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USA defeat Europe in Arnold Palmer Cup

• USA reclaim Arnold Palmer Cup after defeating Europe.

• Two sides half singles matches in tight final day.

• USA now lead series 11-9-1.

The United States reclaimed the Arnold Palmer Cup after defeating Europe 19.5-11.5 after the two sides halved the final day singles matches, 5-5.

In the first match since the passing of Arnold Palmer, the United States clinched the trophy at the Atlanta Athletic Club and now lead the all-time series 11-9-1.

Team USA celebrate after winning the Arnold Palmer Cup.

Norman Xiong clinched the cup for Team USA by defeating England’s Harry Hall 8 and 7. Xiong won three straight holes beginning at the 2nd. He closed the match by claiming the 7th through to 11th.

2016 McCormack medallist Maverick McNealy gave the Americans their second 8 and 7 victory, downing Scotland’s Rory Franssen. After winning the 1st hole the American never trailed.

R&A Foundation Scholar and Ireland’s Stuart Grehan was narrowly defeated in his singles match. Doug Ghim moved to 4-0 after beating him 2 and 1. Grehan took the lead with a birdie at the 3rd hole and held the lead through to the 13th. But Ghim took his first lead and closed out the match by winning the 16th and 17th.

Viktor Hovland delivered Europe’s first point of the day with a 3 and 2 victory against Jimmy Stanger. Stanger went ahead with an eagle at the 3rd but Hovland took the lead for good after eagle-birdie at the 5th and 6th holes.

Nick Hardy claimed another point for Team USA winning 3 and 2 over Harry Ellis. Ellis led after a birdie at the 3rd but Hardy took the lead and surged ahead by winning back-to-back holes at the 5th and 6th and never relinquished the advantage. 

Europe’s Hannes Ronneblad defeated USA’s Chandler Phillips 2 and 1 in Sunday’s singles matches.

Europe would take the next two matches, both 2 and 1. Norway’s Kristoffer Ventura claimed a tight decision against Sam Burns. Ventura took 1-up leads through the 6th, 8th and 13th and Burns through the 10th. After half the following holes, Ventura closed the match out with wins on the 16th and 17th holes.

Sweden’s Fredrik Nilehn downed Collin Morikawa in the following match. Morikawa led 1-up through the 2nd and 3rd and again from the 6th to the 11th. Nilehn moved ahead with a par at the 13th and moved to 2-up by claiming the 15th hole.

Sean Crocker provided the United States’ last point of the day by beating David Wicks, 3 and 2. Wicks led early with a birdie at the 2nd. Crocker responded with birdies of his own to take the 4th and 5th. Wicks moved the match to all-square at the next hole. Crocker would again take the lead and move to 2-up with wins at the 9th and 10th but Wicks drew the match two holes later. Crocker moved ahead for good with a string of wins at the 12th, 14th and 15th holes. 

Europe won the final two matches of the day. England’s Richard Mansell came from behind to defeat John Coultas, 2-up. Coultas claimed the 1st hole and held the lead through 15, pushing the lead to 3-up after 5th hole. Mansell took the final three holes for the 2-up triumph.  

Sweden’s Hannes Ronneblad closed the competition with a 2 and 1 victory against Chandler Phillips. Ronneblad never trailed and moved ahead for good with par at the 14th hole.

Wicks of Bexhill, England, and McNealy of Portola Valley, California, were named recipients of the Michael Carter Award which is presented to the Arnold Palmer Cup participant that best represents the qualities and ideals of sportsmanship, integrity and upholding of the game.

Morikawa was selected by both teams to receive the Arnold Palmer Cup exemption into the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard. Players selected the individual from both teams believed to best represents the “Arnold Palmer Legacy,” that is, the values that Arnold Palmer exhibited through his life in golf. Nathan Peterson, the Arnold Palmer Cup junior caddie for Morikawa, will also be on the bag at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.