Captain Stacy Lewis’ U.S. team will wake up today with the 18th Solheim Cup all square at 8-8 and wondering what has happened since Friday morning at Finca Cortesín resort in Casares, Spain.
The American side, after its best start ever in foursomes with a 4-0 opening-session blitz, lost the Friday afternoon four-balls, 3-1, split the four Saturday morning foursomes and then lost the Saturday afternoon four-balls, 3-1.
It’s 8-8 entering this morning’s 12 singles matches, which begin at 11:10 local time, or 5:10 in the eastern U.S.
European captain Suzann Pettersen never let her team panic after the early deficit, and the hosts gradually played themselves back into the match. The 12 singles matches will decide the 18th edition of this biennial international competition, just as most observers expected. Europe will need to win six points to retain the cup.
Team USA leads the series, 10-7, but the Europeans will be looking to win for the third consecutive time.
Europe’s comeback took place on the greens. Apart from Friday morning, European players simply putted better than the American side. Close friends Maja Stark of Sweden and Emily Pedersen of Denmark were particularly impressive with their putters in foursomes and four-balls.
Pettersen has employed an interesting strategy that is sure to be second-guessed should the European team come up short today. Three of her players – Leona Maguire, Linn Grant and Pedersen – will play in all five matches, and one of her charges, Caroline Hedwall, sat out the first three sessions. Maguire, Grant and Pedersen have accounted for 7½ of Europe’s eight points.
Lewis, meanwhile, has not gotten the production she needs from two of her most important players. World No. 1 Lilia Vu posted no points in her three matches, while up-and-coming rookie Rose Zhang, playing in her first Solheim Cup, had a tie and a loss in two matches.
Today’s matches will be televised on Golf Channel beginning at 5 a.m. EDT.
Today’s singles matches
(U.S. players listed first; all times EDT; Spain is six hours ahead of the eastern U.S.)
Match 17, 5:10 a.m. – Megan Khang vs. Linn Grant
Match 18, 5:22 a.m. – Rose Zhang vs. Leona Maguire
Match 19, 5:34 a.m. – Danielle Kang vs. Charley Hull
Match 20, 5:46 a.m. – Jennifer Kupcho vs. Anna Nordqvist
Match 21, 5:58 a.m. – Andrea Lee vs. Georgia Hall
Match 22, 6:10 a.m. – Cheyenne Knight vs. Gemma Dryburgh
Match 23, 6:22 a.m. – Angel Yin vs. Céline Boutier
Match 24, 6:34 a.m. – Ally Ewing vs. Caroline Hedwall
Match 25, 6:46 a.m. – Lilia Vu vs. Madelene Sagström
Match 26, 6:58 a.m. – Allisen Corpuz vs. Maja Stark
Match 27, 7:10 a.m. – Nelly Korda vs. Carlota Ciganda
Match 28, 7:22 a.m. – Lexi Thompson vs. Emily Kristine Pedersen
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