For the second day in row, the Solheim Cup was filled with drama and controversy, not to mention painful — and embarrassing — rulings that unnecessarily lasted nearly 30 minutes (maybe longer, but I fell asleep around the 22nd minute) over a drop from a hazard.
On the 16th hole, Beatriz Recari and Cristie Kerr knocked their tee balls in the hazard and there was debate over where their balls last crossed the hazard line and arguing ensued for nearly 30 minutes before the ladies reached consensus. Meanwhile, Recari and Kerr’s playing partners, Karine Icher and Morgan Pressel, were waiting to play from the fairway.
To cap off a hard-fought match in the near dark, Icher dropped in her birdie putt from off the green on the 18th to complete the European sweep in the afternoon fourball matches.
Paula Creamer and 18-year-old Lexi Thompson were defeated by the English duo of Jodi Ewart Shadoff and 17-year-old Charley Hull 2-up. But, not without a bit of controversy! On the 7th hole, Ewart Shadoff stuck her approach to tap-in distance and the birdie was conceded. Meanwhile, Creamer left her birdie putt well short, but the putt for par was on the same line as Lexi’s birdie upcoming birdie attempt.
As Creamer was setting up over the putt, one of the European caddies yelled, “It’s good.” Paula became visibly upset, throwing her hands up in annoyance. Ewart Shadoff and Hull looked scared. While Lexi was lining up her putt, Ewart Shadoff had gone to a rules official to make sure the concession to Creamer was all A-OK, and then, that caused the official to interrupt Thompson’s routine. More annoyance and disgust from the Americans. Lexi ended up still rolling in her putt to halve the hole.
Then, on the 8th, Ewart Shadoff rolled in a 10-footer for birdie to take the 1-up lead and never looked back.
In what was perhaps the biggest turnaround, Carlota Ciganda, who struggled playing with Suzann Pettersen on Friday, was partnered with her good friend Azahara Munoz on Saturday afternoon. Ciganda made a number of birdies, including the putt to win the match and defeat Angela Stanford and Gerina Piller 1-up.
Michelle Wie and Jessica Korda were defeated by the formidable Caroline Hedwall and Caroline Masson. Korda seemed like a non-factor for most of the match, while Wie missed a number of putts but also made her fair share of clutch putts.
On the 16th, Wie needed to drop a five-footer to extend the match to another hole, and when she did, she was pumped up and ran to the 17th tee before the Europeans finished putting out, which was poor form (but to be fair, she probably got caught up in the moment and I’m not sure where Korda was, but I assume with Wie).
The Europeans blanked the Americans 4-0 in the afternoon fourball matches and take a commanding 10.5 to 5.5 lead heading into Sunday singles. Europe has never won on American soil and only needs 14 points to retain the Cup. Barring a miracle from the Americans, it looks like the Europeans will win the Solheim Cup for the second consecutive time — another feat never achieved before.