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D-II player leads U.S. to first away Arnold Palmer Cup win in 6 years

For the first time in six years, the U.S. has won an away Arnold Palmer Cup.

The Americans, who last captured the annual match-play competition on foreign soil in 2018 in France, took the Sunday singles session, 14 ½-9 ½, to close out a 32 ½-27 ½ at Lahinch Golf Club in Ireland.

Findlay’s Mary Kelly Mulcahy, the only Division-II player on the U.S. team, led the way for the visiting side, capping a perfect 4-0 week with a 2-and-1 victory over Kate Lanigan of Maynooth University in Ireland. Mulcahy was the only player on either side to win every match; Americans Jackson Koivun of Auburn and Preston Summerhays of Arizona State beat Arizona State’s Wenyi Ding and Arkansas grad Jacob Skov Olesen, respectively, in singles matches to hand the two Internationals their first defeats of the competition. Olesen is the reigning British Amateur champion and will compete in The Open in two weeks.

The last four Americans to go 4-0 in an Arnold Palmer Cup were Nick Gabrelcik (2023), Amari Avery (2022), Gina Kim (2021) and Emilia Migliaccio (2018).

The Internationals claimed each of the first three matches Sunday with Arizona State’s Josele Ballester, Texas Tech’s Calum Scott and Arizona’s Filip Jakubcik winning points. But the home side won just four of the remaining 21 matches. And on the flip side, the U.S. took each of the final four matches with wins by Koivun, Summerhays, LSU grad Latanna Stone and Furman grad Anna Morgan.

The Americans’ most lopsided match win was Vanderbilt senior Gordon Sargent’s 5-and-4 rout of New Mexico’s Bastien Amat.

Auburn sophomore Anna Davis lost her match to Stanford sophomore Paula Martin Sampedro, but Davis did record the only hole-in-one of the day, at the par-3 16th hole. It was Davis’ first ace in about 10 years.

The U.S. now leads the overall series, 15-12-1.