Thompson Helps USA To Lead In Palmer Cup

IRVINE, SCOTLAND- Michael Thompson split in his matches, winning in the morning in his four-ball match but falling in the afternoon in his singles match in play at the Palmer Cup presented by Monster. The USA has a 6.5-5.5 lead against Europe going into Friday morning's third round which features foursome matches.

The two-day event began on Thursday and is being played at the Glasgow Golf Club Gailes Links.

Thompson traveled to Scotland immediately after playing back-to-back PGA Tour events as an amateur, finishing T-29th at the U.S. Open two weeks ago in California and T-59th at the Traveler's this past weekend in Connecticut.

He completed his college competition at Alabama this year, earning All-America and Southeastern Conference Player of the Year as he led Coach Jay Seawell's Crimson Tide to the SEC title. In addition to his recent PGA experience, he played in this year's Masters.

The Palmer Cup is an international Ryder Cup-style event, featuring the top U.S. collegiate golfers against the top collegiate golfers from Europe. One of the primary organizers for the event is the Golf Coaches Association of America.

The teams played two rounds on Thursday with Europe taking a 2.5-1.5 lead after the first round. Thompson, who paired with his 2007 U.S. Amateur match play opponent Derek Fathauer, was the only USA group to win. That duo defeated Scott Borrowman and Charles Ford of Europe, 2 and 1. Europe took morning round wins with Jonas Blixt/Jonas Enander Hedin defeating Chesson Hadley/Adam Mitchell 1-up; Jonathan Caldwell/Gareth Shaw halved Kevin Chappell/Aaron Goldberg; and Jorge Campillo/Tim Sluiter defeated Rickie Fowler/Billy Horschel 4 and 2.

"I'm very pleased with our morning round," said former University of Alabama golfer Marten Olander who is head coach of the Europe team. "I thought we got off to a good start and felt we had control over three matches early. If not for some very good short game play by the Americans we might have had a larger lead. I applaud them for a strong finish and am pleased with how we played."

Thompson and Fauthauer played the final morning match with their 2 and 1 win. The pair never trailed but did not win a hole until the sixth. They never led by more than one until the 15th hole.

The USA moved ahead of Europe by day's end with Fathauer claiming the USA's final victory of the day, defeating Shaw 1-up. The match was all square after 15 holes but Fathauer won the match by making par on No. 18. But Europe would win the final two matches of the day. Sluiter defeated Thompson 1-up and Borrowman, a Scot, defeated Horschel 1-up. Sluiter birdied the first hole for the lead against Thompson but bogeyed No. 2 to give Thompson the lead. Sluiter won holes No. 8 and 9 to take the lead in the match for good, thought Thompson birdied No. 10 to get within one. He conceded 11 and bogeyed No. 12 to fall three back. Thompson came back to within one with birdies on No. 15 and No. 17. He hit left into the gorse on the 18th fairway and pitched into the rough with his second shot. His third shot came to within inches of the pin but Sluiter two-putted to halve the hole and clinch the match.

The foursome matches pairings Friday are:

Jonas Blixt/Jonas Enander Hedin, Europe vs. Aaron Goldberg/Michael Thompson, USA

Scott Borrowman/Charles Ford, Europe vs. Billy Horschel/Adam Mitchell, USA

Jonathan Caldwell/Gareth Shaw, Europe vs. Derek Fathauer/Chesson Hadley, USA

Jorge Campillo/Tim Sluiter, Europe vs. Kevin Chappell/Rickie Fowler, USA

BamaMag Top Stories