USA Holds Lead at Palmer Cup at The Royal County Down Golf Club
NEWCASTLE, County Down – Europe claimed three matches and halved three others but the United States will hold a 10-6 lead entering the final day of the 2012 Palmer Cup at The Royal County Down Golf Club. Final round singles matches tee off at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
“You definitely would sign-up for a four-point lead going into tomorrow before the tournament,” said USA Coach Josh Gregory. “We got off to a rough start. We were down in six of the eight matches almost at the turn and it wasn’t looking good. There was a lot of blue on the scoreboard. They guys did what they did yesterday. They played well in the early stretch of the back nine to get themselves back in good position. They didn’t play their best today but at the same time Europe probably had a little extra motivation.”
Chris Williams pushed the United States lead to six points when he defeated Graeme Robertson, 3 and 2, in the opening singles match. Robertson won the first hole with birdie but Williams claimed the next three holes to move to 2-up. The pair traded the next two holes before Williams extended his lead to 3-up through 8. Robertson cut the lead to 2-up at the turn. Williams won No. 16 to close out the match.
Julien Brun claimed the next match from Europe, downing Blayne Barber, 2 and 1. Brun won the first hole with birdie but Barber evened the match through 3. Brun would win the next three holes to build a lead he would never relinquish. Barber would twice cut the lead to one hole before Brun put the match away at No. 17.
Andrew Yun ran his Palmer Cup record to 7-0 with a 4 and 2 victory over David Booth. Booth took an early lead with a birdie on the first hole but a Yun birdie on No. 3 moved the match to all square. A Booth concession on No. 6 ignited a three-hole winning streak for Yun. Yun conceded No. 11 to drop his advantage to 2-up but birdied the next hole. Booth’s concession on No. 16 moved the match to its final margin.
Europe’s Daan Huizing won his first hole with birdie and led throughout in his 1-up decision over Corbin Mills. Huizing never led by more than two holes and the margin was 1-up in 11 of 18 holes.
Robert Karlsson provided Europe with its second-straight win by downing Derek Ernst. Ernst claimed the first hole but Karlsson reeled off three straight. Karlsson extended his lead to 4-up after back-to-back concessions by Ernst at Nos. 6 and 7. Ernst would cut the deficit in half after winning Nos. 8 and 11. Karlsson claimed both No. 15 and 16 for the 4 and 2 victory.
The United States and Europe halved the last three matches. Thomas Pieters won the first hole of his match against America’s James White and led the entire front nine. White evened the match throughout 10 and took a brief lead after Pieters conceded No. 15. Pieters won 16 with birdie but White reclaimed the lead heading into the final hole. Pieters sunk nine-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to win the hole and halve the match.
Justin Thomas opened with back-to-back birdies to open his match against Sebastian Cappelen of Denmark but would concede the next two holes to fall back to even. Thomas would take 1-up leads after Nos. 7, 9 and 12 but each time Cappelen responded by taking the next hole. Cappelen took the lead after winning No. 15. After halving both the 16th and 17th Thomas birdied No. 18 to win the hole and halve the match.
Pontus Widegren and the USA’s Patrick Rodgers waged a back-and-forth match. Widegren won the second hole but conceded the third. He reclaimed the lead after No. 4 but Rodgers won the next two to go 1-up. Rodgers twice expanded his lead to 2-up - thru Nos. 8 and 10 - but Widegren responded by winning the next hole with birdie on both occasions. Another Widegren birdie squared the match thru 13. Rodgers retook the lead by with par on No. 15 but Widegren won the 17th.
The Royal County Down Golf Club
United States 10, Europe 6
Round Three Singles Matches Pairings
Chris Williams, USA def. Graeme Robertson, Europe, 3 and 2
Julien Brun, Europe def. Blayne Barber, USA, 2 and 1
Daan Huizing, Europe def. Corbin Mills, USA, 1-up
Andrew Yun, USA def. David Booth, Europe, 4 and 2
James White, USA halved Thomas Pieters, Europe
Robert Karlsson, Europe def. Derek Ernst, USA, 4 and 2
Justin Thomas, USA halved Sebastian Cappelen, Europe
Patrick Rodgers, USA halved Pontus Widegren, Europe
Round Four Singles Matches Pairings
Sebastian Cappelen, Europe vs. Chris Williams, USA
Daan Huizing, Europe vs. Justin Thomas, USA
Robert Karlsson, Europe vs. Patrick Rodgers, USA
Thomas Pieters, Europe vs. Corbin Mills, USA
David Booth, Europe vs. James White, USA
Graeme Roberts, Europe vs. Derek Ernst, USA
Julien Brun, Europe vs. Blayne Barber, USA
Pontus Widegren, Europe vs. Andrew Yun, USA