Solheim Cup: Stupples 'gutted' over morning loss
Friday, September 23, 2011
DUNSANY, Ireland – Paula Creamer and Brittany Lincicome hoped they’d salvage a half point. Down two holes with four to play, the Americans were in danger of a massive upset against the English duo of Melissa Reid and Karen Stupples.
Solheim Cup 2011: Day 1 in pictures
Check out player and fan images from Day 1 in Ireland.
A combination of events occurred over the last four holes: Creamer and Lincicome started playing like top-10 players, and the Europeans collapsed.
A birdie on the par-5 15th cut Europe’s lead to 1 hole and they halved with pars on the 16th. Then things got really interesting.
Reids’ drive on the 17th landed in horribly thick rough just outside a fairway bunker. Team Europe hit its third shot into a greenside bunker before Creamer had hit their second shot. Reid’s approach wound up plugged in the bunker, and the U.S. won with par to bring the match all square for the first time since the fifth hole.
The 18th was even uglier for the English pair. This time Stupples’ drive landed in what she called unplayable rough, and Reid hacked it out 35 yards short of the flag. With the Americans on the green in two, Stupples knew she needed to hit a precise shot to a tricky pin position.
Instead, she chunked the shot into the embankment of a greenside bunker and put her hands on her head in horror.
“I’m really gutted that I didn’t pull that shot off,” Stupples said. “I’d like a do-over.”
Reid had to grip down to the metal part of the shaft to the get the ball out and thinned it right, through the green and into the rough. In a nightmare that would not end, Stupples’ faced a slippery chip shot down toward the front of the green. Team Europe hit five shots and still hadn’t managed to find the green. They conceded the hole, giving the Americans a 1-up victory.
“The last holes made us all look crazy, but it was a very good match,” said Creamer, who will team up with Morgan Pressel in the afternoon. Lincicome joins rookie Vicky Hurst for the four-ball session.
Reid heads back out with Laura Davies this afternoon; Stupples gets a break.