US Holds Early Lead in Palmer Cup

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The United States took a slight lead after day one in the Palmer Cup, the annual competition that pits a collegiate all-star team from the U.S. against a similar team from Great Britain and Ireland. Named after the king himself, Arnold Palmer, this is the sixth meeting between the two squads and is being played for the first time in Ireland at the newly opened Greg Norman designed Doonbeg.
 
Falling behind early in the morning Four-ball matches, the U.S. responded with victories by the teams of John Klauk and Hunter Mahan (1-Up) and Bill Haas and D.J. Trahan (1-Up) to even the matches at two apiece.
 
In the afternoon Foursomes (Alternate Shot), Americans Brock Mackenzie and Nick Watney soundly defeated the GB&I team 6 and 4, to take its first lead. GB&I answered quickly with a 5 and 4 victory to again even the score at three all, with two to play.
 
The U.S caught a big break by halving the seventh match, when it looked as if the GB&I team had a lock on the point, being up two with two to play. But on the 17th hole Lee Williamson of the United States knocked a 5-iron to within five feet for a birdie.
 
'It was the best shot of the tournament,' teammate Ryan Hybl said of his partners 5-iron shot.
 
Bill Haas and D.J. Trahan concluded the first day with a 2 and 1 victory giving the Americans a 4 1/2 to 3 1/2 lead going into Fridays singles matches.
 
The U.S. holds a 3-1-1 advantage over GB&I in the series.
 
Four-ball Matches Results
 
GB&I Philip Rowe and Oliver Wilson def. USA Brock Mackenzie and Nick Watney, 1-up
 
GB&I Andy Smith and Justin Walters def. USA Ryan Hybl and Lee Williamson, 6 and 4
 
USA John Klauk and Hunter Mahan def. GB&I Geoff Harris and Stuart Manley, 1-up
 
USA Bill Haas and D.J. Trahan def. GB&I Justin Kehoe and Stuart Wilson, 1-up
 
Foursomes (Alternate Shot) Results
 
GB&I Philip Rowe and Oliver Wilson halved with USA Ryan Hybl and Lee Williamson
 
USA Brock Mackenzie and Nick Watney def. GB&I Andy Smith and Justin Walters, 6 and 4
 
GB&I Geoff Harris and Stuart Manley def. USA John Klauk and Hunter Mahan, 5 and 4
 
USA Bill Haas and D.J. Trahan def. GB&I Justin Kehoe and Stuart Wilson, 2 and 1