After taking a backseat to United States teammates Nelly Korda and Lilia Vu in the first two rounds of the Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, seventh-ranked Lexi Thompson and 14-ranked Danielle Kang of Thousand Oaks and Pepperdine moved the Americans along by halving their march with Madelene Sagstrom and Maga Stark of Sweden.
By gaining the half point, the Americans moved into the semifinals.
“That was huge for us and we were glad to get that half point,” Thompson said.
Added Kang (pictured): “We need that.”
Top-ranked Korda and fourth-ranked Lilia Vu of the U.S., after starting 2-0, were upset by Anna Nordqivst and Caroline Hedwall of Sweden, 2 up.
“Obviously, it was a great finish because I felt like it was pretty tight all day,” said Nordqvist, won the 15th and 17th holes with birdies to turn the match around. “You knew it was going to have to be really strong play, and I think we’re just proud of ourselves. We finished really strong yesterday to gain some momentum, and we came out firing pretty strong this morning. Going into tomorrow I think we’re all just very excited to have a shot at it.”
Sweden captured Pool A with 5½ points to 3½ for the Americans, followed by two for China and one for England.
Thailand wrapped up Pool B with a 6-0 record as Patty Tavatanikit, who played at UCLA, and fifth-ranked Atthaya Thitikul defeated sixth-ranked Minjee Lee and Stephanie Kyriacou of Australia, 1 up, and Thai sisters Aria and Moriya Jutanugarn downed Aussies Hannah Green and Sarah Kemp, 3 and 2.
The United State will meet Thailand in the semifinals, while Sweden takes on Australia.
“We just have to focus on our own games and do what we can,” Thompson said. “We play aggressive golf, but stay within ourselves, focus on our attitudes and our golf. That’s all we can do.”
Added Korda, the 2020 Olympic Gold Medalist: “It’s simply another day to represent our country. That’s all we could hope for, and hopefully we can get a ‘W’ and make it to the afternoon round for the championship.”
The Americans are right where they need to be.
For Complete Results and Semifinals Tee Times, visit https://www.lpga.com/tournaments/international-crown/leaderboard