Mallon would prefer starting with fourballs


PARKER, Colo. – If U.S. Solheim Cup captain Meg Mallon had ultimate say, Friday’s morning matches would be fourballs instead of foursomes.

Mallon knows that fourball is an easier format to begin with, especially with a team of four rookies. Foursomes (alternate shot) can be a little more nerve-wracking and it’s often difficult to tell which player is playing well and which player is playing poorly, especially if a team loses its match.

But the decision was essentially made based on morning fourball matches lasting six hours two years ago in Ireland. The schedule became so disjointed in the afternoon that the first afternoon foursome match, pitting players who hadn’t played that morning, began 45 minutes before the second match, pitting players who had played in the morning. So all the appropriate groups huddled and decided foursomes was the best format to begin with for many reasons.

Europe holds a 43 1/2 to 41 1/2 advantage in foursomes and a 42-41 advantage in fourball matches in the history of the Solheim Cup. In singles, however, the U.S. dominates, 77 1/2 to 58 1/2 overall.

Europe needs 14 points this week to retain the Solheim Cup, meaning the Americans need 14 1/2 to win it back.