Europe squares Solheim Cup after Saturday fourballs

By Associated PressAugust 22, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 Solheim CupSUGAR GROVE, Ill. ' Not so fast.
With Michelle Wie and Christina Kim partying on the green and their teammates leading or squared in another two matches, the United States looked as if it was in for a big day at the Solheim Cup. Europe had other ideas, though, making an impressive rally to win the fourballs 2 1/2 -1 1/2 and even the Solheim Cup at six points apiece ahead of Saturday afternoons foursomes.
The United States needs 14 points to win its third straight Solheim Cup. Europe needs 14 1/2 to win its first on U.S. soil.
Wie and Kim had the already festive crowd in a frenzy with an easy 5-and-4 victory over Helen Alfredsson and Tania Elosegui that showcased Wies considerable talents. They were still exchanging hugs and high-fives on the 14th green when Cristie Kerr holed in from the fairway on 12 to even her and Nicole Castrales match with Anna Nordqvist and Suzann Pettersen, and chants of The Cup stays here! began to ring out across Rich Harvest Farms.
All you need is a little momentum, Kim said.
And Europe has it now.
Womens British Open champion Catriona Matthew and Diana Luna were down two through 16 holes and hadnt made a birdie since the turn. But Brittany Lang and Angela Stanford gave them an opportunity on 17th. Langs tee shot went into a bunker on 17 and she dug out for all of about 70 feet, while Stanford overshot the green.
Matthew then buried a 30-footer from the left edge of the green for a birdie.
Lang had a chance to win the match, but her 30-foot birdie putt from the bottom of the green stopped 5 feet short. Luna then buried a 12-footer to halve the match, pumping her right fist and leaping as the ball went in the cup.
Its just amazing, said Luna, a Solheim Cup rookie who didnt play Friday. Catriona said to me, Come on, knock it in for the glory. I had a great partner, we got really lucky.
There was more to come, too.
Pettersen birdied 14, and Nordqvist made a 20-footer on the 16th to go 2 up on Kerr and Castrale. Castrale gave the Americans a chance to salvage a half-point, making a 15-footer for birdie on 17 after Nordqvist had missed a short putt. But Kerr landed in the frontside trap and, with Castrale crouching at the side of the green with her head bowed, Nordqvist made a birdie from 12 feet to win the match.
The rookie pumped her fist and yelled when the ball dropped in the hole and Pettersen ' who had lost both her matches Friday ' jumped up and down.
Maria Hjorth and Gwladys Nocera were 3-up after 10, but Brittany Lincicome and Kristy McPherson made three straight birdies to even the match through 15. But Hjorth put her tee shot within 18 inches on the par-3 16th, and knocked it in for what would be the decisive birdie.
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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.

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    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

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    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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    Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

    “They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

    “The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”