Friday, September 14, 2007

First-Day Action at the Solheim Cup

Well, they're off! Thanks to the wonders of teh intertubes, you can follow the action from both a European and American webby perspective. In between watching numbers on these screens slowly change, you should definitely be checking out the Solheim Cup pages I link to on the TYBttC III main page--lots of interviews, photo galleries, videos, stats, news feeds, and more.

[Update 1 (5:15 am): With the weather as bad as it is, scores are fairly high in the morning foursomes matches. Playing alternate shots, the first match of Suzann Pettersen and Sophie Gustafson against Pat Hurst and Cristie Kerr has featured only three birdies in the first 12 holes. Each team is +2 through 12, but the Americans have a one-up lead (down from 2-up after 2 holes and from the 8th through the 10th). Sherri Steinhauer and Laura Diaz saw their 2-up lead on Annika Sorenstam and Catriona Matthew after 6 holes diminish to all square after 10, but a birdie on 11 (only their 2nd of the day against 4 bogeys) got them back to 1-up. The third match also has the Americans 1-up through the 11th hole, but Juli Inkster and Paula Creamer have matched Laura Davies and Becky Brewerton birdie for birdie--each team has made 3 thus far. By contrast, nobody has made a birdie in the Gwladys Nocera/Maria Hjorth vs. Natalie Gulbis/Morgan Pressel match; the Europeans are 2-up through 10, thanks to two fewer bogeys than the Americans' 3.]

[Update 2 (5:28 am): Stupid Mostly Harmless jinx! Right after praising Inkster and Creamer for their great play in tough conditions, they go and let Davies and Brewerton win the 12th with a bogey--back to all square. At least Steinhauer and Diaz are 2-up through 13 and Gulbis and Pressel are only 1-down through 11 now....]

[Update 3 (5:35 am): You didn't hear it here that Steinhauer and Diaz have birdied 3 of their last 4 holes.]

[Update 4 (6:05 am): Make that four of their last six. Destroying Sorenstam and Matthew 4 & 2 is a great start for the U.S.! But Hurst-Kerr and Inkster-Creamer giving up 2-up leads is not good. Still, they're all square with one left to play for the former and 3 for the latter. Gulbis and Pressel are 2-down with 4 to play, though....]

[Update 5 (6:30 am): OK, Inkster and Creamer got a great 2-up win in the end, thanks to solid play and a collapse by their English opponents over the final two holes. It's a bit disappointing that Hurst and Kerr could only tie their match, but heading into it they were big-time underdogs to Pettersen and Gustafson (what with Hurst playing terribly and Kerr having putting problems in the preceding month), so I'm not that down about it. Looks like Gulbis and Pressel are going to get waxed about as badly as Sorenstam and Matthew did--they're 3-down with 3 to play, but if they could pull out a half it would be a great start for the Americans. It'll be interesting to see who's playing in the 4-balls in the afternoon. Too bad I won't be able to not-quite-live-blog them.]

[Update 6 (7:12 pm): Here's Hound Dog's reactions to the morning matches and the afternoon pairings. Guess the weather wasn't as bad in the am as I expected--maybe someday I'll be able to afford cable and pay extra for the Golf Channel so I won't have to guess at these things. And here's Mulligan Stu on the morning and afternoon matches. I think it was a great day for the Americans. Although it could have been better (where was Brittany Lincicome's game?)--the Americans ended up with halves after building a few 2-up leads--most of those were in matches they were underdogs in on paper. Although Stanford and Prammanasudh must be disappointed to halve Sorenstam and Hjorth in the afternoon, stopping one of the world's best and one of the world's hottest golfers from getting a full point is a big deal. Same goes for the Hurst-Kerr half in the morning. The only one that really has to hurt is the Creamer-Pressel half with Johnson and Davies--as Mulligan Stu describes it, particularly. Looking ahead to the morning, the Inkster-Creamer vs. Petterson-Gustafson match looks great. If Castrale and Kerr can hold off Sorenstam and Matthew with at least a half, the Americans' chances for an even better Saturday are very high. I strongly disagree with Alfredsson's decision not to play Wessberg yet--as I've argued several times in my Super Soph rankings, she is a star in the making. And while I agree with benching Lincicome, I'm a little puzzled as to why Hurst gets the nod over Pressel in the morning. Against my emotions, I have to agree that Castrale played her way into the morning match. She was spectacular against Gustafson and Nocera in the afternoon.]

[Update 7 (9/15/07, 1:11 am): Only thing I can figure with playing Hurst in the first three in a row (besides proven-veteran syndrome) is that King is hoping to build a big enough lead Saturday morning to rest her in the afternoon. We'll see how the ball bounces.... Well, not me for a while. I probably won't be checking back in until the evening.]


Hound Dog said...

If you had seen Pressel's putting on Friday, you would understand why she wasn't playing Saturday morning. But I agree with getting her back in Saturday afternoon and she seems to be doing ok so far.

Ya gotta get TGC, dude!

The Constructivist said...

Wanna start a Constructivist Aid week at HDLPGAB? We can't even afford any cable!