Saturday, September 19, 2015

Europe lead USA 5-3 after early morning square games in Solheim Cup

Europe hold a two-point lead after a dramatic conclusion to the weather-delayed first four-balls in the Solheim Cup at St Leon-Rot, Germany.

The Europeans held a 4-2 lead when bad light stopped play the night before and they maintained that advantage when the remaining two matches ended all square.
The 5-3 scoreline Europe takes into the second foursomes mirrors the position at the same stage two years ago in Colorado when the visiting team went on to win for a second match in-a-row.
Melissa Reid and Carlota Ciganda started their delayed match on the 18th tee all square with Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson. The rain was teeming down but that did not stop both Reid and Thompson hitting their second shots to within 18 feet and the American followed the European in for birdie to ensure the match ended in a halve.
Thompson’s 12-foot putt took her personal tally for the round to seven birdies and an eagle while the Europeans finished the match in style with two birdies and an eagle over the last three holes.
“We finished four under par for the last three holes so we’re happy,” said Ciganda. “I hit it so good. It was such a great match.”
“There was a lot of adrenaline out there,” confirmed Thompson. “When Mel made her putt I made sure I took a lot of deep breaths before putting. I knew I had to top her. I had a good read on it. I had a perfect spot to aim my putt and just had to commit.”
“It’s huge momentum for us because with them holing out in the dark (the night before) anything could have happened this morning,” Kerr added.
19/09/2015. Ladies European Tour 2015.The Solheim Cup, St Leon Rot Golf Club, Heidelberg Germany. September 18-20. Lexi Thompson of the USA celebrates a birdie on the 18th  during the resumption of the Friday four balls on Saturday morning. Credit: Tristan Jones
The other match featuring Sandra Gal and Caroline against Gerina Piller and Brittany Lang started on the 16th with the Germans holding a one hole lead but that was immediately wiped out when Piller holed a 50-feet birdie putt from off the front of the green and there was more bad news for the home favourites on the next hole when the same player birdied from six feet to give the Americans a one hole lead as they mounted the 18th tee.
The match had produced numerous highlights across the two days and they was more to come because in front of the packed grandstands Gal hit a hybrid from 183 yards to two feet and then had her putt conceded when Piller missed from 15-feet for what would have been her third successive birdie.
“It was a tough match all day,” said Masson. “We were never down until we went to 18 so it was great to get half a point. Sandra played great yesterday and today. She’s loving it our here with the crowds and that seems to bring the best out of her. It’s just wonderful to see.”
“I still can’t breathe,” admitted Gal. “It was just an unbelievable level of playing. Gerina made such good putts on 17 and 18 and then we got it back on 18. It’s just the most rewarding feeling when you hit the shots you need to and I think we both did that at the right moments this entire match. We worked really well together.” The captains had to register their pairings for the second foursomes while the first fourballs were still on the course and they resulted in a quick turnaround for Reid and Ciganda who were drawn in the first match at 9.15 against Michelle Wie and rookie Alison Lee.
Charley Hull and Suzann Pettersen were paired together in the second match and they face the daunting task of facing Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel who on the first morning had secured a 3 and 2 win in the top match against Pettersen and Anna Nordqvist.
European captain Carin Koch reinstated another winning pairing by putting Catriona Matthew and Sandra Gal out in the third match against Brittany Lincicome and Angela Stanford while Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall were sent out in the last match against Stacy Lewis and Piller.