TOLEDO, Ohio — Catriona Matthew had a sense about Leona Maguire and Mel Reid. Or perhaps it was simply luck. The European Solheim Cup crew captain is not positive which. She additionally does not care.
All Matthew is aware of is that it is working.
“They’ve sort of reveled in one another’s firm,” Matthew mentioned.
Giving their crew a shot at capturing the Cup on overseas soil for simply the second time in 31 years within the course of.
Fueled by the steely Maguire’s placing and a rainbow of an 8-iron by the fiery however aching Reid, Europe took a 9-7 lead into the closing singles matches Monday because it tries to repeat as Solheim Cup champions.
Reid and Maguire completed the weekend unbeaten in three matches after crushing world No. 1 Nelly Korda and Ally Ewing in alternate-shot play Sunday morning and scrambling to tie Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas in four-ball within the afternoon.
Not unhealthy for 2 gamers there have been just about strangers after they arrived at Inverness final week. The reserved 26-year-old Maguire, the primary Irishwoman to make a Solheim Cup crew, and the outgoing, charismatic 33-year-old Reid will depart as buddies. Maybe winners too after Reid overcame a throbbing proper shoulder to ship the shot of the day and perhaps her worldwide profession.
Kupcho gave the Individuals the lead within the final energetic match on the course when she chipped in from the perimeter on the par-4 seventeenth.
Reid, a four-time Solheim Cup veteran who obtained medical consideration through the spherical to take care of capturing ache in her again and proper shoulder, responded by hitting a towering 8-iron into the wind from 136 yards that bounced on the collar of a entrance greenside bunker earlier than rolling to virtually tap-in vary.
“I knew as quickly as I hit it it was both going to be a little bit bit left and quick or it was going to be good,” Reid mentioned. “So I hoped for the great, and I nearly willed that ball into the opening.”
Salas and Kupcho each noticed their birdie putts drift broad, and when Reid rapidly knocked in her 3-footer, Europe had a little bit little bit of wiggle room going into singles.
“I imply, pay attention, the momentum has gone backwards and forwards,” Reid mentioned. “That is what a Solheim Cup is. That was an enormous half-point for us. That makes it a really good afternoon for us and a pleasant little two-point lead going into (singles).”
The Europeans want simply 5 out of a potential 12 factors on Monday to maintain the Cup, whereas the Individuals want 7 1/2 to wrest it again. Being up after two days hasn’t at all times been a great factor for the guests.
Eight instances the Europeans have discovered themselves up after 16 matches. They’ve solely gone on to win on 4 events, the final in 2013 after they scored their lone triumph within the U.S. at Colorado Golf Membership.
“It’ll be tight,” mentioned Matthew, who guided Europe to victory at Gleneagles two years in the past. “It at all times appears to return right down to the singles. Each little half-point right here or there’s going to be essential.”
Europe’s Anna Nordvist, enjoying in her document seventh Solheim Cup, will face American Lexi Thompson within the first singles match. U.S. star Danielle Kang will tackle Emily Pedersen within the twelfth and closing match.
What occurs in between will seemingly decide who will get to lift the crystal 20-plus pound trophy on Monday evening. U.S. captain Pat Hurst stays assured even with two of her stars struggling a bit.
Nelly and Jessica Korda had been almost unstoppable two years in the past in Scotland. Issues have not gone almost as easily for the sisters in northwestern Ohio, even with two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson providing recommendation whereas serving as a volunteer assistant for Hurst.
The Kordas are simply 1-3 at breezy Inverness. Nelly Korda’s spherical throughout her and Ewing’s 5-and-4 loss to Reid and Maguire included a bladed pitch from a fairway bunker that sailed out of bounds, a chunked method shot and a chip from the perimeter that solely made it midway to the opening earlier than hitting reverse.
Hurst stays optimistic the Kordas will play very important roles in a possible comeback. Nelly Korda and Georgia Corridor will exit fourth, with Jessica Korda going through Charley Hull within the penultimate match of the biennial occasion.
“I want them for my singles matches,” Hurst mentioned. “That is the place we often shine.”
The Individuals sometimes do. The U.S. has posted the higher singles mark 9 instances in 16 Solheim Cups. On all however a type of events, they’ve received singles by greater than the two 1/2-point margin they will want on Monday in the event that they wish to reclaim the Cup.
It is a deficit the Individuals imagine they will deal with. It positive beats the choice. For a quick interval on Sunday morning, the U.S. trailed in all 4 alternate-shot matches. A rout appeared within the offing.
The Individuals recovered to win three of them to get again into competition and had the lead on the again 9 in three of the 4 four-ball matches. Solely rookies Mina Harigae and Yealimi Noh held on to win outright after Reid’s sensible flick on the 18th rescued a half-point for Europe.
“I feel it is troublesome to not have a look at leaderboards,” Reid mentioned. “It was very crimson there for a minute, so to show it round and have the afternoon that we did, have a two-point lead is an unimaginable end result for us.”