Notes Comeback Falls Short Windy Start

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2007 Solheim CupHALMSTAD, Sweden -- They were five down with six holes to play.
 
Then Nicole Castrale and Cristie Kerr nearly made one of the greatest Solheim Cup comebacks, winning four of five holes down the stretch against Annika Sorenstam and Catriona Matthew on Saturday.
 
But Castrale, a rookie on the U.S. Solheim Cup team, blew her chance on the 18th. Her birdie putt from 6 feet to tie curled out and Matthew parred the hole for Europe's only foursome win of the day.
 
'I think our legs were shaking on that putt,' Matthew said. 'It was only probably 3 feet, but it seemed a very long 3 feet. If it would have been a halve, it would have been disappointing.
 
'They kept throwing birdies after us. In these (windy) conditions, there's not much you can do against birdies. They played really good golf.'
 
Matthew and Sorenstam lost their opening foursome Friday 4 and 2 to Sherri Steinhauer and Laura Diaz.
 
Sorenstam said she was not sure what got Castrale and Kerr going in their group.
 
'They started to play awesome golf,' Sorenstam said. 'It was a great match. I thought it was a lot of fun. You know, this is what it's all about. We were very happy to get a point in the end.'
 
After shooting a 2-over 74 in the third round in her own event last month in southern Sweden, Sorenstam said it was the 'toughest time she ever had on a golf course.'
 
But she's been one of the best Europeans so far at Halmstad.
 
Sorenstam has the most points in Solheim Cup history: 23 in eight events since her 1994 debut.
 
Castrale said that even though they lost, it didn't feel like it.
 
'Cristie made some awesome putts,' Castrale said. 'We knew we had to start doing it. ... It was close.'
 
DAVIES IN SWEDEN
Veteran Laura Davies, who has played in Sweden numerous times, shot a 15-under total at Halmstad to win the 1999 Chrysler Open on the Ladies' European Tour.
 
Davies, the second best points scorer in Solheim Cup history, also won the 1998 Chrysler Open and the 1999 Compaq Open on other Swedish courses.
 
The 43-year-old is the only golfer have played in every Solheim Cup since its inception in 1990.
 
STORMY WEATHER
Play was delayed for two hours Saturday morning because of winds that sent fences tumbling and made golf balls oscillate on the greens.
 
'We had debris around the greens, branches, leaves, twigs were all down there,' tournament director Andy Lott said. 'Fences were down and crossing points were moved. The big stuff was OK. We had problems with the media center and fascia boards were down, but not as much damage as we thought.'
 
When the foursomes finally began, the winds were gusting up to 40 mph.
 
'Seriously tough,' Europe's Suzann Pettersen said about the wind. 'It was actually worse hitting straight into the wind than straight down. Could be a four-club wind. You put some spin on the ball and no control.'
 
FAMOUS FACES
Doug Sanders played an exhibition at Halmstad in the early 1960s, with Gene Sarazen doing play-by-play for 'Shell's Wonderful World of Golf' series.
 
Other famous golfers who have played competitively at Halmstad -- as amateurs or pros -- include Colin Montgomerie, Jose Maria Olazabal, Jesper Parnevik, Jean van de Velde, Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen and Catherine Lacoste.
 
ROYAL VISIT
Princess Madeleine of Sweden will attend the Solheim Cup on Sunday to watch golf and collect a check for a charity organization she works for in Stockholm, the Swedish capital.
 
Her favorite sport? Not golf. The Princess likes horse jumping -- her childhood passion -- and skiing.
 
ATTENDANCE
Saturday's matches drew 33,200 fans, the biggest turnout of the week and bringing total attendance to 64,300 since Tuesday. Only 16,450 spectators came to the opening matches held Friday in cold, wet and windy weather.
 
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