DUNSANY, Ireland – When U.S. Solheim Cup captain Rosie Jones teamed Christina Kim and Ryann O'Toole for Friday afternoon fourballs, it was quickly viewed as a pairing of sacrificial lambs. Jones said all along that she wanted to get every member of her team into a match on Day 1, but truth is, Kim and O'Toole both arrived at Killeen Castle having played poorly recently.
So the duo with little expectations set out against Catriona Matthew and rookie Sandra Gal, hoping for the best.
The Americans jumped out to a quick 2-up lead but lost four of the next five holes. At that point, it appeared the match would be over quickly. But the U.S. pair kept grinding, and when Kim made birdie from 18 feet on the 16th hole, the momentum shifted. The Americans won the 17th hole to square the match, then halved the final hole to earn a crucial half-point in what is perhaps the surprise of Day 1.
'I don't feel we lost the match,' Gal said. 'It was just a good game, good golf. That's the result and we'll take it.'