I sit here, still wiping the tears from my eyes over what happened this weekend at Killeen Castle. I ask myself how could the U.S.A. team lose, when Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, and Ryann O'Toole lost only one of 13 matches between them? Yes, they went 9-1-3 in a tournament where they only needed 14 points to win. All the other 9 members needed to do was get 5 more points. They couldn't do it. Here are my top 10 reasons (in reverse order), of why I think the U.S. team lost.
10- Brittany Lincicome - On the surface her 2-2-0 record was not that bad. A closer look will tell you that her two wins both came paired with Paula Creamer, who was winning those matches single handed. The singles match between her and Christel Boeljon, was one I thought would be in the American column; I was wrong. Brittany had at least 4 chances on the back 9 to sink a putt to square the match, but couldn't salvage even a half point by making one.
9- Cristie Kerr injury - I don't want to rank this higher, as It would appear I am using it as an excuse. That said, it has to be mentioned that if Kerr plays and wins her match, the U.S. team retains the cup.
8- Brittany Lang - Although partially redeeming herself with her singles win, that was her only point in four matches.
7- The European team wanted it more - Was it because the U.S. dominated this event over the past years? I don't know for sure, but the U.S team (with very few exceptions), never seemed as motivated as I have seen them in previous Solheim matches.
6- Stacy Lewis - If there is such a thing as being too intense, it surely applies here. As we have seen all year, if she has one bad hole, she has a hard time putting it behind her. I was expecting better than a 1-3 record from this girl. Rosie Jones said, "I put Ryann out with her, to calm her down." What's wrong with that picture?
5- The format used to pick the U.S. team - Yes I know they have been successful using this before. That does not mean I have to like it. The Europeans take the top 4 from the points list, top 4 from the Rolex Rankings, and 4 captain's picks. The U.S takes the top ten from the points list, and 2 captain's picks. It has now been changed for upcoming years to the top 8 from the points list, next 2 from the Rolex Rankings, and 2 Captain's picks. In my opinion, Christina Kim and Juli Inkster were not playing well and did not belong on the team. They were numbers 9 and 10. They would not have been on the team, in this new format.
4- Rosie Jones - She kept putting the same losing teams out to play together, only to lose again. Inkster/Lang and Stanford/Lewis needed to be broken up. Rosie said later, "She did it against her better judgement." Wish she would have elaborated on that.
3- Juli Inkster - She missed putts of 2 feet on both the 15th and 16th hole in her singles match with Laura Davies. The match ended all square. Julie finished 0-2-1. We all admire what she has accomplished, and that she is still competitive at her age, but I hope we never see her play again in a Solheim Cup match. I would like to see her as the 2013 captain.
2- Suzann Pettersen and Sophie Gustafson were great - Though I am focusing on what the U.S. did wrong, I have to congratulate Suzann and Sophie for carrying the European team on their shoulders. Suzann was spectacular down the stretch, beating Michelle Wie (who played better than her record indicated), and Sophie was 4-0.
1- Angela Stanford - She was a mess from beginning to end. She lost every match she played in. If she gave the U.S. just one point, they would have retained the cup. She has just 3 wins in 13 lifetime Solheim matches, which scares me for 2013.
I want to close by saying how much I admired Morgan Pressel's performance. Down in a number of her matches, she would not even think about the possibility of losing. She finished 4-0-0. She has only lost 2 of 11 lifetime matches.
I will close by saying how well Ryann O'Toole played. She finished 2-0-2. It is unfortunate the tournament ended on her match, which finished all square. Ryann stepped up Friday and Saturday and kept the U.S. team in it, when many of our veterans didn't show up. The final scene of her crying with her parents,was a very sad one. Ryann, hold your head up high.....we are proud of you.
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