KirkwoodGolf: Stage set for thilling contest over final singles

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Stage set for thilling contest over final singles

Europe lead 8-5 into last day of Solheim Cup

LATER NEWS: Europe lead 9-6 with two Saturday ties still to finish

LET media manage Bethan Cutler
reports from Solheim Cup Day 2 
St LEON-ROT, GERMANY: Europe has edged a step closer to winning the Solheim Cup for the third match in succession.

A wet second morning at St Leon-Rot started with the home team completing a 3-1 win in the delayed first four-ball series and they went on to win the second foursomes by the same margin to open an 8-4 lead over the visiting Americans.

However the visitors regained a little momentum when they won the first of the afternoon four-balls before bad light halted play with the three other matches stranded on the course. They will resume in at 8.45 Sunday morning with America one hole up in two matches and Europe ahead by the same margin in the other.

Heading into the final day the score stands at 8-5 in favour of Europe who will need to accumulate six more points from the remaining three four-balls and 12 singles to retain the trophy. The Americans require 9 ½ points from the same 15 games to win the trophy for the first time since 2009.

“It’s a good position to be in but there’s still a lot to do,” said European captain Carin Koch.
 “Tomorrow every player has to go out there and fight for their point. That’s what they have to. We’re looking forward to it but certainly won’t be easy.”     

“At least we have a little bit of red on the board, said Koch’s American counterpart Juli Inkster.” We haven't seen a lot of that in the last couple of days. But we've got to finish. We've got to finish those three matches tomorrow. We've got to finish the singles strong. I think the Europeans have played really 17 and 18 maybe just a little better than us and we need to buckle down and get those last two holes.”

Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr both went into the second fourballs with one and a half points out of two and they remained undefeated when they completed a fine 3 & 2 victory over Spanish duo Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Munoz.

The Americans set the tone when Kerr won the second with a birdie. Ciganda won the short third with a two but a run of seven birdies in eight holes from the fifth saw Thompson and Kerr claim a three hole lead. Munoz did birdie the 14th to reduce the deficit to two holes but Thompson won the next hole with her fifth birdie of the afternoon before Kerr completed the job with the pair’s ninth birdie of the day on the 16th.      

“We knew it wasn't going to be easy and that both Carlota and Azahara would play great golf out there,” said Thompson. “We knew we had to make birdies and that's what we brought to the table.”
“Lexi and I have great chemistry on this team,” added Kerr. “We have a lot of fun playing together. We egg each other and that's what makes a great team. We knew our team going up on the board would be huge. We knew what we had to do and we knew it wouldn't be easy. They played great, too.”

The other three matches remain too close to call with America’s Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller one up on Caroline Masson and Caroline Hedwall through 16 holes and their compatriots Alison Lee and Brittany Lincicome ahead by the same margin one hole further back.

However there is one blue number on the scoreboard with Catriona Matthew and Karine Icher one up on Lizette Salas and Brittany Lang also through 15 holes when play was stopped for the night. The incomplete matches will start again at 8:45 with the singles schedule to begin at the published time of 10:40.

“It has been a tight match,” confirmed Matthew after she and Salas had recorded five birdies compared to four from Salas and Lang. “I’m going back for dinner and a lot of sleep. Dinner and sleep.”

“We don’t want to think about the current situation,” said Piller who is still undefeated in this week’s match and can take her points tally to two and a half out of three if she and Lewis can maintain their lead over Masson and Hedwall.

“Juli is all about business and that’s the way she’s kept it. She wants us to take care of ourselves, hit good shots, make some birdies and the rest will take care of itself. We’re focussing on that. There are things you can control and things you can’t. You can’t control what they do. You can only control what you do and how you react. So we’re focussing on ourselves and what we can control.”