Defending champions the US and Europe were neck and neck heading into the final day of the Solheim Cup women’s match play golf tournament.
Europe edged the US with four-and-a-half points to three-and-a-half points on Saturday to level the contest at eight points apiece, with 12 singles matches remaining yesterday in the Ryder Cup-style competition.
Americans Michelle Wie and Cristie Kerr parred the final hole against Maria Hjorth and Anna Nordqvist, but it was enough for a 1-up victory in the final match of the day, keeping Europe from sleeping on the overall lead.
The Americans have traditionally dominated singles and have never lost on home soil, but Europe had a very good Saturday.
The first foursomes easily went to Europe as Janice Moodie and Sophie Gustafson beat Paula Creamer and Juli Inkster 4 and 3.
Kristy McPherson and Morgan Pressel earned the hosts a huge point in match two when they beat Suzann Pettersen and Helen Alfredsson 2-up.
Europeans Becky Brewerton and Gwladys Nocera then crushed Natalie Gulbis and Christina Kim 5 and 4.
“There’s nothing really comparable,” said Wie, a Solheim Cup newcomer. “My hands were so sweaty. I was hoping I didn’t lose the putter grip. There’s no words to describe it.”
Now it comes down to the singles matches. The US need 14 points to retain the Cup they won two years ago, while Europe needs 14-and-a-half to win it.
AFP, GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
Steve Marino fired a seven-under 63 to take the clubhouse lead at the rain-hit US$5.2 million Wyndham Championship on Saturday.
Play was suspended because of darkness, forcing the round to be delayed to yesterday morning.
Sergio Garcia and Chris Riley were both at 13-under through 10 holes when the horn sounded. Spain’s Garcia was set to have a nine-foot putt for birdie on the 11th hole when he was scheduled to return to the soggy Sedgefield Country Club course yesterday.
Play was delayed because of rain after the second round ended on Saturday morning and there was another delay at the start of the third round.
Marino is the leader in the clubhouse at 12-under-par 198. Justin Rose (13 holes), US Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples (12 holes) and Kevin Stadler (11 holes) are also at 12-under.
AFP, ZANDVOORT, THE NETHERLANDS
Sweden’s Peter Hedblom opened up a two-shot lead after the Dutch Open third round on Saturday when a six under 64 gave him the lowest 54-hole total on the European Tour season.
The 39-year-old Swede, who was joint overnight leader with defending champion Darren Clarke, had already carded two opening 66s.
Northern Ireland’s Clarke hit a third round 67, but slipped to third place, one behind Dubliner Peter Lawrie.