USA win Palmer Cup by 13-11

PalmerCup2The USA won five of the eight final-day singles matches to claim the 2011 Palmer Cup at The Stanwich Club, this weekend, by 13 points to 11. It was the second-straight Palmer Cup victory against Europe, giving the Americans an 8-6-1 lead in the history of the match.

Bank Vongvanij evened the overall team match with a 6&5 win against Jeff Karlsson. Vongvanij won five of the first six holes and maintained a 5-up lead, before completing victory on the 13th.

A comeback victory by Patrick Cantlay against R&A Foundation Cap F Scholar Nick MacAndrew gave the Americans a brief lead. MacAndrew came quickly out of the blocks, establishing a three-hole advantage after five holes. The World Amateur Golf Ranking Number One cut the lead to 2-up after six, and then won holes nine, 10 and 12 to go 2-up. A birdie on 14 put him 3-up, but MacAndrew reduced the deficit to two once more on the sixteenth. Cantlay, however, won 17 to close out the match 3&1.

Palmer Cup 1Nils Floren won 4&2 over Alex Carpenter to move the team match back to all-square. Floren won the third hole and would never trail. The Swede would extend his lead to 3-up on four separate occasions, prevailing on the 16th. 

Daniel Miernicki and Chris Williams would win the next two matches to put the USA in the lead for good. Robert Karlsson claimed the first hole is his match against Miernicki, but relinquished the next two to give the American a one-hole lead. Miernicki would claim both the seventh and eighth to take control of the match. Karlsson would cut the lead to two at the turn, but Miernicki would win the next two holes before closing out with birdie on 15 for a 5&3 victory.

Williams won the second hole in his match against Henrik Norlander and never trailed. He established a three-hole led at the turn, but Norlander reduced the lead to just one on the 14th. Williams would take the next two holes, though, to claim the match 3&2.

Denmark’s Sebastian Cappelen defeated Russell Henley in the next match 1-up. Cappelen won two of the first three holes, but Henley claimed the fourth, fifth and sixth to take a 1-up lead. Cappelen won back-to-back holes at the eighth and ninth to move back to 1-up but, the American would draw level with a birdie at 10. The two would trade holes at 12 and 13 to stay at all-square, before Cappelen edged over the line with a birdie on the 18th.

Blayne Barber and Ignacio Elvira halved their match. Elvira won the second hole and led 3-up after five, before Barber evened the match at 11. Barber birdied the 12th to take his first lead, but the match was back to all-square at 14. Barber would claim 15, but Elvira birdied the 16th to re-establish a deadlock that would not be broken. 

Palmer Cup ScoreboardAndrew Yun claimed the final match of the Palmer Cup, 1-up, to clinch the win for the USA. Yun birdied the first hole to go 1-up before Pontus Widegren evened the score after three. Yun would again take the lead at five, but Widegren would win the next two holes to reverse his fortunes. Yun retook the lead with back-to-back wins at 14 and 15. All-square after 16 holes, Yun birdied 17 to establish a one-hole lead that would prove unassailable and ensure the Palmer Cup stayed in American hands.

With his victory against Widegren, Yun became just the 13th competitor in the history of the Palmer Cup to post a perfect 4-0 record.