Notes Pressel Slays Sorenstam


2007 Solheim CupHALMSTAD, Sweden -- Nothing was sweeter for Morgan Pressel than beating Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam in singles and helping the United States retain the Solheim Cup.
After going 0-2-1 in her first three Solheim Cup matches, the 19-year-old rookie from Florida capitalized on two late, poor putts by Sorenstam to beat her 2 and 1 on Sunday.
The match was decided when Sorenstam missed from 4 feet for a bogey on the 15th, which Pressel parred. Then, Sorenstam misread her putt on the 16th, where the American made birdie. Both parred the 17th, ending the match.
'I'm sure she didn't putt as well as she would like to,' said Pressel, who became the youngest major winner in women's golf when she took the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April.
When Pressel saw the pairings for the singles Saturday night, she got a big surprise.
'I was like, 'I feel like I'm going to be playing Annika.' I looked at the list. It said 'Annika.' I was like, 'Wow,'' Pressel said.
The Europeans went into the final round with an 8 1/2-7 1/2 lead, but the Americans won 8 of the last 12 singles to win 16-12.
Sorenstam, the top points scorer in Solheim Cup history, has 84 career wins including 10 majors. But she is in danger of completing her first full season without a win since 1994, when she was a rookie.
Earlier this season, she missed two months because of back and neck injuries. She lost the top spot in the rankings to Lorena Ochoa and is now ranked No. 3.
'I thought (Pressel) played really well,' said Sorenstam, who teamed with Suzann Pettersen to beat Cristie Kerr and Pressel 3 and 2 in a best-ball match completed early Sunday. 'I thought I played well. I didn't miss really a fairway, not many greens.'
Juli Inkster improved her singles record to 6-1-0 after beating Iben Tinning 4 and 3 that tied the biggest winning margin of the day.
The 47-year-old Californian also went undefeated in two foursome and one best-ball matches during the three-day event.
A seven-time major winner, Inkster has played in seven Solheim Cups.
Laura Davis moved to within one point of Annika Sorenstam on the all-time Solheim Cup points list after winning the best-ball match with Becky Brewerton and then beating American rookie Brittany Lincicome 4 and 3 in singles.
Davies, the only golfer to have played in every Solheim Cup since its inception in 1990, has 23 points. Sorenstam leads with 24 points from eight events since her 1994 debut.
After going unbeaten in four foursome and best-ball matches, Maria Hjorth's streak was snapped when she lost 2 and 1 to Paula Creamer, whose tap-in on the 15th hole assured the Americans of the 14 points needed to retain the cup.
Annika Sorenstam and Suzann Pettersen stayed undefeated as a pair in Solheim Cup competition by beating Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel 3 and 2 in the last best-ball match that was suspended because of darkness Saturday and completed early Sunday.
The Swedish-Norwegian duo won one foursome and one best-ball match at Barseback, Sweden, in 2003, when Europe beat the United States. They won another foursome in 2005 at Crooked Stick Golf Course in Carmel, Ind., when the United States prevailed.
So why do they play so well together?
'We have a good time together, the chemistry is fine,' Sorenstam said. 'We help each other. If I'm out of the hole Suzann comes in and plays well. If she's not there, I'll try to be there.'
Pettersen, who became Norway's first major winner this year when she won the McDonalds LPGA Championship, says they have a great friendship.
'I think we like each other and we probably think the same way, and it makes us strong,' Pettersen said. 'We both hate to lose, so we'll do whatever it takes.'
Cold, wet and miserable. The bad weather continued for the third straight day and for some players it was hard to get charged up.
'It is, especially when you go to bed really late and wake up and it's still dark and still raining,' said Annika Sorenstam, who got used to that kind of autumn weather near Stockholm where she grew up.
'It's tough to get going. It's the Solheim Cup, and you have a lot of things at stake. It makes it a lot easier.'
The Solheim Cup will return to the United States in 2009, when the biennial trans-Atlantic match play competition will be held at Rich Harvest Farm outside Chicago. The Americans are undefeated at home in five Solheim Cups since the inaugural event in 1990 at Lake Noona, Fla.
Despite a wet start, Sunday's final matches drew 36,100 fans, bringing total attendance to 100,400 -- a record for women's golf in Sweden.
The 2003 Solheim Cup at Barseback, another south Swedish course, had 90,000 spectators.
The only other country to twice host is Scotland, the home of golf.
Related Links:
  • U.S. Player Report Cards
  • European Player Report Cards
  • U.S. Player Records
  • European Player Records
  • Scoring - Solheim Cup
  • Full Coverage - Solheim Cup