FORMBY, England (June 24, 2016) – ETSU’s Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) helped Team Europe get off to a strong start on day one of the 2016 Palmer Cup, as the Buccaneer All-American won both of his matches on Friday at Formby Golf Club.
The annual Ryder Cup-style competition opened up with foursomes play, while the afternoon matches concluded with four-ball competition. After day one, the Europeans claimed a 6-4 lead over the United States.
In the morning foursomes play, Meronk – who earned PING and Golfweek All-American honors on Thursday – was paired with Vanderbilt’s Matthias Schwab and the European duo defeated Texas’ Doug Ghim and Wake Forest’s Will Zalatoris, 1-up. The match was nip-and-tuck all morning long as neither team lead by more than one hole, but with things even heading into the par-4 18th, Meronk and Schwab birdied the final hole to give Team Europe a point. Ghim is currently ranked eighth in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking and Zalatoris is No. 25. Like Meronk, Ghim earned second team All-American honors by Golfweek and PING, while Zalatoris was named honorable mention.
Overall, Team Europe won three matches and halved the other two en route to taking a 4-1 lead into the afternoon four-ball stage of the tournament.
Meronk was paired with David Boote and they secured Europe’s first point in the four-ball session after claiming a win over Virginia’s Derek Bard and Auburn’s Michael Johnson, 4&2. Bard and Johnson won the first two holes of the match, but birdies on No. 3 and 5 pulled Meronk and Boote back even. From there, Meronk – the ninth ranked player in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking – sank back-to-back birdie putts on No. 6 and 7, which put them up for good. Meronk closed out the match by winning No. 15 and 16. Johnson picked up first team All-American honors via Golfweek and Bard received third team honors by PING. Bard is also ranked 15th in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking and Johnson is 21st.
Team USA won the afternoon four-ball matches, 3-2, to close the gap on the European lead.
Saturday features singles match play, which begins at 4 a.m. EDT. Meronk takes on Chico State’s Alistair Docherty.
Live scoring of the 2016 Palmer Cup is available via Golfstat.
The Americans lead the all-time series, 10-8-1.
Meronk is the sixth ETSU golfer to play in the Palmer Cup and it’s the 12th time the Buccaneers will be represented in the tournament. The other five ETSU golfers to have been represented in the Palmer Cup are – Keith Nolan (1997), Chris Wisler (2000-01), Rhys Davies (2004-07), Gareth Shaw (2007-08), and Rhys Enoch (2010).
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