GURNEE, ILLINOIS | It goes in the records as a 1-down loss, which, if you didn’t know the circumstances, could be dismissed as a ho-hum second-round setback, the kind of Friday footnote that nobody remembers by Monday.
That was most certainly not the kind of match Melissa Reid of England lost at the UL International Crown.
Reid’s was the performance of the week, not just on the LPGA Tour but in all of golf. It could arguably be the greatest one-hole defeat in match-play history, a display so awe-inspiring that a father standing behind the final green when it was over put his hands on his daughter’s shoulders, pulled her close and said, “You may never see anything better than this … ever.”
The facts are pretty simple: Reid and Charley Hull from Team England were slated to play a four-ball match against Japan’s Haru Nomura and Mika Miyazato on Friday morning. This came after the English walloped the Americans on day one with Reid and Hull taking it to Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller, 2 and 1. But Reid, by her own admission, hit it awful that first day, clanking iron shots off every spot but the sweet one. She only helped Hull on one hole, which was more than enough given how well Hull played.
Then on Friday all of England gasped when word filtered out that Hull was sick, lying in an ambulance getting intravenous fluids. She couldn’t go. Reid, ranked 123rd in the world and playing in only her seventh event of the year, would have to take on the best-ball score of the 22nd– and 49th-ranked players by herself.
“It would have been tough with me and Charley much less on my own game,” Reid said. “I said to (my caddie) Mark (Wallington) that if I got past 13 it would be a victory kind of day for me.”
After a par for a halve at the first, Reid joked with Wallington that at least they would make it to the back nine.
Then something remarkable happened. ….. READ FULL ARTICLE