Proud Neumann celebrates history
US with momentum for Solheim Cup singles
The United States staged a dramatic rally to win the afternoon fourball session 3-1 and tie 8-8 with Europe ahead of Sunday’s singles series in the Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle.
Europe won the morning foursomes 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 to extend its lead to 7-5 over the Americans in the biennial match play competition.
Veteran Laura Davies then became the all-time Solheim Cup points record points scorer when she teamed up with Melissa Reid to beat Americans Brittany Lang and Michelle Wie 4 and 3 and put Europe 8-5 in front.
But the Americans stormed back to win the last three matches and leave the sides tied going into the 12 singles for the second match in succession and the third time in the event’s history.
Europe extends Solheim Cup lead
Spanish rookie Azahara Muñoz holed a crucial par putt on the 18th to help Europe extend its lead over the over the United States to 7-5 in the Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle today.
Americans Cristie Kerr and Paul Creamer went one up on Muñoz and Scot Catriona Matthew in the final match of the morning foursomes when Kerr birdied the 17th from six feet.
But the American bunkered her approach to the last and couldn’t save par from 12 feet, allowing the Europeans to halve the match with a winning par four and double the home side’s overnight lead to two points.
Americans hang tough at Killeen Castle
Americans Morgan Pressel and Ryann O’Toole holed big putts to help the United States keep Europe in its sights in the Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle.
With the sides level at 2-2 after the morning foursomes, Europe surged ahead in all four afternoon fourballs but to had to settle for a 4 1/2 - 3 1/2 lead after a windy opening day in Ireland.
Rookie Caroline Hedwall and fellow Swede Sophie Gustafson put Europe 3-2 ahead with a 5 and 4 win over Vicky Hurst and Brittany Lincicome.
No-one wants Solheim Cup format change
Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam believes that a European Solheim Cup victory in Ireland this week will kill off talk that the biennial matchplay event is becoming too one-sided.
The United States leads the series 8-3 and will be seeking its fourth successive victory when the three-day match begins on Friday at the Jack Nicklaus designed Killeen Castle course in County Meath, 25 miles north-west of Dublin.
Ten-time major winner Sorenstam, who is one of Europe captain Alison Nicholas’ non-playing assistants this week, does not want to see the event’s format changed to see the United States taking on an International team.
"I didn't have the normal childhood" - Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie has hit back at European vice-captain Annika Sorenstam again and insisted that hitting the books has made her all grown up.
Ten-time major winner Sorenstam believes the big hitting Hawaiian has made a mistake by mixing the tour with her degree at Stanford University and isn’t “mentally strong enough to finish at the top.”
But as she prepares to lead the US in Solheim Cup battle with Europe at Killeen Castle this week, Wie reckons that mixing books and birdies was just what she needed to make up for a lost childhood.
LPGA's China crisis helps Ladies Irish Open field
Ladies Irish Open boss Roddy Carr avoided some Chinese torture to deliver a world class field at Killeen Castle next month.
The €400,000 curtain-raiser for September’s Solheim Cup could have been turned into a damp squib as it clashed with a $2 million US women’s tour event in China.
But Chinese red tape has tied the Imperial Springs LPGA event up in knots and allowed Carr to sign up US stars Christina Kim, Angela Stanford and teenage sensation Lexi Thompson to accompany major winner Stacey Lewis at the Meath venue from August 5-7.
Sorenstam and Morley get Solheim Cup jobs
Solheim Cup skipper Alison Nicholas has opted not to have an Irish vice captain when Europe take on the US at Killeen Castle next year.
The English star hinted last month that she might include an Irish player like Maureen Madill in her back room team in Co Meath.
It now appears that Ireland will not be represented on the sidelines as Nicholas yesterday named Swedish legend Annika Sorenstam and England’s Joanne Morley as her assistants.
Nicholas not tempted to play Irish card in Solheim Cup
Ireland’s Solheim Cup hopefuls can expect no preferential treatment from European captain Alison Nicholas when she chooses her four wildcards for the 2011 matches at Killeen Castle.
If an Irishwoman fails to make the side automatically, don’t hold your breath waiting for Nicholas to cowtow to home sentiment with a pity pick.