Ireland are closing in on a third successive International King's Cup victory following the second day of competition at the luxury Lough Erne Resort in Co. Fermanagh.
Supported by Tourism NI, the International King's Cup is a Ryder Cup style tournament which honours golf’s greatest ambassador, Mr Arnold Palmer.
This year, 12-man teams (6 pairs) of club golfers from Ireland and the USA are competing at the Sir Nick Faldo designed course in Co. Fermanagh.
Ireland dominated Thursday's six greensomes matches to take a huge advantage into Friday's final singles matches.
Under King’s Cup rules, players receive two points for a hole won, one point each for a hole halved and nothing for a lost hole.
With 864 points on offer over three days of the competition the first side to reach 433 points will collect the title. Going into Friday's singles Ireland have already amassed 257 points with their opponents lagging behind on 175 points.
David Barron and Ryan Gribben, both members of Warrenpoint's Barton Shield squad, are no strangers to the alternate shot format and recorded the best result of the day, a 26-10 win over Gene Hart and Frank Gambaro.
Further victories followed for Martin White and Oliver McNamara, Pat Creamer and Michael Ryan, Colin O'Leary and Sean O'Gallachoir and Declan and Darren McKeever.
The Ennis pairing of White and McNamara were delighted to turn the table on their opponents Brad Garrett and Darryl Henson after losing out in the day one fourballs.
“We've played foursomes before, a bit of JB Carr for Ennis GC in the past,” said 66-year-old Oliver.
“We both really enjoy matchplay. We actually lost the first today and it was tight until the turn and then we took control.”
The only success for the US on day two came from the Chicago pairing of Bob Silvestri and Bill Daddano who saw off Liam Byrne and Martin Smyth 20-16.
“We don't play this type of format too often but I think the key was not making too many mistakes,” said Bill.
“We stuck to a plan, keep the big numbers off the card.”
The singles will get underway at 10am tomorrow (Friday) with Ireland needing 176 points to retain the International Kings Cup.
International King's Cup, Lough Erne Resort
Day One – Fourballs
Ireland 127 USA 89
Day Two – Foursomes
Ireland 130 USA 86
Ireland 257 USA 175
Day Three - Singles
- M White v B Garrett
- S O'Gallachoir v B McDevitt
- O McNamara v D Henson
- C O'Leary v M McDevitt
- P Creamer v R Schroeder
- M Ryan v M Broksch
- D McKeever v A Amin
- Darren McKeever v C Devine
- M Smyth v B Silvestri
- L Byrne v B Daddono
- D Barron v F Gambaro
- R Gribben v G Hart