Hurley wins singles match at Palmer Cup

COUNTY KERRY, Ireland - Former Naval Academy standout Billy Hurley (Leesburg, Va.) represented the United States well Friday at the Ballybunion Golf Club in County Kerry, Ireland where he is a member of the eight-player U.S. squad competing in the Palmer Cup. After the first-two rounds of action, the USA trails Europe, 9-3.

The United States struggled early in the competition, winning just one of the four four-ball matches in the first round. University of Texas senior and Big 12 Player of the Year Jason Hartwick teamed up with First-Team PING All-American Chris Stroud from Lamar to defeat the European duo of Francesco Molinari and Martin Rominger, 1 up. The USA took its first lead on the 16th hole and held on to claim the lone win for the U.S.

The matchup between Europe's Rhys Davies and Gareth Maybin against America's Matt Every and Chris Nallen went down to the wire. With the match all square going into the 18th hole, Maybin shot a 3 while both Every and Nallen turned in 4's to give Europe the match win.

Hurley and teammate Jack Ferguson fell behind on the ninth hole and were unable to recover as the duo dropped a 2 & 1 decision to Gonzalo Castano and Alejandro Canizares.

The afternoon singles matches got underway with Hurley and Molinari first on the docket. Hurley took a 1 up lead after the first hole and never looked back as he led the entire way. He claimed one of just two singles match wins for the U.S. with a 4 & 3 victory. The U.S. did not pick up its second singles win until the final match of the afternoon when 2004 Arnold Palmer Award Winner Ryan Moore produced a 3 & 1 victory over Alex Noren after taking the lead after the third hole.

The United States nearly picked up a pair of additional wins behind Every and J.J. Jakovac. Every led his match against Rominger until the 15th hole when Canizares turned in a 2 and Every shot a 3. Canizares eventually won the match 2 & 1. Meanwhile, Jakovac gained the lead after the third whole in his match against Rominger and held the lead until the 10. Rominger gained one on Jakovac until winning the match 4 & 3.

The third round of the 2004 Palmer Cup will be played Saturday morning and will feature foursome matches, four matches in which two players from each team compete in alternate-shot format. The Palmer Cup finale will be played Saturday afternoon with eight singles matches.

The annual Ryder Cup-style competition named in honor of legendary golfer Arnold Palmer is an international golf competition that annually pits the top eight collegiate golfers from the United States against their counterparts from Europe. Administered by the GCAA (Golf Coaches Association of America), the Palmer Cup alternates between sites in the United States and Europe. The U.S. representatives are nominated by GCAA coaches and selected by the association's All-America committee.

Former Palmer Cup members include Jonathan Byrd (2002 Buick Challenge winner), Ben Curtis (2003 British Open champion), Matt Kuchar (2002 Honda Classic winner) and Hank Kuehne (topped the PGA Tour in driving distance in 2003).

Morning Four-Ball Matches
Gonzalo Castano and Alejandro Canizares (EUR) def. Jack Ferguson and
Billy Hurley (USA), 2 & 1
Jason Hartwick and Chris Stroud (USA) def. Francesco Molinari and
Martin Rominger (EUR), 1 up
Rhys Davies and Gareth Maybin (EUR) def. Matt Every and Chris Nallen
(USA), 1 up
Lars Brovold and Alex Noren (EUR) def. J.J. Jakovac and Ryan Moore
(USA), 4 & 2

Afternoon Singles Matches Billy Hurley (USA) def. Francesco Molinari (EUR), 4 &3 Alejandro Canizares (EUR) def. Matt Every (USA), 2 & 1 Martin Rominger (EUR) def. J.J. Jakovac (USA), 4 & 3 Rhys Davis (EUR) def. Jason Hartwick (USA), 1 up Gonzalo Castano (EUR) def. Jack Ferguson (USA), 8 & 6 Gareth Maybin (EUR) def. Chris Stroud (USA), 2 up Lars Brovold (EUR) def. Chris Nallen (USA), 2 & 1 Ryan Moore (USA) def. Alex Noren (EUR), 3 & 1


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