USA win the 2010 Palmer Cup 13-11

Scott Langley (L) and Russell Henley (R) wait to recive their awards for finishing as the Low Amateurs at Pebble Beach. The United States defeated Europe 13-11 to claim the Palmer Cup held at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland. 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, the annual international collegiate event which The R&A first supported in 2000.

With the USA leading Europe by 9-7 as they went into the final day, each side would claim four points from Saturday’s singles, giving the Americans a two-point victory. Daniel Miernicki and David Chung posted the first two victories of the day for the Americans when they defeated 2010 Amateur Championship runner-up James Byrne and Henrik Norlander, respectively.

Miernicki claimed the first hole in his 5&3 win, never relinquishing that early advantage. Chung holed 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-five second. Chung would reclaim the lead at the fourth, before cruising to a 4&2 victory. Chung was the only player to post a 4-0 record at this year’s Palmer Cup, producing the 12th perfect performance in the 14-year history of the event.

Europe would claim the next three matches. Sweden’s Pontus Widegren won their first point of the day, overcoming Corey Nagy 6&5. Another Swede, David Lingmerth, would deliver Europe’s second victory. And Andrea Pavan claimed the third, when he beat Tyson Alexander 2&1.

2010 Amateur Championship runner-up James Byrne.Russell Henley, who shared the Low Amateur award with teammate Scott Langley at Pebble Beach in the US Open, gave the Americans their 12th point after beating Jesper Kennegard, 4&2. Henley could not establish any more than a one-hole lead through the first eight holes, but he would control the next eight, 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 for most of his match against Patrick Spraggs, who earned his place in Europe’s team by winning April’s R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament in St Andrews. Spraggs battled back to take the lead after 15, before Chin responded to take the match down the 18th all-square.

While Chin and Spraggs were on the final fairway, Langley clinched the match for America, ensuring at least a half when both he and Rhys Enoch parred the 17th hole. Spraggs would go on to win his match 1-up, while Langley would do the same for the US.

“I actually didn’t know at the time that I clinched it,” said Langley. “I knew that the other matches were close but I was confident that the other guys could pull it out.”

“Russell (Henley) played great for us in the anchor match and Scott Langley played great,” said USA Head Coach Chris Zambri. “They were a couple of guys coming off a really great finish at the US Open and we figured that they would come through for us and they did.”