DUNSANY, Ireland – What a difference a halve makes.
Europe won the final hole of the final morning foursomes match Saturday at the Solheim Cup to win the session, 2 ½ - 1 ½, and take a 2-point lead into afternoon fourballs.
The final match was a topsy-turvy affair that pitted the two best Americans (Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr) against European veteran Catriona Matthew and rookie Azahara Munoz.
Neither team gained more than a 1-up advantage. They halved the par-5 12th with birdies to stay all square, then Kerr drained a 45-foot birdie bomb on the 13th hole to again take the lead. Munoz showed grit on the 16th when she made a 12-foot birdie to square the match, but the Americans bounced back with birdie on 17 to take the lead into the home hole.
Creamer split the fairway on 18, but Kerr hit an 8-iron that flew farther than she thought and the ball found the back greenside bunker. Europe found the middle of the green, essentially assuring it a par. Creamer blasted out to 9 feet and Kerr missed the putt, giving the hole to Europe, which was good for a half-point.
'I had a chance to apply the pressure,' Kerr said of her approach on 18. 'I guess adrenaline got the best of me.'
Said Creamer: 'A halve is a halve. It's not a loss.'
Kerr and Creamer both are out again this afternoon and will be the only two players at Killeen Castle to play all five matches. Kerr pairs with Morgan Pressel against Suzann Pettersen and Caroline Hedwall. Creamer will join Brittany Lincicome against Munoz and Maria Hjorth.