan, 1-up. The Americans took the lead on the second hole and would hold a narrow margin - never leading by more than 2-up - until Europe squared the match after a birdie on No. 16. The both sides parred No. 17. Enoch's tee shot on No. 18 went right of the fairway into thick grass. Pavan's second shot went left into the grass and Enoch's third was 25 feet past the pin. The Americans, meanwhile, hit their first shot on the fairway and their second to within 12 feet. When Pavan's putt ran eight feet past the cup the Europeans conceded the hole to give the USA the victory.
Jesper Kennegard and Henrik Norlander won the first two holes for Europe in the final match but would drop the next two holes to Tyson Alexander and Russell Henley. The Americans would take a brief lead with a conceded birdie on No. 9. Europe would pull back to even after a birdie on the 11th and retake the lead after No. 13. Team USA would move the match to all-square with a conceded birdie on No. 14 and take the lead after Europe conceded No. 17. The sides both parred No. 18 for the USA to win 1-up. It was the second victory of the day for the Alexander/Henley pairing.
"They did great," said United States Head Coach Chris Zambri. "As it turns out we lost the first two matches of the event and we've won since then. I'm proud of my guys. I'm proud of Jonathan (Randolph) and David (Chung) for winning two matches and winning convincingly. I'm also proud of the guys who had close matches that could have gone either way and luckily for us they went our way. That's the real sign of a champion, to win a close match. Their whole lives they will be playing in close matches and they'll have to play important rounds and it's great to see them step up when they need to."
Europe and the United States split the four-ball matches with each side claiming two points in the morning session.
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.
Friday's round will consist of singles matches and begin at 10 a.m. Nagy will face Pontus Widegren.
Royal Portrush Golf Club
United States 6, Europe 2
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 Results
John Chin/Daniel Miernicki, United States def. Rhys Enoch/Andrea Pavan, Europe, 1-up
David Chung/Jonathan Randolph, United States def. David Lingmerth/Patrick Spraggs, Europe, 5 and 4
Scott Langley/Corey Nagy, United States def. James Byrne/Pontus Widegren, Europe, 2-up
Tyson Alexander/Russell Henley, United States def. Jesper Kennegard/Henrik Norlander, Europe, 1-up
United States leads Europe, 6-2
Singles Matches Pairings
Henrik Norlander, Europe vs. Daniel Miernicki, United State
David Lingmerth, Europe vs. John Chin, United States
Pontus Widegren, Europe vs. Corey Nagy, United States
Andrea Pavan, Europe vs. Scott Langley, Unites States
James Byrne, Europe vs. Jonathan Randolph, United States
Rhys Enoch, Europe vs. David Chung, United States
Patrick Spraggs, Europe vs. Tyson Alexander, United States
Jesper Kennegard, Europe vs. Russell Henley, United States