Things were looking fairly competitive in the 2013 Solheim Cup after Saturday morning’s Foursomes. The Americans caught up to be just one point behind the Europeans, 6½ – 5½ and momentum was going their way.
But as John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.” The Europeans swept the afternoon Fourball matches to wrap their fingers firmly around the neck of the Solheim Cup, the trophy American and European ladies professional golfers live and die for. At the end of the day, the Europeans stretched their lead to an insurmountable 10½ – 5½. At least that’s what they are hoping.
For their part, that means the Americans have to win 9 of Sunday’s 12 singles matches to get to 14½ points to reclaim the Cup. The Europeans only need to get to 14 points for the “halve” that rewards them with possessors’ rights.
Sunday will be a monumental day either way. Either the Europeans will coast to the handful of points they need to win on American soil for the first time, or the Americans will awaken from their putting doldrums (every time I looked up a European was making another putt dead in the middle of the hole) and toast the dreams of the Europeans.
And for the Americans, Captain Meg Mallon points out that it’s not without precedent:
Well, I’ve been a part of two teams, one Solheim Cup team and one team that we represented the LPGA in Japan that we were behind and won. In Wales we won, I believe, 10½ points on Sunday.
So it can be done. And that’s when you go back and say to your team is, take care of your match, and it can be done. There’s 12 points to get out there tomorrow. I think that we are a stronger team and we can do it tomorrow. And that’s what I’m going to tell them.
But they have to take care of their match. And we have to win one match at a time. And it will be fun seeing this crowd get behind that.
And for her part, Mallon knows who her players are and is convinced that they can do it:
Well, the good news about today is that the players that struggled a little bit yesterday played much better today. So I feel like, overall, my whole team’s playing better, they feel good about how they’re playing. You can call it front loading, but I feel like every player can win their match tomorrow. But I’m starting out with my strongest players and that’s what we have to do. We have to win one match at a time, starting with the first match.
That first match will be led off by World No. 2, Stacy Lewis who is 1-2-0 so far this year. And she will surely think that she has a lot to prove. Here’s the complete slate of Sunday’s matches. All times are local:
12:40 – Stacy Lewis vs. Anna Nordqvist (Sweden)
12:50 – Paula Creamer vs. Charley Hull (England)
01:00 – Brittany Lang vs. Azahara Munoz (Spain)
01:10 – Morgan Pressel vs. Carlota Ciganda (Spain)
01:20 – Michell Wie vs. Caroline Hedwall (Sweden)
01:30 – Gerina Piller vs. Catriona Matthew (Scotland)
01:40 – Lizette Salas vs. Suzann Pettersen (Norway)
01:50 – Jessica Korda vs. Giulia Sergas (Italy)
02:00 – Lexi Thompson vs. Caroline Masson (Germany)
02:10 – Brittany Lincicome vs. Jodi Ewart Shadoff (England)
02:20 – Angela Stanford vs. Beatriz Recari (Spain)
02:30 – Cristie Kerr vs. Karine Icher (France)
And for her part, Mallon loves her lineup:
I like my lineup. I’ve got a team — I love my team. I know they’re upset and, I know they’re motivated and I’m looking at this lineup right now and I frankly I like it a lot. As I’m looking at — looking down on it.
So it’s, obviously it’s daunting. I’m not being Pollyanna about this, but I really feel like the lineup I have, and this team, can do it.
I love this team. They are all engaged. They all played their hearts out today. No one gave up on me today. Not one player. And I know they’re not going to give up on me tomorrow.
And I would guess that after the certain soaring, motivation session in Saturday night’s team room, the players will come out Sunday completely committed to giving Meg their hearts again.
It will certainly make for fascinating viewing. The Golf Channel – 2:30pm (ET). The first ball is in the air 10 minutes later.