Vernon helps US build lead
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. -- Carr Vernon and his United States teammates look to hold off the Europeans today to claim the Palmer Cup.
The Poplar Bluff native lost his match Saturday 1-up to Max Rottluff after splitting two matches Friday, helping the Americans build a 13.5-6.5 lead at Rich Harvest Farms.
Vernon will play another 18-hole match today against Matthias Schwab, who suffered a 1-up loss to Beau Hossler on Saturday.
The Americans, who need 15.5 points to reclaim the Palmer Cup, won seven of the 10 individual matches Saturday to build on their first-day lead.
In the morning foursomes Friday, Vernon teamed with Baylor University senior Kyle Jones to win 3 and 2 against Schwab and Rottluff.
Vernon and Jones lost their afternoon four-ball match against Mathias Eggenberger and Gary Hurley 3 and 2.
Schwab, a sophomore at Vanderbilt University, ranks 75th in the latest World Amageur Golf Rankings after earning All-SEC honors.
Vernon, ranked No. 370 in the world, nearly rallied past Rottluff, ranked No. 31, Saturday after trailing 2-up with five holes remaining.
The match was all square on No. 18.
Vernon's second shot, a 3-wood from 245 yards, missed the green while Rottluff's 5-iron from 220 yards set up a two-putt birdie to win the hole and the match when Vernon missed a 20-foot birdie putt.
Vernon fell behind after Rottluff's birdie on the fourth hole. Vernon, however, answered with a birdie of his own on the par-3 fifth and they were all squared heading to No. 7. A bogey put Vernon down a hole and Rottluff's birdie on the par-4 10th put the German 2-up.
Vernon won the next hole with a birdie but Rottluff answered with one of his own to again go 2-up before the par-3 13th was halved.
Rottluff, a freshman at Arizona State University and from Dusseldorf, Germany, ran into trouble on 14 allowing Vernon to cut the deficit in half but he couldn't save par on 15 to pull even. After the par-3 16th was halved with pars, Vernon squared the match with a birdie on the par-4 17th.
After rain delayed the start of the foursome match Friday, Vernon and Jones pulled away on the back 9.
The Americans only trailed for one hole after a bogey on the par-4 fourth but evened the match on the next hole. Vernon and Jones took their first lead with a birdie on the par-5 seventh but gave it back on the next hole with a bogey.
Heading to the back 9 all squared, the Americans took the lead with a par on 10 then took the par-4 12th with a birdie for a 2-up lead. A bogey by the Europeans on the next hole and a birdie on 14 pushed the margin to 4 up with four holes to play.
Rottluff and Schwab extended the match with a par but were beat with a par on 16.
In the four-ball match, in which all four players hit their own ball and the lowest score wins the hole for their side, the Americans led early by taking the second hole with a birdie. A bogey on the par-4 sixth squared the match and the two sides halved the next six holes.
Eggenberger and Hurley took the lead with a birdie on the par-3 13th and closed out the match with another on 16.
Tom Hoover provided information for this story.