Today at the Solheim: Kerr dazzles, Charley whispers and the chipping yips

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Cristie Kerr was unstoppable as America marched towards retaining the Solheim Cup on a day where Charley Hull was unable to play any part

The United States now need just 3.5 points from the 12 singles after another spectacular exhibition of shot-making, escapes, putting and spirit. Annika Sorenstam’s side were a different proposition to Friday but the points kept going the hosts’ way.

Records tumbled, putt after putt fell and several players nearly won a car…

Saturday’s fourballs – USA 10.5 Europe 5.5

Lang/Lincicome beat Reid/Ciganda One hole

Reid and Ciganda were round in eight under and lost. The Americans played the first seven holes in a ridiculous eight under with Lincicome ramming in five birdies from the 1st before Lang took over with something special (see below).

Reid kept up the pressure and made a fantastic birdie at the 16th but they were unable to find another at the next and Lang signed off a quite brilliant match with a mid iron to two feet at the last.

Salas/Yin lost to Nordqvist/Ewart/Shadoff 4&2

Anna Nordqvist came into the week with remaining doubts over her glandular fever, she has now won three out of three while Ewart Shadoff got off the mark. This was Europe’s first point in the fourballs and it came courtesy of five straight Nordqvist birdies from the 4th. And they only reached the turn two up.

The birdies kept flowing on the back nine and Ewart Shadoff’s two at 14 put them three up, Salas almost holed a wedge at 15, Ewart Shadoff matched the birdie, and they shook hands at the next.

Creamer/Ernst beat Icher/Sagstrom 2&1

You would have got long odds on Sagstrom and Icher being paired together at the start of the week but, like the rest of the European team, they gave it a real go.

Rookie Sagstrom dazzled on the front nine but her bundle of birdies couldn’t make any headway and it was Creamer and Ernst who edged the front nine.

The pivotal moment came at the 15th when Ernst chipped in for a birdie, Icher matched it but they needed to win holes by this stage.

The win put Creamer level with her captain Juli Inkster on 18.5 points won in the competition, only Cristie Kerr has more.

Kerr/Thompson beat Matthew/Hall 3&2

Can you imagine what it’s like to play Cristie Kerr in this type of mood? For the bulk of the afternoon Matthew and Hall had to watch the American walk in putt after putt. After 14 holes the visitors were eight under and were still within two holes. Matthew holed a 20-footer at the par-3 14th to keep the scoreline that way.

But then Kerr did the unthinkable, except she had seemed to do it all day, and holed a bunker shot for an eagle three. By the close they were 12 under.

A first defeat for Matthew, a perfect day for the American pair.

Saturday’s foursomes – USA 7.5 Europe 4.5

Thompson/Kerr beat with Ewart Shadoff/Masson 5&3

On Friday the Americans had to win the last two holes to get a half, this was far more straightforward and ruthless. Kerr made a slice of history by becoming the hosts’ leading scorer, overtaking her captain, and she did it in style with a collection of brilliant putts.

It is some effort to finish six under in foursomes, for the second match running Masson didn’t stand much of a chance. Birdies at 8, 9 and 10 did the bulk of the damage, moving from one to four up.

Creamer/Ernst beat Pedersen/Reid 5&3

After 10 holes this match was in the balance, five holes later it was all over as Reid and Pedersen made a hat-trick of successive bogeys.

It was a bit like old times with Creamer knocking in the putts, in the process she became the leading foursomes points scorer for the Americans.

Lewis/Piller lost to Hall/Nordqvist 2&1

Finally some blue on the board as the European pair notched their second foursomes point.

A birdie at the 10th edged Europe ahead, a par at 13 doubled that and a nerveless return par putt by Hall at the 16th kept the visitors two up. Pars at the 17th, with another great par save by Hall, meant the Englishwoman and Swede would remain unbeaten as a pair.

Kang/Wie lost to Icher/Matthew 2&1

The mums v the extroverts and experience came through. On Friday Kang was the star of the show but Matthew, the late stand-in, and Icher churned out the solid numbers.

Out in two under they gave little away, a par at the 16th saw them go two up and they were shaking hands at the next hole.

The Shot/Player of the Day – Cristie Kerr

The new record points scorer for the Americans…

The Hole-In-One Hole of the Day – The 14th

For some reason there is a car on offer for making an ace here. Fair enough on regular tour weeks but it’s quite odd in a Solheim Cup.

Anyway Austin Ernst came within a few inches of walking, or driving, off with a Kia Cadenza and her opponent Karine Icher almost followed her in.

The two Brittanys came very close in the previous group and Cristie Kerr, who else, finished right behind the hole.

With a friendly pin, like this one, we might see the car being collected.

Quote of the Day – Cristie Kerr

If ever there was an insight into how Kerr thinks it is this. With her foursomes victory the Floridian overtook her captain as the leading American points scorer but the record isn’t one that concerns her.

“I don’t really care about that. Honestly, I never thought about that once. That’s just something to talk about. I just want to help our team win.”

Kerr added a 20th point in the fourballs with another spectacular display.

Strangest Moment(s) of the Day – Anna Nordqvist

This was one of the oddest sights of the day, the superstar Swede repeatedly putting from the rough rather than chipping. It wasn’t just the first cut, which is understandable, it was occasionally the third.

You tend to see this every weekend down at your club and the whisper is that that person has the chipping yips aka the chyips. Now we wouldn’t want to label Nordqvist with such an affliction but it was very different.

At the 17th in the morning foursomes she clattered one well past when 99.9 per cent of any tour pros would have used some loft. It mattered not as her partner Georgia Hall rolled in the return.

Thankfully Nordqvist hits an awful lot of greens. And is brilliant at every other aspect of the game.

Anna Nordqvist

The (Was Nearly The) Shot of the Day – Brittany Lang

No, this wasn’t the best shot – in truth it was just a case of hit and hope – but when you are in some deep bund and you hole out when you’ve basically got no chance of holding the green then you deserve a doff of the cap.

This came at the 7th hole, for the first six holes her partner Brittany Lincicome was seven under so this was some way of coming to the party.

Rumour of the Day – Charley’s out (she’s not)

On Saturday Charley Hull’s post-shot routine with an iron was showing some level of discomfort on her right wrist, a long-standing problem that has troubled her on and off all year.

She aggravated it at the 7th in the morning and Captain Sorenstam found her icing it after her morning half in the opening foursomes.

I said: “You’re going out in 20 minutes, are you OK?’ She goes, `I’m fine.’”

Hull was rested on Saturday for both sessions as the speculation rose that she wouldn’t feature in the singles.

She will. Expect her out early.

Nonchalant Moment of the Day – Mel Reid

Here’s Mel at the 1st, casually drilling a driver to 20 feet to get her day underway.

Two putts later Europe were ahead, sadly it didn’t last.

 

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