OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Japan staged a terrific comeback Friday at the International Crown while the Aussies collapsed.
The Americans rebounded from being shut out on Day 1 with a sweep of Spain.
Thailand swept Chinese Taipei.
The International Crown heads to the final day of fourballs with Thailand in control of Pool A and Japan in control of Pool B and the Americans right back in the mix. The top two nations from each pool advance to Sunday singles with points carrying over. A fifth wild-card team also will advance. The third-place team from each pool will stage a sudden-death playoff on Saturday evening to determine who advances as the wild card.
DAY 2 RESULTS
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Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and Moriya Jutanugarn def. Chinese Taipei’s Candie Kung and Teresa Lu, 3 and 2.
The lowdown: Moriya, the older sister, hasn’t been as celebrated as Ariya in their careers, despite winning LPGA Rookie of the Year in 2013, but Moriya has been a match-play dynamo this week, making nine birdies over the first two days to Ariya’s four. The Jutanugarns haven’t been beaten through two days. They halved their match against Spain on Thursday.
Thailand’s Onnarin Sattayabanphot and Pornanong Phatlum def. Chinese Taipei’s Yani Tseng and Phoebe Yao, 1 up.
The lowdown: Tseng had a chance to win another match dramatically with a birdie at the last, but her 20-footer slid left. Sattayabanphot took advantage, ramming home her 18-footer for birdie to win the match and give Thailand a sweep of Chinese Taipei.
Japan’s Mamiko Higa and Mika Miyazato def. Australia’s Karrie Webb and Minjee Lee, 3 and 2.
The lowdown: Higa made birdies at three of the first five holes, helping Japan get control of this match early. This Japanese team has yet to be beaten. They halved their match against Sweden on Thursday.
Japan’s Ai Miyazato and Sakura Yokomine halved Australia’s Katherine Kirk and Lindsey Wright.
The lowdown: This halve felt like a victory for the Japanese and a loss to the Aussies. After going 6 up with seven holes to go, the Aussies couldn’t close the deal, making a double bogey and two bogeys down the stretch in this best-ball format. Like their teammates, Miyazato and Yokomine have yet to be beaten in this competition. They defeated Sweden on Thursday.
Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall def. Korea’s Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu, 1 up.
The lowdown: Hedwall made a pair of eagles, her first after driving the green at the 282-yard par-4 fifth hole. She hit her drive to 4 feet and the Koreans gave her the putt.
Korea’s Na Yeon Choi and I.K. Kim def. Sweden’s Mikaela Parmlid and Pernilla Lindberg, 1 up.
The lowdown: In a terrific match, the Swedes shot a best-ball 62 and lost. The South Koreans shot 61.
USA’s Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson def. Spain’s Bele Mozo and Beatriz Recari, 3 and 2.
The lowdown: With Thompson holing a 3-foot birdie at the par-5 16th, the Americans closed out Spain and put their first points on the board. Thompson bombed her driver around Caves Valley, making eagle at the 12th hitting driver and 7-iron. Kerr made three birdies in a row on the back nine.
USA’s Stacy Lewis and Paula Creamer def. Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Munoz, 2 up.
The lowdown: Lewis and Creamer are two of the best ball strikers in the women’s game. They beat a formidable Spanish tandem by constantly applying pressure with their shot making.