All Even Entering Sunday Singles

By Sports NetworkSeptember 10, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Solheim CupCARMEL, Ind. -- Each team won two points in the afternoon four-balls on Saturday, leaving the Solheim Cup tied with the Sunday singles to play.
Beth Daniel and Juli Inkster, both Hall of Famers, halved their match with Iben Tinning and Trish Johnson in the opening four-ball.
Paula Creamer and Nancy Lopez
U.S. captain Nancy Lopez gives Paula Creamer a hug after her afternoon win.
Rosie Jones, who teamed with Meg Mallon, and Sophie Gustafson, partnered by Suzann Pettersen, each holed sensational putts on the 18th green to halve their match.
The third contest went to the 18th green, but the American tandem of Cristie Kerr, who missed the morning foursomes with a sore neck, and Paula Creamer beat Catriona Matthew and Carin Koch, 1-up.
The anchor match was historic for the European side. The two best European golfers, Annika Sorenstam and Laura Davies, teamed together for the first time ever and easily dispatched Pat Hurst and Christina Kim, 4 and 2.
The score is tied with the 12 Sunday singles left. It marks the first time since the 1994 edition that the matches are tied after the opening two days, so the stage is set for an exciting finish.
The Americans were two points down heading into Saturday, but the U.S. side captured three of four points in the foursomes. That momentum did not carry over in the four-balls, but three of the matches made it to the 18th.
The first was the opening tilt as Daniel and Inkster, who went 2-0 in Sweden two years ago, were even with the Europeans at the turn. Inkster two-putted for birdie from in front of the green at the par-5 ninth, then the Americans won their second hole in a row at 10 to go 1-up, but Tinning sank a 10-footer for birdie to take the 12th.
Daniel answered at the 13th with a 7-foot birdie putt to win the hole, but Johnson, who has not appeared in a Solheim Cup since 2000, holed a 6-footer for birdie at 17 to square the match with one to go.
Tinning hit an amazing shot into the 18th green that stopped 5 feet from the flag. Inkster badly missed the putting surface left and Daniel leaked through the green. Inkster's third stopped 10 feet short of the hole and Daniel missed her birdie try. Inkster stepped up and holed the par save, setting the stage for Tinning to take the full point.
Tinning's putt never touched the hole and the Americans walked off with a halve, but were not happy about it.
'Deep down, Beth and I know we didn't play our best golf today,' admitted Inkster, who teamed with Creamer to win in the morning foursomes. 'Half a point, we're not happy with it, but it's better than no points.'
Pettersen gave her side the lead with a birdie at 11, but Jones, one of the shortest hitters on the LPGA Tour, took advantage of the next par-5, the 15th. She blasted her third out of a front bunker to 4 feet and ran in the birdie putt to square the match.
Pettersen hit an amazing approach inches from the cup at the 16th and the U.S. conceded her birdie. Jones missed a 25-footer to halve, but Mallon rolled in a birdie try from 10 feet closer to remain all-square.
The teams halved the 17th with pars, but Pettersen let her partner down at the 18th when she drove into the water. Gustafson hit her approach 7 feet short of the flag, but both Americans were on the putting surface.
Jones' flat stick has been working throughout the competition and it worked on 18. She converted a cross-green, 30-footer for birdie and put the pressure firmly on Gustafson's shoulders.
She responded. Gustafson stroked home her 7-foot birdie putt to conclude an outstanding match with a halve.
'That's got to be the best putt I've ever made,' admitted Jones. 'I went straight at it. I changed the line a little bit. Meg played great on the back side. It was a perfect match.'
Koch carried her side with three birdies in her first three holes and that meant a 3-up lead for the European lead. Creamer then won four and five with birdies and when Kerr kicked in a 3-footer for par at eight, the match was even.
Creamer two-putted for birdie at the ninth and the Americans moved 1-up. Matthew rolled in a long birdie putt at the par-3 13th, but Kerr, the top points earner in qualifying for the American side, rose to the occasion.
She hit her third close enough to be conceded a birdie at the 15th and the Americans reclaimed a 1-up margin. Neither team could birdie the 16th and No. 17 came down to some par putts. Kerr and Matthew both holed 5-footers to save par and halve the hole, giving the U.S. a 1-up lead with one to play.
Koch drove into the water at 18 and Matthew found the rough. Both Creamer and Kerr were in the fairway, but Creamer missed the green and Kerr came up 35 feet short of the stick. Matthew could only manage to get her ball 40 feet right of the flag and Koch hit her third shot to 10 feet.
Kerr's birdie putt came up 4 feet short and Matthew's attempt at birdie did not fall. Creamer chipped to a little more than 3 feet, and she went first and made the putt, giving the Americans a full point.
'I kind of had it a little bit in the end, but she was so solid,' said Kerr, referring to her partner. 'She kept us up in the match and is a helluva player.'
Sorenstam flew out of the gate with a 10-foot birdie putt, then the Europeans won two and six. The Americans got one back at the eighth, but Sorenstam sank an 8-foot eagle putt at the ninth to go 3-up.
The Europeans won the next two holes to move 5-up, but Hurst and Kim did not quit. Hurst won the 13th and 15th holes with birdies, but when neither American could birdie 16, the match went to the European side.
Related Links:
  • Scoring - Solheim Cup
  • Full Coverage - Solheim Cup
  • Getty Images

    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

    Getty Images

    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

    Getty Images

    After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

    With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

    While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at

    Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

    Zach Johnson: 13/2

    Rory McIlroy: 7/1

    Jordan Spieth: 8/1

    Rickie Fowler: 9/1

    Kevin Kisner: 12/1

    Xander Schauffele: 16/1

    Tony Finau: 16/1

    Matt Kuchar: 18/1

    Pat Perez: 25/1

    Brooks Koepka: 25/1

    Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

    Alex Noren: 50/1

    Tiger Woods: 50/1

    Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

    Danny Willett: 60/1

    Francesco Molinari: 60/1

    Getty Images

    Perez (T-3) looks to remedy 'terrible' major record

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 7:34 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez’s major record is infinitely forgettable. In 24 Grand Slam starts he has exactly one top-10 finish, more than a decade ago at the PGA Championship.

    “Terrible,” Perez said when asked to sum up his major career. “I won sixth [place]. Didn't even break top 5.”

    It’s strange, however, that his status atop The Open leaderboard through two rounds doesn’t seem out of character. The 42-year-old admits he doesn’t hit it long enough to contend at most major stops and also concedes he doesn’t exactly have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the game’s biggest events, but something about The Open works for him.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “I didn't like it the first time I came over. When I went to St. Andrews in '05, I didn't like it because it was cold and terrible and this and that,” he said. “Over the years, I've really learned to like to come over here. Plus the fans are so awesome here. They know a good shot. They don't laugh at you if you hit a bad shot.”

    Perez gave the fans plenty to cheer on Friday at Carnoustie, playing 17 flawless holes to move into a share of the lead before a closing bogey dropped him into a tie for third place after a second-round 68.

    For Perez, links golf is the great equalizer that mitigates the advantages some of the younger, more powerful players have and it brings out the best in him.

    “It's hard enough that I don't feel like I have to hit perfect shots. That's the best,” he said. “Greens, you can kind of miss a shot, and it won't run off and go off the green 40 yards. You're still kind of on the green. You can have a 60-footer and actually think about making it because of the speed.”