GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Lexi Thompson and Marina Alex have never looked more relieved than when they found out that the first match of Sunday singles went off at 11:40 a.m. local time.
Saturday was a slog, and everyone welcomes the late start to what should be a tightly-contested singles session. This marks the first time there’s been a tie at the Solheim Cup going into singles since 2011. The Europeans won that contest on home soil in Ireland.
The bad news? One of the slowest players in the field is in the first group. Carlota Ciganda will square off against two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Danielle Kang, the pot-stirrer of the competition, in the opening match.
Captain Juli Inkster followed Kang with the two highest-ranked players in the field: Nelly Korda and Lexi Thompson.
Looking down the list of matches, there are no points you can go ahead and pencil in. Despite the Americans having more highly-ranked players, there’s little to separate them in this format. Particularly with strong Scottish crowds expected on Sunday.
“I suppose what we learned is there’s not much to pick between them,” said Matthew of the first four sessions. “They’re pretty fairly balanced. Tomorrow is just going to come down to probably the odd shot, the odd putts, just to get momentum going one way or the other.”
Only two matches will feature an all-rookie showdown: Celine Boutier vs. Annie Park and Bronte Law vs. Ally McDonald.
France’s Boutier has amassed a 3-0 record alongside Georgia Hall in her Solheim debut.
“I didn’t really pay attention to the rankings,” said Boutier. “I think in match play it doesn’t matter, especially in a team event. So I never thought for a second that we were the underdogs, but that’s just me.”
The final pairing of Anna Nordqvist and Morgan Pressel features a classic duel among veterans, though the nod would seem to go to the Americans here. Pressel has a 4-0-1 record in singles, including taking down Annika Sorenstam in Sweden in her rookie appearance.
Nordqvist’s singles record is less stellar: 1-2-2. Though she was part of that incredible halve against Lexi Thompson two years ago.
Pressel’s had the better competition thus far in Scotland. She’s scored 1 ½ points to Nordqvist’s zero.
Sunday singles matches
(All times ET)
- 6:40 a.m.: Danielle Kang vs. Carlota Ciganda
- 6:52 a.m.: Nelly Korda vs. Caroline Hedwall
- 7:04 a.m.: Lexi Thompson vs. Georgia Hall
- 7:16 a.m.: Annie Park vs. Celine Boutier
- 7:28 a.m.: Angel Yin vs. Azahara Munoz
- 7:40 a.m.: Megan Khang vs. Charley Hull
- 7:52 a.m.: Lizette Salas vs. Anne van Dam
- 8:04 a.m.: Jessica Korda vs. Caroline Masson
- 8:16 a.m.: Brittany Altomare vs. Jodi Ewart Shadoff
- 8:28 a.m.: Marina Alex vs. Suzann Pettersen
- 8:40 a.m.: Ally McDonald vs. Bronte Law
- 8:52 a.m.: Morgan Pressel vs. Anna Nordqvist
How to watch
Golf Channel: 6 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET