U.S. Solheim Cup team charges into tie for lead heading into Sunday singles matches

September 14, 2019
U.S. players celebrate a Danielle Kang putt at 2019 Solheim Cup

On a cold, windy Saturday at Gleneagles in Scotland, the United States Solheim Cup team battled valiantly to come from behind and tie Team Europe for the lead heading into the final set of matches on Sunday.

The Americans began the day with a one-point deficit. After four lopsided matches in the foursomes session Saturday morning, the Europeans’ advantage stayed the same, with the score settling at 6.5-5.5 midday.

The teams then chose their afternoon matchups and set off to compete across four more matches in the four-ball format, in which all four players play their own balls. The sister-duo of Jessica and Nelly Korda backed up a Friday 6 and 4 win with a 6 and 5 victory in the Saturday morning session. But both players sat out the afternoon session.

In the end, the Americans would do just fine without the star pairing.

Battling temperatures in the 50s, rain, and winds gusting as high as 40 mph, the Americans gutted out two-and-a-half points in four closely-contested matches.

Brittany Altomare and Annie Park battled all day with the European pair of Suzann Petersen and Annie van Dam, finally finishing them off with a par at the 18th hole for a 1 up win. The winning point moved the U.S. into a tie with Europe at 6.5, with three close matches left on the course.

The second match to finish Saturday afternoon pitted the American team of Lexi Thompson and Marina Alex against Team Europe’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Caroline Masson. It was another tight affair, with both teams holding a 1 up lead at different points in the round. A birdie by Alex at the 16th equalized the match once again, and Masson missed a birdie try at the 18th to hand each team a half point.

The Europeans hit back in the third match. At one point, the duo of Celine Boutier and Georgia Hall trailed 4 down to Americans Ally McDonald and Angel Yin. But Boutier and Hall put on a furious charge at the finish, winning the last four holes to complete a 2 up victory. With that, the Europeans found themselves once again with a one-point lead.

But in the final match of the day, Americans Lizette Salas and Danielle Kang successfully held of Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Munoz to win their afternoon four-ball match 2 and 1.

With Saturday’s last point going to Team USA, the 2019 Solheim Cup was all tied up at 8 with only one day of play to go. With 12 points up for grabs in Sunday’s singles matches, anything can happen in the finale at Gleneagles. The Americans will do their best to secure their third-straight Solheim Cup victory, while the Europeans will try at all costs to give their fans a win on home soil.

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