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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Solheim Cup: Saturday Foursomes (Alternate Shot)

I didn’t get to watch the afternoon matches, so I’ve only seen some highlights… but the matches seem pretty self-explanatory.

Match 13: Paula Creamer/Juli Inkster vs. Sophie Gustafson/Janice Moodie **4 & 3

This match was pretty one-sided, as the USA never led in the match... not for one single hole. In some ways, this isn’t a huge surprise; the two played well together on Friday, but had struggled individually. Also, they came into the foursomes this afternoon without having played in the morning, as they did Friday; foursomes are harder under any circumstances, but going in with less-than-ideal games and no opportunity to see how you’re playing today…

Match 14: Kristy McPherson/Morgan Pressel **2 UP vs. Helen Alfredsson/Suzann Pettersen

As one-sided as the first match was, this one almost matched it; Europe never led. Kristy McPherson played really well with Lincicome in the morning match and had little time to cool off before teeing it up again; I think that worked in her favor. In addition, Petterson appears to be having problems with tight muscles, and needed some work from a trainer; this could be a problem Sunday.

Match 15: Christina Kim/Natalie Gulbis vs. Becky Brewerton/Gwladys Nocera **5 & 4

Yet another one-sided match, with Christina Kim getting it nearly as badly as she dished it out in the morning match.

Match 16: Cristie Kerr/Michelle Wie **1 UP vs. Anna Nordqvist/Maria Hjorth

Europe dominated the front nine, then the USA dominated the back. Michelle Wie was white-hot Saturday morning; teamed with Cristie Kerr, who is playing well despite the loss Saturday morning, this is probably as close to a juggernaut as the USA can field. Also, I believe Beth Daniel’s decision not to play anyone in every match may have played a factor here; Maria Hjorth, like Catriona Matthew, is a fairly new mother (about 10 months), and playing every match while caring for a new baby may have finally gotten to her a little.

Europe has to be happy that they aren’t behind in points, but they certainly would have liked at least a point lead going into the singles. Remember: In case of a 14-14 tie, the USA retains the Cup. The score after the afternoon matches:
USA 8, Europe 8.

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