Matches Level After First Day
Thats the whole fun of foursomes and fourball, European Captain Dale Reid said upon the conclusion of todays matches. You never know whats going to happen. But I think 4-4 is a good way to start off tomorrow.
U.S. Captain Patty Sheehan was brimming with pride for her squad and the comeback they made.
Obviously I was still out on the course watching the morning matches when the afternoon matches got underway so I didnt get to talk to my players before they went out, Sheehan said.
My players took it upon themselves to be self-motivated. They obviously know that this afternoon they would turn it around.
Americans Laura Diaz and Emilee Klein, both of whom are playing in the Solheim Cup for the first time, were a hot afternoon pairing. Diaz was a late substitution for Beth Daniel who is suffering from flu-like symptoms.
Ive waited and worked my whole life for this and Ive got no problem playing 36 today if you need me, Diaz told her Captain this morning.
The rookie duo chipped their way towards a lead with solid par play and some key birdies.
We made a lot of birdies together and that was great because were both rookies! Diaz shouted.
All the while European counterparts Sophie Gustafson and Cup rookie Karine Icher did their best to match par on the front nine while Diaz and Klein birdied there way through the turn. By the 14th the U.S. Cup rookies were dormie.
They scored the first afternoon point for the U.S. team after ended their match 4 up on the par-4 15th with three holes to go.
I tell you what, Ive got some stud muffin, tough rookies out there, the proud U.S. Captain said.
The feisty pairing of Rosie Jones and Cristie Kerr held their weight against Laura Davies and Paula Marti. Kerr, a first timer to the Cup and described as a methodical player by Davies, jump-started the round by recording birdie-birdie on the opening holes.
She showed no fear in her first match and by the time the U.S. pairing made the turn they were up by four.
I think I went a little unconscious there for a while, Kerr said of her first taste of match play in the Solheim Cup. My heart rate was pretty high all day.
For the European team of Davies and Marti, they received their first break on the par-5 10th after Davies holed a putt from 40 feet for eagle. The back nine, much like the front was a struggle yet Davies rallied late in the round making another spectacular birdie on the par-4 17th.
The Americans lead dwindled as they made their way into the closing holes and with only one hole remaining; the Americans were reduced to a lead of one. Thats when long ball hitter Laura Davies hit her tee shot into the water and then proceeded to recover making birdie on the last.
Once I knew it was in the water, I kind of counted her out and I know better, Jones said. I should never, ever, ever, ever count her out. A couple of years ago she wasnt putting or driving the ball well but now shes back.
Laura is back!
Both sides recorded birdie on the par-5 18th leaving the U.S. pairing of Jones and Kerr victoriously up by one.
We made a great comeback, and we made them make a birdie to beat us, Marti said. So thats pretty good.
We really lost it in the middle, on 6,7,8 and 9, Davies added. They won the match there. We made them work, but they won the match and thats all that matters.
Michele Redman and Meg Mallon got off to a good start winning the first hole but the European duo of Annika Sorenstam and Maria Hjorth matched on the par-3 4th with a birdie putt by Annika.
The match remained all square through the 11th but the Americans upped the ante by moving to one up after recording par on the par-4 15th. Sorenstam was visibly upset by this development.
Mallon and Redman were dormie after Mallons birdie on the 16th.
Mhairi McKay made her debut this afternoon with teammate Carin Koch in the final match of the day. Koch, who played with Sorenstam a Foursome match earlier in the day, was one of three winning European pairings this morning.
Paired against Americans Juli Inkster and Kelli Kuehne, the Europeans were all square for much of the round. Kochs par save on the par-4 11th put some blue back on the boards for Europe. By the 15th, the Europeans were dormie.
They ended the match on the par-4 16th with par to win the match 3 and 2 and record the sole afternoon point for Europe.
The Minnesota galleries out there are awesome. They came out in droves and it was huge for the team, Sheehan said shortly before rushing off to consult with her Captains Assistant Jane Geddes on tomorrows pairings.
Solheim Cup Scores
Yin (64) steps into spotlight on Day 2 in Indy
American fans will be quick to embrace a young new winner with the U.S. ranks shrinking in women’s golf this summer.
With some of its biggest stars dealing with injuries, swoons or away on maternity leave, the American game could use a boost.
And here comes Angel Yin . . .
She is a major talent looking to break through this week at the Indy Women in Tech Championship. Still a teenager at 19, she moved into early position Thursday to try to win her first title.
With a spectacular start, Yin looked as if she might give the game a pair of 59s on the same day, with Brandt Snedeker posting one at the Wyndham Championship. Yin birdied eight of the first nine holes at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course in Indianapolis before cooling on the back nine. She still shot 8-under-par 64, good for the early lead.
“It just felt good,” Yin said. “Everything was working.”
Yin was knocking down flagsticks on the outward nine.
“I had nine putts on the front nine, which is incredible,” Yin said. “Never had that many little putts.”
With Brickyard Crossing a big hitter’s park, Yin took advantage. She’s one of the longest hitters on tour, ranking fifth in driving distance (272.2 yards per drive).
Yin has made runs at winning this year. She tied for fourth at the Mediheal Championship in April. She finished third at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at the end of June, but then missed the cut in three of her next four starts, including the Ricoh Women’s British Open in her last start.
“I was really happy how everything came together [today], because I have been playing well,” Yin said. “I just haven't been scoring.”
Yin introduced herself to the world stage making the American Solheim Cup team last year. She wowed fans and teammates alike bombing her driver in an impressive rookie debut.
“She is fearless,” two-time Rolex Player of the Year Stacy Lewis said going into last year’s Solheim Cup. “The shots she can hit, nobody else can hit. She probably doesn’t quite know how to manage it yet, is the only thing holding her back.”
While Yin is seeking her first professional title, she has won as a pro. She claimed the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic on the Ladies European Tour at the end of last season.
Ying has been a big deal in Southern California for a while now. At 13, she qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run. At 14, she won a junior qualifier to get into the ANA Inspiration and made the cut. At 15, she Monday qualified to get into the LPGA’s Kia Classic. At 16, she won the AJGA’s Annika Invitational, finished runner up in the U.S. Girls’ Junior and played on the U.S. Junior Solheim Cup team.
Van Paris' historic week at U.S. Am ends in Rd. of 32
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Standing to the left of the 16th green Thursday, Jackson Van Paris clasped his hands behind his head and grimaced as Mason Overstreet ended his historic week at Pebble Beach.
It was little consolation to him afterward, of course, but earlier this week Van Paris, 14, became the second-youngest competitor to win a match at the U.S. Amateur.
The only player younger? Bob Jones. In 1916.
“I learned that I can hang with all these players,” said Van Paris, who lost to Overstreet, 3 and 2, in the Round of 32. “I can play with these guys. I played with two of the best players in the field and hung with them for the majority of the matches.”
After qualifying for match play, Van Paris took Australian Dylan Perry – the 30th-ranked amateur in the world – the distance and then holed a chip shot on the final green to prevail, 1 up. His second-round opponent was no slouch, either: Overstreet, a junior at Arkansas, was the 2017 NCAA individual runner-up.
Overstreet is 6-foot-1 and sturdily built, and he took advantage of his lengthy by pounding it past the tall and skinny Van Paris. On the ninth hole, Overstreet caught the downslope in the fairway and had only a wedge into the green. With his body still developing, Van Paris maxes out at 270 yards off the tee. About 60 yards behind his opponent, he hit 5-iron into a firm green that had about a 10-foot circle to get it close. Overstreet made birdie, took a 2-up lead, went 3 under for his first 12 holes in windier conditions and easily won the match.
“Mason played great, and he’s a really good player,” Van Paris said, “but I felt like it was nothing I couldn’t handle.”
Those in junior golf circles know all about Van Paris, a rising sophomore who lives about five minutes from Pinehurst No. 2 and is already one of the top prospects in the Class of 2021. A two-time AJGA winner, he’s verbally committed to play college golf at Vanderbilt, alongside his friend Gordon Sargent, the beginning of what he hopes is a dream team during his four years in school.
The Commodores’ affable coach, Scott Limbaugh, the facilities and the team’s recent success were key factors in his early decision, but so were the academics. “I’d rather get a 99 on a test than top 10 in a tournament,” he said.
Tuesday was the first day of school at O’Neal High School, a college prep school in Southern Pines. Before his match, the students and teachers sent him a photo of them holding up a “Let’s Go, Jackson! Go Low!” sign in front of the school. Once Van Paris knocked out his first-round opponent, he was flooded with texts, emails and Snapchats. One note in particular stood out: The head of the school joked that Van Paris’ absences the rest of the week were unexcused.
Asked what he’ll tell his classmates when he returns to school, Van Paris said: “That I went to the coolest place in the U.S, played the coolest golf course in the country, played the biggest amateur tournament in the world and got 17th.”
His experience at the U.S. Amateur – where he competed against players who were at least four years older – was nothing new for Van Paris. He’s been playing up since he was 6.
“He’s always wanted to play against the best players he could find,” said Van Paris’ father, Todd. “But now that he’s old enough to play against his peers, it’s been a different dynamic – he’s not the underdog, he’s the favorite. It’s going to be an interesting transition.”
Todd Van Paris said that his son has grown about six inches and added about 40 yards over the past year. He’ll only pack on more muscle over the next few years, shortening the distance gap between him and players like Overstreet.
Van Paris’ goal Wednesday was to win both of his matches and reach the quarterfinals. Then he’d be fully exempt into next year’s U.S. Amateur … at Pinehurst No. 2, just down the street from his parents’ house.
“I know that he’s proud of what he’s accomplished this week,” Todd Van Paris said, “but I guarantee you that he thought he could win the tournament. He really thought he could do it. That’s what makes him special.”
After opening up, Lexi shoots 'comfortable' 68
Lexi Thompson looked at ease, smiling and laughing in a solid start in her return to the tour Thursday at the Indy Women in Tech Championship, where she felt the benefit of her month-long break.
“It was very relaxing out there,” Thompson said. “I felt very comfortable where my game was at. I just tried to go out and let my game show and not put too much pressure on myself.”
Thompson, 23, the defending champ, opened with a 4-under-par 68, four shots behind Angel Yin, the early leader. Thompson skipped the Ricoh Women’s British Open two weeks ago to take a “mental break” and address emotional struggles that built up through last year’s highs and lows.
In a news conference Wednesday, Thompson was candid sharing the challenges she has faced as a prodigy who has poured so much of herself into the game, and how she has recently sought the help of therapists in building a life that isn’t all about golf.
“I’m not just a robot out here,” Thompson said in heartfelt fashion in her news conference. “I need to have a life.”
Thompson said she took almost two weeks off without touching a club after her last start at the Marathon Classic.
After Thursday’s round, Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz asked her about her decision to share her struggle.
“It was very hard for me to take the break, because I didn’t want to show that weakness, but at the same time it takes a lot of strength to acknowledge you need that kind of break, and to take time for yourself,” Thompson said. “Especially when you are in the spotlight like this, it can get hard, to just live your life for you, and figure out what makes you happy.”
Thompson is the highest ranked American in the world at No. 5 in the Rolex rankings. She was the Golf Writers Association of America female Player of the Year last season and also claimed the LPGA’s Vare Trophy for low scoring average, but it was still the toughest year of her career. She watched her mother battle cancer and dealt with the death of a grandmother. She also endured tough competitive blows, losing the ANA Inspiration after being hit with a controversial four-shot penalty in the final round. At year’s end, she lost out on a chance to ascend to world No. 1 and win the LPGA’s Rolex Player of the Year award after missing a short putt on the final hole in the season finale.
Snedeker joins 59 club at Wyndham
Brandt Snedeker opened the Wyndham Championship with an 11-under 59, becoming just the ninth player in PGA Tour history to card a sub-60 score in a tournament round.
Snedeker offered an excited fist pump after rolling in a 20-footer for birdie on the ninth hole at Sedgefield Country Club, his 18th hole of the day. It was Snedeker's 10th birdie on the round to go along with a hole-out eagle from 176 yards on No. 6 and gave him the first 59 on Tour since Adam Hadwin at last year's CareerBuilder Challenge.
Snedeker's round eclipsed the tournament and course record of 60 at Sedgefield, most recently shot by Si Woo Kim en route to victory two years ago. Amazingly, the round could have been even better: he opened with a bogey on No. 10 and missed a 6-footer for birdie on his 17th hole of the day.
Snedeker was still 1 over on the round before reeling off four straight birdies on Nos. 13-16, but he truly caught fire on the front nine where he shot an 8-under 27 that included five birdie putts from inside 6 feet.
Jim Furyk, who also shot 59, holds the 18-hole scoring record on Tour with a 58 in the final round of the 2016 Travelers Championship.
Snedeker told reporters this week that he was suffering from "kind of paralysis by analysis" at last week's PGA Championship, but he began to simplify things over the weekend when he shot 69-69 at Bellerive to tie for 42nd. Those changes paid off even moreso Thursday in Greensboro, where Snedeker earned his first career Tour win back in 2007 at nearby Forest Oaks.
"Felt like I kind of found something there for a few days and was able to put the ball where I wanted to and make some putts," Snedeker said. "And all of a sudden everything starts feeling a little bit better. So excited about that this week because the greens are so good."
Snedeker was hampered by injury at the end of 2017 and got off to a slow start this season. But his form has started to pick up over the summer, as he has recorded three top-10 finishes over his last seven starts highlighted by a T-3 finish last month at The Greenbrier. He entered the week 80th in the season-long points race and is in search of his first win since the 2016 Farmers Insurance Open.