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Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Mystery of Payback

And I'm not just talking about the USA team's play on Friday.

The Jutanugarn sisters

Sometimes it's difficult to understand how things can change so quickly in match play. Although the USA got no points on Thursday, the team from Thailand didn't do much better, getting only one point. All that changed on Friday -- the can't-be-beat teams of Spain (3 points) and Chinese Taipei (4 points) found themselves shut out by the USA and Thailand. Pool 1 now looks entirely different after 2 rounds.

Perhaps the USA hadn't taken Yani and Friends seriously enough -- GC played an interview from Tuesday where Stacy Lewis had said the Friday matches against Spain were the most important. Perhaps it was Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps shaking hands with Creamer and Lewis at the 8th green -- they won 2 of the next 3 holes. It's hard to tell what might shift the momentum of matches.

In Pool 2, it seems that being underestimated is all the Japan team needs. After grabbing 3 points Thursday, they repeated the feat Friday to take the lead in their pool. And just to rub salt into the wound, Ai Miyazato and Sakura Yokomine came from 6 down to steal a point from Sweden. Even Ai seems shocked by their good play.

I think it's time we reevaluated who the powerhouse teams are. In Pool 2 Japan hasn't done anything spectacular -- one win and one tie each day -- but they're the only undefeated team. And in Pool 1 Thailand is next best with only one loss, although their play has been more erratic. While no one has locked a place in the finals yet, things are far more fragile than anyone expected as we enter the third round today.

First of all, here are the pairings from the pairings page:

Match 1 | Day 3
Match 2 | Day 3
Match 3 | Day 3
Match 4 | Day 3
Match 5 | Day 3
Match 6 | Day 3
Match 7 | Day 3

Match 8 | Day 3

Tom Abbott inaccurately said that the Sweden/Australia matches today would be for the wild card spot. No one seems to be taking the Japan/Korea rivalry seriously, although it's a longstanding one -- there will be some juice in those matches! Should Japan hold Korea scoreless today -- certainly within the realm of possibility -- and Sweden and Australia split their matches, Korea will be dead last in the pool without any hope of making the wild card match. And should Sweden or Australia sweep their matches and Korea win no more than 2 points, they still aren't guaranteed the wild card spot.

Pool 1 has so many possible outcomes that I can't even list them all here. Any team there can lock a spot with 2 wins today.

Every team playing today has a reason to want some payback, whether it's a lack of respect or just an embarrassing reversal of fortunes. I wouldn't count anybody out yet!

1 comment:

  1. Whan swapped British Open and LPGA Championship and tucked this in between at the start of Olympic Rankings due to Pinehurst doubleheader