LSU Gold

Stone Wins Clinching Match For Arnold Palmer Cup

USA Co-Captain and LSU Head Coach Garrett Runion, LSU Golfer Latanna State and America Asst. Captain and LSU Assistant Coach Alexis Rather with the Palmer Cup (Photo by Britt Runion).

Stone Wins Clinching Match For Arnold Palmer Cup

BATON ROUGE – Latanna Stone made her final Arnold Palmer Cup a winning one on Sunday by taking the Cup-clinching point in singles at the Lahinch Country Club in Ireland to give the United States team the cup for the second straight year.

For LSU women’s golf coach Garrett Runion, co-captain of the American squad, and his assistant captain, LSU assistant coach Alexis Rather, it was a winning weekend and for Runion an emotional connection with the Palmer brand.

The Americans won 14.5 of the 24 singles matches to break out of an 18-18 tie after three rounds to win the cup 32.5-27.5. The USA needed to win 30 of the 60 matches to retain the Cup.

Stone, in her fourth appearance, kept her undefeated record alive in singles with a rallying 1UP win over Mississippi State’s Julia Lopez Ramirez of Team International.

It was a tight match all the way with neither player more than 1UP the entire way. Ramirez took a 1UP lead on the 10th hole with a par 4, but Stone birdied the par 3 11th to get the match back even. Stone took her first lead since the eighth hole with a par on the par 4 14th hole and then held off Ramirez the rest of the way to get the point that gave the USA its first win on international soil since 2018 at Evian Resort in Evian-les-Bains, France.

“I was really nervous going up 18,” said Stone, who was selected to Team USA when the Palmer Cup was slated to be held at Lahinch Golf Club in 2020 before the matches were rescheduled to Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge and also won the Palmer Cup with Team USA in 2021 at Rich Harvest Farms.

“Having my coach walking by me and seeing all of my teammates sitting on the green waiting for me to come up was really special. What a way to end my career with my two coaches from LSU.”

For Runion, who grew up at Bay Hill and knew the legendary golfer, and to have his parents on hand to watch the matches, this was a very special weekend for the Tiger coach.

He Co-Captained the USA team with Matt Thurman of Arizona State and Rather was one of the two American assistants along with Dudley Hart of Florida.

“Today was an incredible day and something I will remember for the rest of my life,” said Runion. “It was already a great week and to cap it off with winning the Arnold Palmer Cup on the last day in singles was truly special. I am proud of all the players; they showed a lot of toughness and grit playing in these conditions and we needed it in a few matches when they were able to flip their matches.

“It made it even more special to have Alexis Rather on the coaching staff with me and Latanna as one of our players that was able to secure a key point late in the day. Truly an unbelievable experience and one that I am truly humbled and honored to have been a part of.”

Stone finishes her 2024 APC play at 2-1-1 and for her career she was 5-4-5 in the matches.

The Americans now lead the Arnold Palmer Cup series, 15-12-1. This marks the first time the USA has won two straight since the 2017 win at the Atlantic Athletic Club and the win in France in 2018. It marks the fourth time the USA team has won the Cup in two consecutive years.