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Saturday, August 17, 2013

And Europe Takes the Early Lead

It's Day 2 of the Solheim Cup and, as they did yesterday, GC begins broadcasting this morning at 9am ET. Europe starts the day leading 5-3.

In case you didn't see it yesterday, Europe pretty much shocked the US by winning 3 of the morning foursomes. The Lewis/Salas pairing and the Kerr/Creamer pairing, expected to be juggernauts, got shut down big time -- Salas played pretty well but the other 3 struggled. (In fact, Lewis also struggled in the afternoon fourballs.) Kerr finally started sinking some putts late in the match but it was TOO late. The only US team to win was Pressel/Korda -- a bit of a shock since long hitter/short hitter combos generally don't fare well in foursomes!

Europe's big heroes were Pettersen (no surprise!), Hedwall, and Icher. You wouldn't have known that Icher was only in her 2nd Solheim Cup... and her first was several years ago. The big shocker was Matthew being shut out in both sessions despite playing really well.

The afternoon session split 2-2 with the Brittanies (Lincicome and Lang) coming up big for the US, as did the Kerr/Wie duo. Wie should have put any questions about her pick to rest with her steady (and very creative) play in fourballs. For Europe the Pettersen/Ciganda pairing worked largely because Suzann Pettersen can play as well as almost any 2 other players on either team. (Lexi Thompson played extremely well, but without much from Lewis...) Ciganda struggled, apparently due to nerves, although she did come up big on a couple of holes. And the Carolines (Hedwall and Masson) is a fourball team you may see again today.

The biggest news of the day concerned Ciganda hitting her ball in a hazard on the 15th hole -- ironically, the hole where she made her biggest contribution to the match. The ruling took the better part of a half-hour, which the US team complained killed the momentum of 3 separate teams who were stuck on the hole, unable to play. To compound things, the officials now say the ruling was made incorrectly. I don't know if this is going to become an issue down the road, but the delay seems to be a much bigger issue than the botched ruling.
Just a thought: The LPGA takes its rules on slow play pretty seriously. I wonder what penalty will be exacted on the rules officials for being so slow?
Anyway, here are today's pairings for the opening foursome (alternate shot) matches -- EU team first, US team second:
  1. Nordqvist/Hedwall VS Pressel/Korda
  2. Munoz/Icher VS Lewis/Creamer
  3. Matthew/Masson VS Lincicome/Salas
  4. Pettersen/Recari VS Wie/Lang
Three of the Euro pairings are the same as Friday -- only Matthew has a new partner, as all her good play Friday was wasted. Only the Pressel/Korda pairing survived for the US -- neither Wie and Lang played the first session Friday, but both played well in the 2nd; Lincicome also played well in the 2nd and has been paired with Salas; and Creamer and Lewis have been teamed, perhaps in hopes they can jumpstart each other's game.

Although I don't know what Neumann has in mind, Mallon has said she doesn't plan to play anybody all 5 matches. Kerr gets her "time off" this morning, while Lewis and Creamer will both sit this afternoon if Mallon sticks with her plan. I'll be a bit surprised if we don't see the teams of Pressel/Korda, Lincicome/Lang, and Kerr/Wie this afternoon for the US; and Hedwall/Masson for Europe. (I won't be surprised if Pettersen/Recari and Munoz/Icher also show up in the afternoon rounds, although I'm under the impression that Neumann may try to get Hull more experience and Pettersen might be the best partner for her.)

There's a lot of golf left to play but Europe has made a very good start toward their first victory "over here." The US gals better step up today!

2 comments:

  1. Creamer has sat already, Mike, as has Pressel.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remembered Pressel sat, but forgot about Creamer -- my boo-boo. I plead weariness from watching too much golf on TV! ;-)

    ReplyDelete