Sunday, 24 September 2023, 07:35
Everything is still up for grabs going into the final day of the Solheim Cup after Team Europe had a strong day on Saturday, managing to turn the tide and level the scores at 8-8 against the United States.
So far, this prestigious women's golf event, hosted in Spain for the first time at Finca Cortesin in Casares, has been a rollercoaster ride for the 24 golfers. After initially trailing 0-4 to the Americans led by Stacy Lewis, Suzann Pettersen's team made a comeback on Friday afternoon closing the first day trailing by just two points (3-5).
Saturday, like the previous day, was divided into morning and afternoon sessions, each offering four points. In the morning, they played in a 'foursomes' format where each team selects four pairs who take turns hitting the ball until completing the hole. The pair with the fewest strokes wins the hole. In the afternoon, they continued with 'fourballs,' where pairs played individually, and the player with the fewest strokes out of the four earned a point for their team.
And day two was close to perfect for Team Europe. The morning session ended in a tie (2-2) with European victories for Maja Stark and Linn Grant against Danielle Kang and Andrea Lee, and Emily Kristine Pedersen and Carlota Ciganda defeating Jennifer Kupcho and Lilia Vu (world number two).
However, Lexi Thompson and Megan Khang, facing Anna Nordqvist and Leona Maguire, and Nelly Korda and Allisen Corpuz, dominating Georgia Hall and Céline Boutier, restored the American team's two-point lead from the previous day (7-5).
The miracle happened in the afternoon session. Charley Hull and Leona Maguire secured a significant victory (four holes up) against Nelly Korda and Ally Ewing, and Madelene Sagström and Emily Kristine Pedersen also triumphed over Rose Zhang and Andrea Lee.
The American team responded with Cheyenne Knight and Angel Yin winning by two holes against Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall, despite their strong performance.
With Europe trailing 7-8 on the scoreboard, the opportunity to secure a tie rested on the shoulders of the most experienced player in the Solheim Cup, Spain's Carlota Ciganda, who partnered with Linn Grant.
Despite a challenging match that went to the 17th hole, they managed to defeat Danielle Kang and Lilia Vu, ensuring an 8-8 tie and setting the stage for an exciting final day.
With Europe eager to win in front of their home crowd and potentially make history by winning three consecutive Solheim Cups, the stakes are higher than ever this Sunday. However, they can't underestimate the Americans, who are seeking redemption after losing on home soil in the last edition.
In this final day, starting at 11.10am, everything is on the line, with 12 points up for grabs in twelve head-to-head matchups.
Come what may, the trophy will be presented by King Felipe VI at the closing ceremony, scheduled for 6pm.
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