Sunday Afternoon At The Solheim Cup
I don’t know what the official attendance numbers are, btu I would not be surprised to learn that there were many more in attendance on Sunday than on Saturday.
The US Squad came into the day with a huge deficit, but cut into Europe’s lead in the morning Foursomes 3-1.
- Danielle Kang and Austin Ernst (USA) def. Georgia Hall and Madelene Sagstrom (EUR), 1 up
- Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare (USA) def. Charley Hull and Emily K. Pedersen (EUR), 2 and 1
- Mel Reid and Leona Maguire (EUR) def. Nelly Korda and Ally Ewing (USA), 5 and 4
- Lizette Salas and Jennifer Kupcho (USA) def. Anna Nordqvist and Matilda Castren (EUR), 3 and 1
The afternoon four balls, however, went Europe’s way, with the final result for the day sitting at Europe 9, USA 7.
- Yealimi Noh and Mina Harigae (USA) def. Celine Boutier and Sophia Popov (EUR), 3 and 1
- Carlota Ciganda and Nanna Koerstz Madsen (EUR) def. Jessica Korda and Megan Khang (USA), 1 up
- Mel Reid and Leona Maguire (EUR) tied with Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas (USA)
- Charley Hull and Emily K. Pedersen (EUR) def. Danielle Kang and Austin Ernst (USA), 4 and 2
Reid and Maguire robbed Kupcho and Salas on the final hole with a clutch putt.
As I wandered the course on Sunday (I put in more than six miles walking), my impression was that the European squad was making clutch putts, and the Americans were not. On two occasions, I saw Carlotta Ciganda make putts that she had no business sinking.
Drive for show, putt for dough is an old cliche in golf, but it seemed especially true on Sunday at the Solheim Cup. Teams with the hot putter won their matches.
We could not have asked for better weather this weekend. Temperatures were in the upper 70s and low 80s, and breezes were up. Had I not been at the Solheim Cup, I would have been on the course myself.
I spent much of the afternoon following the group of Lizette Salas/Jennifer Kupcho v Mel Reid and Leona Maguire. It was a back-and-forth match where both teams distinguished themselves. Magure got a hole with a birdie on one, but Salas got it back on four. Both Salas and Kupcho birdied six to go one-up. Maguire got it back to even on the ninth. Kupcho created a two hole swing with birdies on 10 and 11. The Europeans clawed back on 12 and 15 and then lost the lead on 17. On eighteen, Reid got the tie with a clutch birdie putt.
At this point, the team of Reid and Magure are the MVPs. They’ve earned 2.5 of Europe’s 9 points as a pair.
As on Saturday, the center of gravity for much of the day at Inverness Club was around the Meijer pavilion between the twelfth hole and the fifth green. With the pavilion grandstands on the right and fans on the left, the par three twelfth looked a bit like a tunnel. I shanked a shot right when I played this hole. Under these conditions, I might have killed someone.
Pressure is hitting a tee shot down a tunnel on a par three in front of several thousand people.
If you’re looking for a spot to park and watch the matches, it is the hillside behind the 17th green. It’s a natural amphitheater and my guess is that most matches will make it this far on Sunday.
If I was a tournament czar, I would have a word with the television staff who go barreling about on their carts seemingly without regard for the pedestrians. I get that they’re all very important, but playing on your phone while pushing through civilians can’t be safe.
There’s a point at which I might hope to be run over by one of these. The resulting lawsuit against Golf Channel or Sky Sports (by far the worst offenders) could fund my retirement from being a school teacher.
A neat part of the tournament was Camp Ping, located on the back side of the driving range, to the left of the first and second holes. Camp Ping offered a variety of kids activities, including lessons, a mini golf course, and golf ball decorations with templates from Tin Cup.
Every tournament needs a kid’s activity zone.
While out and about, I captured this image of three former Solheim Captains: Beth Daniel, Meg Mallon — and I think – Cathy Whitworth. If you know better, let me know in the comments.
No sightings yet of Bubba Watson. The two-time Masters Winner has reportedly gone all in on the competition, serving in whatever capacity he is asked. The rumor is that he has served as a divot repair person, van driver and general step-and-fetchit.
Good for Watson. His wife is a former pro basketball player and he apparently “gets it.” Women are 50 % of the population, but only 20% of the golfers (at best). Women’s golf is the future of the sport.