The Solheim Cup is the biennial women’s golf competition between the United States and Europe. This year, the European team shot the lowest score in the world to take a commanding lead in the competition. The United States, who are currently leading in the overall points, are in desperate need of a win to remain in the competition.
The United States team was dealt a blow on Thursday as its star player, Brooke Henderson, was denied a spot in the US Solheim Cup team for this year’s competition. The US team was due to be announced at a ceremony later on Thursday at the State Farm Champions Dinner. The US team is a little worse for wear after a final day of competition on the tough Royal Birkdale course in Southport, England. The Americans still had enough to take the lead in the four-ball competition with Europe’s victory over the United States.
The Solheim Cup is the biennial trophy for the Ladies European Tour, which forms the European team to compete in the annual match against the USA. This year’s event will take place at the National Golf Links of America in New Jersey, USA, between European teams from the six continental federations, and the USA team.
|Dates: September 4-6 Inverness Golf Club is located in Toledo, Ohio.|
|Live text commentary will be available on the Sport website from 12:30 BST on Saturday and Sunday, and from 16:00 BST on Monday, as well as an hour-long highlights show on TV, iPlayer, and online.|
Defending champions Europe lead the US 512-212 heading into day two of the Solheim Cup, despite a contentious decision in Ohio favoring Nelly Korda.
Madelene Sagstrom was penalized for scooping up the ball too early and therefore losing the hole after the American had a putt halt on the edge of a hole.
The afternoon fourball match was won by Korda and Ally Ewing by one hole.
After dominating the morning foursomes, Europe drew 2-2 in the second session to maintain their lead.
Anna Nordqvist and Matilda Castren claimed their second point of Saturday with a comfortable 4&3 victory over Lexi Thompson and Mina Harigae.
Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas defeated Carlota Ciganda and Sophia Popov on the last hole to win the US’ second match, but Georgia Hall and Leona Maguire beat Yealimi Noh and Brittany Altomare by one hole in the third match.
Unfortunate for some, the US has an advantage on the 13th hole.
The main talking point of the first day of three was the fourball match involving Nelly Korda, Ewing, and the European combination of Sagstrom and Nanna Koerstz Madsen. When rule 13.3 was introduced, the match was even. This gave the Americans the upper hand.
Sagstrom scooped up the ball after Korda’s eagle putt failed to drop, and the birdie was conceded. Europe subsequently sank their own birdie putt to halve the hole, but a rules officer told them as they walked off the green that Korda’s eagle would stand because Sagstrom had moved the American’s ball too fast.
The referee determined that portion of the ball had been overhanging the hole without any appeal or urging from the US team, and the regulation stipulates that a player must be allowed “reasonable time” to reach the hole and 10 seconds to check whether the ball drops.
“But that was never going to go in,” Sagstrom told the rules official.
“It doesn’t matter,” the official responded, “you didn’t wait 10 seconds.”
Sagstrom, her playing partner Nanna Koerstz Madsen, and Europe captain Catriona Matthew continued to argue that the ball would not drop in, but the on-course official’s decision was upheld after seeing the event on television.
Sagstrom, who was visibly upset after the match, said she had broken the rules by picking up the ball after seven seconds, but she still felt offended by the result.
“I believe in honesty and respect for the game of golf. I’d never take a putt that had a chance of going in “On Sky Sports, she said.
“I disagree with the ball being on the edge [of the hole], but I didn’t follow the 10-second regulation, so it’s a bummer right now because I feel like I let my team down.”
Nelly Korda, the world’s number one, added: “That was an awful scenario, and you never want to win a hole like that. We had no say in the matter. It was all up to the authorities in charge of the regulations.”
Visitors who rebuff the United States strike back.
While enormous roars greeted every beautifully hit American shot or holed putt, Nordqvist and Castren had already helped themselves to a point by the time Korda and Ewing had won their first complete point.
The European duo picked up where they left off in the morning foursomes, and although Thompson chipped in on the third hole to tie the match, the Scandinavians won two of the next three holes.
Nordqvist’s third birdie of the round came from a superb approach out of a fairway bunker on the 10th, and her fourth on the 13th guaranteed they were never in danger of being hauled in.
And Europe’s advantage might have been bigger if Ciganda hadn’t missed a five-foot putt to win the 17th.
However, the Spaniard and Germany’s Sophia Popov lost a match in which they were two holes up after seven holes.
Hall and Maguire won a see-saw final fourball in which they led and trailed until the English world number 29 intervened with birdies on the 10th and 15th holes for Catriona Matthew’s visitors, who are seeking for just their second victory on American territory.
Early on, Europe had the upper hand.
As Europe swept the first foursomes in Ohio, Mel Reid and Sam Maguire handed the Korda sisters their first Solheim Cup loss.
The triumph of Reid and Maguire came as a huge setback to the US’ “golden pairing” of Nelly Korda and her sister Jessica, who had requested their captain Pat Hurst to pair them together after winning both of their alternative shot matches at Gleneagles in 2019.
The European duo grabbed an early two-hole lead, but Jessica chipped in on the 13th to narrow the distance before Maguire finished off the victory on the 18th, cheered on by a raucous home crowd.
Maguire stated, “I couldn’t have wished for a greater start to my Solheim career.”
“I believe everyone had written us off, and we just took it in stride and tried to be as relentless and brave as we could, and I think we succeeded.”
Nordqvist and Castren, the Women’s Open champions, set the tone with a spirited victory against Danielle Kang and Austin Ernst, earning the first European point. After four holes, they were two ahead, but after nine holes, they trailed by one. They won three holes in a row starting on the 13th to reclaim the lead and hold on for the victory.
The hosts looked to be on the verge of regaining parity, with Ewing and Megan Khang two up with two to play against Hall and Celine Boutier, who had gone undefeated at Gleneagles this season.
However, Hall won the 17th hole with a birdie putt from 15 feet, and a par on the 18th was good enough since Ewing pushed a three-foot putt to win the match beyond the hole.
As Europe started with a bang, Charley Hull and Emily Pedersen battled back to defeat Thompson and Altomare.
Hull and Pedersen came back from two down with four holes to play, scoring birdies on the 15th and 16th holes before Pedersen’s match-winning three on the 18th.
The Solheim Cup is one of the most famous events on the women’s golfing calendar. For 11 days, 32 of the best female players in the world, compete for the coveted trophy. This year, Europe stormed to a commanding lead against the United States with a final score of 16.5-11.5, but the event has been marred by controversy after the United States were awarded the cup despite the European team claiming the final point after a controversial ruling.. Read more about solheim cup sky commentators and let us know what you think.
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