ROLAND, Ark. - Blue Devil golfers put on an impressive display in the opening round mixed four-ball match play of the Arnold Palmer Cup on Friday as both Ana Belac and Alex Smalley helped their respective teams earn a point in the Ryder Cup-style event.
Belac, a native of Portoroz, Slovenia, joined LSU senior Luis Gagne (Costa Rica) to pick up a much needed point for Team International as Smalley and USC sophomore Jennifer Chang helped establish a commanding lead for Team USA in the opening round at the Alotian Club in Roland, Ark.
Belac and Gagne were paired in match six against Quade Cummins of Oklahoma and Ann Parmerter of Dallas Baptist. The two sides remained tied after sharing the spoils for the first six holes. Belac and Gagne took an advantage with a birdie on the seventh hole to go 1UP in the round in the only lead change of the match. Three holes later, the international pair birdied back-to-back holes to increase their advantage to 3UP after 11 holes played. After dropping the hole at 12, the international pairing regained control after birdying another two straight to get wins on the 13th and 14th holes to give a 4UP advantage with four holes remaining. They’d clinch a victory after matching Team USA on the 15th to put Team International level with Team USA at 2-2 at the end of their round.
Despite overcoming a 2-0 deficit to level scores back up at 2-2, Team USA proved to be too much on the day, rattling off six of the final eight points to take an 8-4 lead heading into two matches on Saturday.
Representing Team USA on the men’s side, Smalley and Chang only needed two holes to create an advantage over the German duo of Matthias Harm (Louisville) and Leonie Harm (Houston), after a birdie putt moved the pair into the lead. It was the first of three straight birdies for the duo without being matched by their international foes to go 3UP after just four holes, an advantage they’d carry all the way through eight before extending their lead yet again on the ninth. The pair would end up winning with comfort by a 4&3 margin.
Belac continues her strong showing in match play after going 3-0 in the NCAA Championships to help the Blue Devils lift the team trophy.
Saturday will feature mixed foursomes in the morning followed by afternoon foursomes. The event will be livestreamed worldwide via GOLFChannel.com/livegolf, the NBC Sports app and GOLF Channel app with live online scoring available at https://www.arnoldpalmercup.com.
Arnold Palmer Cup
The Alotian Club
June 7, 2019
USA 8, International 4
Mariel Galdiano/Chandler Phillips (USA) def. Frida Kinhult/David Nyfjall, 4&3
John Augenstein/Emilia Migliaccio (USA) def. Aled Greville/Lorna McClymont, 4&2
Julie McCarthy/Sandy Scott (INT) def. Kaylee Benton/Patrick Martin, 3&2
Stephanie Lau/Alex Scott (USA) tied Kengo Aoshima/Gabriela Ruffels, matched halved
Austin Eckroat/Malia Nam (USA) def. Agathe Laisne/Chun An Yu, 1UP
Ana Belac/Luis Gagne (INT) def. Quade Cummins/Ann Parmerter, 4&3
Abbey Carlson/Will Gordon (USA) tied Alex del Rey/Karoline Stormo, match halved
Will Grimmer/Haylee Harford (USA) def. Lois Kaye Go/Peng Pichaikool, 1UP
Peter Kuest/Kaitlyn Papp (USA) def. Sofia Garcia/Ivan Ramirez, 3&1
Jennifer Chang/Alex Smalley (USA) def. Leonie Harm/Matthias Schmid, 4&3
Takumi Kanaya/Hira Naveed (INT) def. Dylan Kim/Brandon Wu, 1UP
Hailee Cooper/Cole Hammer (USA) def. Jiwon Jeon/Keita Nakajima, 2&1
Mixed Fourball Matches
8:30 AM – Match 1
Galdiano/Phillips (USA) vs. Kinhult/Nyfjall (International)
8:45 AM – Match 2
Augenstein/Migliaccio (USA) vs Greville/McClymont (International)
9:00 AM – Match 3
Benton/Martin (USA) vs McCarthy/Scott (International)
9:15 AM – Match 4
Lau/A. Scott (USA) vs Aoshima/Ruffels (International)
9:30 AM – Match 5
Eckroat/Nam (USA) vs Laisne/Yu (International)
9:45 AM – Match 6
Cummins/Parmerter (USA) vs Belac/Gagne (International)
10:00 AM – Match 7
Carlson/Gordon (USA) vs del Rey/Stormo (International)
10:15 AM – Match 8
Grimmer/Harford (USA) vs Go/Pichaikool (International)
10:30 AM – Match 9
Kuest/Papp (USA) vs Garcia/Ramirez (International)
10:45 AM – Match 10
Chang/Smalley (USA) vs Harm/Schmid (International)
11:00 AM – Match 11
Kim/Wu (USA) vs Kanaya/Naveed (International)
11:15 AM – Match 12
Cooper/Hammer (USA) vs Jeon/Nakajima (International)
Afternoon Foursome Matches TBD