KirkwoodGolf: United States lead 4 1/2-3 1/2 in Sweden

Friday, September 14, 2007

United States lead 4 1/2-3 1/2 in Sweden



Laura Davies has played in all 10 Solheim Cups, and she pulled off one of the most remarkable winning pars in the history of the competition at the short 16th to help Europe stage a four-ball comeback at Halmstad in Sweden today.
The holders had moved ahead after the morning foursomes 2.5-1.5, but the brave rally from the home team earned a share the afternoon four-balls and the first day ended with the United States leading by just a single point, 4.5-3.5.
Catriona Matthew and Iben Tinning started the afternoon fight back with a 4 and 2 win over Pat Hurst and rookie Brittany Lincicome in the top match. But, on an afternoon of horrendous winds and the regular torrential downpours, Europe's hopes of regaining the Cup also looked extremely miserable as the other three matches appeared to be going America's way.
But Davies sparked the remarkable comeback with the most extraordinary winning par at the short 16th. With all four players in the match in trouble from the tee, the 43-year-old veteran blasted a shot from an almost impossible lie deep in the undergrowth - she nearly lost her visor in the process - that went over the green and down a slope between two bunkers.
From there, Laura amazingly holed the 50ft chip shot - and then danced her way round the green with her arms aloft (picture above from the LET website).
It was the shot that can turn any match-play event and, with the match now all square, Davies went on to snatch an unlikely half-point with Trish Johnson from Paula Creamer and 19-year-old Morgan Pressel.
The second match also eventually turned around for Europe. Two-down at the turn, the all-Swedish pair of Annika Sorenstam and Maria Hjorth won the 10th with a birdie and then they squared the match at the 18th when neither Stacy Prammanasudh nor Angela Stanford could find a par-4.
Matthew and Tinning also came from behind. Two-down after six holes, Matthew birdied the short seventh and then the pair won the 10th and three-in-a-row from the 12th before Matthew again did the business with a 2 at the 16th.
America's afternoon point came from rookie Nicole Castrale and US Women's Open champion Cristie Kerr. They combined to win the third match 3 and 2 from Sophie Gustafson and Gwladys Nocera.
"At the 16th, we were all awful. Trish was in the hazard and I was in the bushes and we were feeling really sorry for ourselves," said Laura Davies. "But then it suddenly worked out for us. Things like that happen in golf.
"It was a great moment. I made a fool of myself celebrating, but I enjoyed it."
Catriona Matthew certainly appreciated Davies' miracle shot.
"After squeezing that point out of Laura's game, I'm happy with the day's score," she said. "It was tough in my morning foursomes because they (Laura Diaz and Sherri Steinahuer) made a lot of birdies, but it just made me even more determined to do well in the afternoon."
Scroll down to check out the foursomes results.
Here are the afternoon results (US names first):

Pat Hurst & Brittany Lincicome lost to Catriona Matthew (Sco) & Iben Tinning (Den) 4 and 2.
Angela Stanford & Stacy Prammanasudh halved with Annika Sorenstam (Swe) & Maria Hjorth (Swe).

Nicole Castrale & Cristie Kerr bt Sophie Gustafson (Swe) & Gwladys Nocera (Fra) 3 and 2.

Paula Creamer & Morgan Pressel halved with Trish Johnson (Eng) & Laura Davies (Eng).

Sherri Steinhauer & Laura Diaz v Maria Hjorth (Swe) & Gwladys Nocera (Fra).
Juli Inkster & Paula Creamer v Sophie Gustafson (Swe) & Suzann Pettersen (Nor).
Pat Hurst & Angela Stanford v Iben Tinning (Den) & Bettina Hauert (Ger).
Nicole Castrale & Cristie Kerr v Annika Sorenstam (Swe) & Catriona Matthew (Sco).