Notes: Nordqvist aces; U.S. rallies; more
Saturday, August 17, 2013
PARKER, Colo. – When Anna Nordqvist holed a 7-iron at the par-3 17th, it ended all chances of a comeback from Morgan Pressel and Jessica Korda. The Europeans put their first, and only, full point on the board courtesy of that shot as the Americans rallied to within a point.
Nordqvist, from 180 yards, thought the shot might go long until she saw the ball pitch and drop into the hole. It was an opportune turn of events, set up by good putting earlier in the day from Nordqvist’s partner Caroline Hedwall.
Said Nordqvist: “Caroline made key putts on 13 and 14 and then we just sort of battled in there and had a good finish the last two holes.”
Nordqvist’s is the first hole-in-one in Solheim Cup history.
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2. SPIRIT LEADER: Michelle Wie walked to the 17th green with her hand cupped beside her right ear, urging the crowd to go crazy for her and partner Brittany Lang. Wie had just stuck her shot on the front of the green and Lang lagged to 4 feet. When Suzann Pettersen missed her five-footer to halve, Wie calmly dropped the winning putt.
A hole earlier, Wie hit the par 5 in two with a low runner, giving Lang a long look at eagle. Wie praised her team’s putting on Saturday, saying it helped to have “four pairs of eyes on it.”
“I finally got my head out of my butt on the last couple holes, so it was good,” she said.
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3. FIRST POINT: Paula Creamer and Stacy Lewis won their first points at Colorado Golf Club with a 1-up victory in foursomes. Lewis and Creamer won Nos. 8, 9 and 10 to get to 4 up against Karine Icher and Azahara Munoz, both formidable putters. The Europeans then made five birdies in a six-hole stretch and America closed out with a birdie as Europe made a mess of the uphill par 4.
Said Lewis: “They made a bunch of birdie putts and they made us make putts. It was a great match, it was back and forth all day. We had six birdies, we had to play some golf.”
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4. THE PATRIOTS: Minutes after Wie and Lang ended their match at No. 18, LPGA Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez hitched a ride up No. 18 fairway on a golf cart and used the transportation to rally the crowd. She pumped her first and started a chant of “USA! USA!”
Not to be out done, 2011 European captain Alison Nicholas has been hoofing it around the golf course the past two days in a blue top hat with “Europe” spelled out in stick-on letters. Solheim spirit dies hard.
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5. GOING FOR FIVE: Hedwall will be the only player on either team to go five matches at this Solheim Cup, and she also has the distinction of being so far undefeated. She won for a second time with Anna Nordqvist on Saturday morning and has a repeat pairing with Caroline Masson in afternoon four-balls.
The rest of the Saturday four-ball pairings are young. Europe benched veterans Suzann Pettersen and Catriona Matthew and started five rookies. The Americans have one rookie in each of the first three matches, and captain Meg Mallon anchored with Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel.
12:55 p.m.: Jodi Ewart Shadoff/Charley Hull (Europe) vs. Paula Creamer/Lexi Thompson (U.S.)
1:10 p.m.: Azahara Munoz/Carlota Ciganda (Europe) vs. Gerina Piller/Angela Stanford (U.S.)
1:25 p.m.: Caroline Hedwall/Caroline Masson (Europe) vs. Michelle Wie/Jessica Korda (U.S.)
1:40 p.m.: Beatriz Recari/Karine Icher (Europe) vs. Cristie Kerr/Morgan Pressel (U.S.)