Europe romps to 7-point Palmer Cup victory

Adrian Meronk, pictured Thursday at the British Amateur at Royal Porthcawl
Adrian Meronk, pictured Thursday at the British Amateur at Royal Porthcawl (Getty Images)

FORMBY, England – Add the Arnold Palmer Cup to the Curtis and Walker Cups that already reside on the European side of the Atlantic.

Europe had an easier time winning the 20th Palmer Cup match than most expected. The 10-man European team romped to an 18.5-11.5 victory to come within one win of America’s lead in the series.

“I think the secret was having 10 guys who were mentally prepared and a few guys – Adrian (Meronk) for example –who wanted revenge for losing last year,” European captain Janice Moodie said. “They were all really focused.”

Moodie didn’t have to do much to gear her team up heading into the final singles session. Europe took a 13-7 lead into the last day, needing just two and a half points to win the cup.

France’s Antoine Rozner took the points total to 14 with a 1 up victory over Nahum Mendoza III in the lead off singles.

Sam Horsfield lost 1 down to Rico Hoey before Meronk took the points tally to 14.5 with a half against Alistair Docherty.

Zach Wright beat Robin Petersson 3 and 1, and Charlie Danielson won 1 up over David Boote to give the U.S. some hope. It was faint hope.

Stirling University player Mathias Eggenberger took Europe over the 15.5 point line with a 1 up victory over former U.S. Junior champion Will Zalatoris.

“We were definitely a team this week,” Moodie said. “There were no I’s, just WE. That made my job a lot easier.”

Europe won the final singles session 5.5- 4.5 to top the visitors in three of the four sessions. The U.S. took the fourballs 3-2.

“We knew Europe had a strong team, and knew it was going to be a tough challenge coming in,” U.S. captain Mike Cook said. “They just played better over the week.”

That was obvious over the three days. Europe jumped to a 4-1 lead in the opening foursomes, lost the fourballs and then won the first singles session 7-3 to practically guarantee victory.

“We just left ourselves to much to do after the opening foursomes, and then put ourselves behind the eight ball when we lost the first singles series,” Cook said.

Moodie also pointed towards the openings session as setting the tone for the week.

“The boys got off to a good start in the opening foursomes, even though the two halved matches could have gone either way. That gave us the momentum for the rest of the week, and we just improved the last two days.”

Rico Hoey was the only returning U.S. player against Meronk, Matthias Schwab and Eggenberger for Europe. Hoey was on the winning side last year and was quick to praise the opposition.

“We had a lot of ground to make up, and it was always going to be tough to do when all they had to do was win two and half points,” Hoey said. “We tried coming out strong today, but they were just the better team, they made more putts and did everything right.”

The United States now holds a 10-9 series lead, with one match halved.

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