MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA, Mass. – Four hours later we’re right where we started: tied. Great Britain & Ireland’s foursome experience proved key as they held the momentum for most of Friday morning. All three matches ended all square.
Danielle McVeigh birdied the 18th to secure a half-point and end the first session with a GB&I jolt of confidence.
“I think we entertained them well,” said her partner, 15-year-old Leona Maguire, of the healthy crowd.
Alexis Thompson had a chance to give Team USA its first point on the 18th, but her 15-foot birdie attempt skirted by the hole. Thompson and Jessica Korda, two youthful bombers, four-putted from 30 feet on the 14th hole. They won’t pair together in the afternoon.
Jennifer Johnson and Jennifer Song struggled most of the day with the punishing rough. They, too, seemed a formidable pair on paper, but didn’t look nearly as sharp as several weeks ago at the NCAA Championship.
Johnson hit the first tee shot for Team USA Friday morning and admitted to a bad case of nerves.
“I was actually planning to tee up her ball,” Song joked. She will pair with another USGA finalist she met last summer in the afternoon session. Kimberly Kim lost to Song in the WAPL final, while Johnson lost to her at the Amateur.
The nerves should settle after lunch as American players go back to playing what they’re accustomed to – their own ball.