Thomas Helps USA To Palmer Cup Lead

NEWCASTLE, County Down, England – Alabama golf star Justin Thomas and his United States teammates took a commanding lead after the first day of the 2012 Palmer Cup at The Royal County Down Golf Club on Thursday.

The Americans hold a 6.5-1.5 lead after winning three matches and halving one in the morning four-ball matches and then earning three points in the afternoon foursome matches. The third round resumes on Friday morning with eight singles matches. Thomas will be paired against Europe's Sebastian Cappelen in the seventh match.

Thomas, who will be a sophomore at Alabama in 2012-13, and Patrick Rodgers of Team USA claimed the final match of the morning with a 2-up victory over Robert Karlsson and Pontus Widegren. The Americans won the second hole and built a lead of 4-up through 10 holes. Karlsson led a comeback back with birdies on Nos. 12 and 14 and an eagle on the 17th to extend the match to No. 18. Rodgers birdied the final hole to clinch the win for the Americans.

In the afternoon, the United States claimed the final match of the day after a staging a dramatic comeback to win 1-up. Julien Brun and Sebastian Cappelen won Nos. 2-4 to give Europe a 3-up lead and held a 4-up advantage thru 6. Thomas and Rodgers won back-to-back holes to cut the lead in half at the turn. Team USA won the 12th with birdie before moving the match to all square with par on No. 15. Europe birdied No. 16 to reclaim the lead but a double bogey on the next hole extended the match to the final hole. Rodgers' birdie putt on No. 18 gave the U.S. the 1-up victory.

Thursday Morning Four-Ball Matches Results

Chris Williams/Andrew Yun, USA def. Daan Huizing/Thomas Pieters, Europe, 1-up

Derek Ernst/Corbin Mills, USA halved Julien Brun/Sebastian Cappelen, Europe

Blayne Barber/James White, USA def. David Booth/Graeme Robertson, Europe, 6 and 4

Patrick Rodgers/Justin Thomas, USA def. Robert Karlsson/Pontus Widegren, Europe, 2-up

Thursday Afternoon Foursomes Matches Results

Derek Ernst/Andrew Yun, USA def. Daan Huizing/Thomas Pieters, Europe, 1-up

Corbin Mills/Chris Williams, USA def. Graeme Robertson/Pontus Widegren, Europe, 5 and 4

David Booth/Robert Karlsson, Europe def. Blayne Barber/James White, USA, 2 and 1

Patrick Rodgers/Justin Thomas, USA def. Julien Brun/Sebastian Cappelen, Europe, 1-up

Round Three Singles Matches Pairings

Graeme Robertson, Europe vs. Chris Williams, USA

Julien Brun, Europe vs. Blayne Barber, USA

Daan Huizing, Europe vs. Corbin Mills, USA

David Booth, Europe vs. Andrew Yun, USA

Thomas Pieters, Europe vs. James White, USA

Robert Karlsson, Europe vs. Derek Ernst, USA

Sebastian Cappelen, Europe vs. Justin Thomas, USA

Pontus Widegren, Europe vs. Patrick Rodgers, USA

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