Europe Rallies to Tie U.S., 8-8, Heading to Sunday Singles in 18th Solheim Cup

Team Europe has rallied from a 4-0 deficit on the first day and is tied with the United States, 8-8, heading to the final day of the 18th Solheim Cup at Club de Golf Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, Spain.

As usual, the winner of the event will be determined by the 12 singles matches on Sunday.

“I’m out of words, but we have to remember we are not there yet, there are still 12 points up for grabs tomorrow,” said non-plays European captain Suzann Pettersen of Sweden, who made a putt that recorded the winning point in the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course in Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland.

“We made quite a comeback, now we are tied, and we’ll put it in fifth gear and keep going. If you look at how we started after yesterday morning, we’ve come a long way. I didn’t say too much this morning, but I think I had a fairly clear speech last night. So, I think just overall, it’s been three great sessions for Europe. We kind of gave them a little bit of a head start and now we’re even.

“The last match was unbelievable. The desire, the passion, the putts. It keeps happening every time. Linn is born for this, Carlota brings her A-game to Spain. Incredible.”

The Europeans split the Saturday morning Foursomes matches, 2-2, before claiming a 3-1 advantage during the Saturday afternoon Fourball matches as they try to win the Solheim Cup for the third straight time and the fifth in the last seven events.

Europe pulled even when Carlota Ciganda of Spain (pictured), the only undefeated players on either team at 3-0 after not playing in the opening session on Friday, made a birdie putt on the 17th hole to team with Linn Grant of Sweden for a 2-and-1 victory over Danielle Kang of Thousand Oaks and Pepperdine, and Lilia Vu of Fountain Valley and UCLA. Vu missed her birdie putt on what turned out to be the final hole.

In the other afternoon Fourball matches, Charley Hull of England and Leona Maguire of Ireland downed Nelly Norda and Ally Ewing, 4 and 3, and Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden and Emily Kristine Pederson of Denmark beat Rose Zhang of Irvine and Stanford, and Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach and Stanford, 1 up, while Cheyenne Knight and Angel Yin of Arcadia gave the U.S. its only point with a 2-up victory over Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall, both of Sweden.

During in the morning Foursome matches,  Lexi Thompson and Megan Khang won the 17th hole with a par to defeat Maguire and Nordqvist, 2 and 1, and Korda and Allisen Corpuz of USC routed Georgia Hall of England and Celine Boutier of France, 5 and 4, to give the Americans their two points.

Europe scored when Ciganda and Pederson got past Vu and Jennifer Kupcho, 2 and 1, while Grant and Maja Stark of Sweden slipped past Kang and Lee, 1 up.

“I think we’ve always wanted our players to be fresh for Sunday, that’s the biggest thing, because this thing, it always comes down to Sunday,” non-playing U.S. Captain Stacy Lewis said. “So, we wanted our players to be fresh. I mean, this golf course and this walk is brutal. I don’t care what kind of shape you’re in, it is a hard walk.

“We are in a good spot. We certainly wanted to win more points today but we are in a good spot. It came down to a couple of good European shots. If you look at the scoreboard, the momentum goes to Europe. But the way the girls and I feel about how we are playing, I like our momentum. In our team room, we are really happy with how we played and the position we are in.

“The message on Sunday is don’t look at the leaderboard, just go take your point.”

In Sunday’s Singles, it’s Khang vs. Linn; Zhang vs. Maguire; Kang vs. Hull; Kupcho vs. Nordqvist; Lee vs. Hall; Knight vs, Gemma Dryburgh of Scotland; Yin vs. Boutier; Ewing vs. Hedwall; Vu vs. Sagstrom; Corpuz vs. Stark; Norda vs. Ciganda, and Thompson vs. Pederson.

The U.S. holds a 10-7 lead in the Solheim Cup series, but has not won on European soil since a 14½-13½ victory in 2015 at Golf Club St. Leon-Rot in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, and their last victory anywhere against the Eoros was 16½-11½ at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2017.

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