Team USA won seven out of twelve matches on day two of the 2023 Arnold Palmer Cup to edge 13-11 in front at Laurel Valley Golf Club.
Team International’s Christiaan Maas and Tyran Snyders’s 3&2 win over Team USA’s David Ford and Preston Summerhays was the first match in. The South African pair recorded an eagle on the par-five 3rd hole and never bogeyed.
“The front nine was a bit slow, but the back nine was a lot of fun,” said Snyders. “It’d be great for me if I could get my putter as hot as Christiaan had his putter going.”
“We got off to a weird start, but it gave us the faith we needed that carried with us throughout the round,” Maas said. “Playing as good as we played today against unbelievable golfers like David (Ford) and Preston (Summerhays) gives us a lot of confidence heading into the afternoon.”
Ashley Menne/Megan Schofill (4&3) and Nick Gabrecik/Gordon Sargent (2&1) gave Team USA their first two points of the morning. Gabrelcik and Sargent used five birdies, including in three of the final seven holes, to grab the victory over Team International’s Ryan Griffin and Max Kennedy.
“We stayed patient throughout the day and, after telling each other to trust what we were doing, eventually knew our good golf would be good enough,” said Gabrelick. “We made putts that we needed to make, so we need to take that into the afternoon matches and try to boost our partners as much as possible.”
Team International’s Sampson Zheng’s hole-in-one on the par-3 fifth hole, their 14th of the round, sparked his and Josele Ballester’s 5&3 win over Team USA’s Tommy Kuhl and Derek Hitchner.
“What a time and place to do it,” Zheng said of his second-ever 1 in tournament play. “We were going 3Up into the hole and I knew that I needed to hit one close coming down the stretch. The strike was good, so I knew it was going to get there. Hit it 12 short and it just rolled right in. I saw it disappear, and Josele and I started playing rugby in celebration.”
Team USA’s Cole Anderson and Austin Greaser went into the turn 4Up with four birdies and never looked back against Team International’s Santiago de la Fuente and Mateo Fernández de Oliveira, winning 6&5 in 13 holes.
“We ham and egged it really well,” said Greaser. “It builds a lot of confidence to see some shots that you hit exactly how you envisioned.”
The round’s final match to come in brought all watching around to witness. Team International’s Maddison Hinson-Tolchard and Chiara Tamburlini went 5Up through seven holes and 3Up making the turn, but Team USA’s Zoe Campos and Amanda Sambach used four birdies on the back nine, including one on the match’s final hole, to claim the 2Up victory and maintain Team USA’s lead they gained in Amari Avery/Antonia Malate’s 2&1 win over Team International’s Carla Bernat and Julia Lopez Ramirez.
“We didn’t play our best in the first nine, but we were never out of it,” Sambach said. “We were talking all day about how we like to be from behind, so we kept it together and got some putts to drop.”
“As soon as we won our first hole, I knew that we could come back from it,” Campos said.
In the morning foursomes Max Kennedy and Lauren Walsh will reunite in the anchor match while Ryan Griffin will partner Irish Women’s champion Lorna McClymont.