WILMINGTON, Del. - The United States won 20.5-9.5 to reclaim the Palmer Cup at Wilmington Country Club. The United States leads the Palmer Cup series 9-7-1.
Cory Whitsett brought Team USA on the cusp of reclaiming the cup with a 3 and 2 victory against Scott Fernandez. Fernandez won the first hole but Whitsett squared the match after the second. He took the lead by claiming back-to-back holes at Nos. 4 and 5. Fernandez battled back to a 1-down deficit on three occasions but Whitsett used birdies on Nos. 13 and 15 to put the match away.
The US won the cup when Bobby Wyatt and Kevin Phelan halved their match. Phelan won the first two holes with birdie to give Europe an early edge. Wyatt won three of the next four to take a 1-up lead thru six. Phelan would gain a 1-up advantage on two other occasions before Wyatt went 1-up thru 12. Phelan halved the match by winning No. 18.
Ben Taylor claimed Europe's first match of the afternoon downing Daniel Berger, 2 and 1. Berger led early after winning No. 3 with birdie but Taylor claimed the next two holes to take the lead. Berger squared the match at the turn. Taylor won both Nos. 11 and 16 with birdie to move the match to its final margin.
Sean Dale battled back from a 4-down deficit to halve his match against Julien Brun. Brun won the first three holes and pushed his advantage to 4-up after No. 6. Brun carried his 4-up lead thru 13 before Dale claimed the next four holes with eagle, birdie, par, par to square the match.
James Erkenbeck downed Pedro Figueiredo, 2 and 1. Erkenbeck claimed the first hole before Figueiredo won three and four to take the lead. Erkenbeck responded by reclaiming the lead with victories on the next two holes. Figueiredo tallied a birdie on No. 11 to move the match back to all square but Erkenbeck won the next three holes with birdie. Figueiredo managed to whittle the lead back to 1-down but Erkenbeck closed him out by winning No. 17.
In the first singles match featuring college teammates, Michael Weaver defeated Joel Stalter, 3 and 1. Stalter gave Europe an early lead by winning No. 1. Weaver took a brief led by winning Nos. 3 and 4 but Stalter squared the match on the next hole. Weaver retook the lead thru 7 but Stalter evened the match gain with a birdie at No. 10. USA took the lead for good when Weaver birdied No. 14 and closed the match another pair of birdies on Nos. 16 and 17.
Pontus Widegren - just the fourth golfer to compete in four Palmer Cups - won his final match for Team Europe with a 1-up win over Michael Kim. Widegren never trailed in the match. He went 2-up after winning back-to-back holes beginning at No. 4 and held that advantage until a Kim birdie at No. 10. Kim moved the match to all square with another birdie at No. 16 but missed a his birdie putt on the 18th. Widegren sunk his par putt for the win.
Justin Thomas downed Sebastian Cappelen, 2 and 1. Cappelen birdied the first hole to take an early lead but Thomas won the next two to move ahead. Cappelen twice responded to Thomas taking a 1-up lead by moving the match to square before Thomas took the lead for good at No. 8. He held a 1-up advantage until winning No. 16 with birdie to move 2-up.
Alex Carpenter and Greg Eason halved their match. Eason led most of the early portion of the match and went 2-up at No. 6. Carpenter won both the 12th and 13th to move 1-up but Eason won No. 14 with eagle. Both golfers posted pars the remainder of the match.
Patrick Rodgers beat Gary Hurley in the event's final match. Hurley took a 1-up lead thru 4 but Rodgers evened the match at the turn. Rodgers took the lead with birdie at No. 11 and pushed his lead to 2-up at No. 15.
James Erkenbeck and Pedro Figueiredo were named recipients of the Michael Carter Award which is presented to the Palmer Cup participant that best represents the qualities and ideals sportsmanship, integrity and upholding of the game.
Information provided by PalmerCup.org
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