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Karlsson Competes for Europe in Palmer Cup
Liberty's Robert Karlsson represented Europe this past weekend at The Stanwich Club in Greenwich, Conn., where he competed among 16 of the top collegiate golfers in the 2011 Palmer Cup. The United States team claimed victory, 13-11, in the Ryder Cup-style event, which was contested June 9-11.
Despite the United States earning a 3-1 lead after the first day of competition, by the end of play on Friday, Europe had rallied to grab an 8.5 to 7.5 lead heading into the final day. This included Karlsson halving both of his matches on the day, earning a full point for the Europeans.
In the morning foursomes matches, Karlsson and fellow Swede Jeff Karlsson (Kennesaw State) scored half a point as they faced Daniel Miernicki (Oregon) and Chris Williams (Washington). In a tight match, neither pair held more than a 1-up advantage. After multiple lead changes throughout play, the match once again moved back to all-square after 16 holes, with the teams tying the remaining two holes.
In the afternoon singles matches, Karlsson was pitted against UCLA's Patrick Cantlay, who ended the year ranked No. 1 in the country by both Golfweek and Golfstat. The freshman was named as this year's National Freshman of the Year and was also honored with the Jack Nicklaus Award, which is given to the Division I National Player of the Year. In the match, each player held a lead, but Cantlay stretched his advantage to 2-up through 10 holes of play. Karlsson cut the lead to one with a birdie on the 15th and then closed the match with another birdie, squaring the contest and earning another half point for Europe.
However, on the final day of play, the United States won five of the eight singles matches to claim the Palmer Cup. The win gives the Americans an 8-6-1 lead in the all-time series, which began play in 1997.
Karlsson joins the likes of current PGA and European Tour professionals who have competed in the collegiate event, including Ben Curtis, Luke Donald, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Brandt Snedeker.
Meanwhile, the two-time Big South Golfer of the Year became just the second golfer in Big South Conference history to compete at the collegiate event and the first to represent Team Europe. Coastal Carolina graduate Dustin Johnson competed in the event in 2007, representing Team USA.