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Sunday, August 18, 2013

In a World of Hurt

Shock is perhaps the only word that describes what the US team felt after Saturday's rounds at the Solheim Cup... and that word probably isn't adequate. A sweep in the afternoon fourballs had to be the furthest thing from Meg Mallon's mind when she sent her pairings out.

But perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. There were plenty of hints that Saturday might be an unusual day.

There was the Nordqvist hole-in-one to win her foursome match in the morning. She was playing with Hedwall, who was 3 for 3 after that. (She was 4 for 4 at the end of the day. I believe they said she has a chance to become the first Euro player to go 5 for 5.)

There was Neumann's decision to send Ciganda out again, even after her problems Friday. And to send two rookies -- Ewart-Shadof and Hull -- out together as the lead-off group. And to play Hedwall for 4 straight sessions while sitting Pettersen. (Now that's confidence!)

There was the bizarre episode where a Euro caddie tried to concede a Creamer putt so Thompson couldn't get a read from it.

And of course there was yet another 30+ minute ruling over drops.

In the end, the US team is down 5.5 to 10.5 -- meaning they have to win 9 of the 12 points available in singles, while the Euros need only 3.5 points to keep the Cup. That's a tall ask. If they pull it off, it will be the greatest comeback in Solheim Cup history... or in Ryder Cup history, for that matter. But given how well the Euro team is playing, I wouldn't bet on it.

If the Euro team wins, at least no one will be able to say it was because of a bad ruling. The Euros have played better than the US pretty much from top to bottom.

Oh yeah... and no one will be able to say that the Euros are just a paper tiger anymore. If they finish the rout today, the Solheim Cup will succeed in becoming almost as big as the Ryder Cup.

That's probably a win for everybody involved.

But for the US, I'm afraid that's the only win they'll get this time around. Welcome to the men's world, ladies!

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