With wins in three consecutive four-ball matches Saturday afternoon, Team USA erased a daunting three-point morning deficit to tie Team Europe in the 2011 Solheim Cup at eight points each.
Session 3 and Session 4 were played in unexpectedly sunny conditions at Killeen Castle Golf Resort in County Meath, Ireland.
In the morning foursome sessions, Team Europe added to their one-point overnight lead with a final hole halve.
The European duo of Azahara Munoz and Catriona Matthew rallied to beat Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr on No. 18 to finish their match All Square and enter the afternoon session up seven to five.
Creamer and Kerr had just birdied No. 17 to take a 1-up advantage, but an errant second shot by Kerr at No. 18 opened the door for Matthew and Munoz to tie.
It was easily the most competitive match of the morning with neither team getting more than 1-up on their opponent.
Elsewhere in the early matches, the US team was victorious with Morgan Pressel and Ryann O'Toole. They teamed to defeat Karen Stupples and Christel Boeljon three and two.
But the European players dominated otherwise.
Maria Hjorth and Anna Nordqvist beat Brittany Lang and Juli Inkster 3 and 2. And Caroline Hedwall and Sophie Gustafson cruised to a 6 and 5 win over Angela Stanford and Stacy Lewis
According to Golf Channel television coverage, US team captain Rosie Jones said she went against her instinct by allowing Stanford and Lewis to team up again after being soundly defeated on Friday. Apparently they made a convincing argument to Jones, but it proved to be a bad decision as the two were drubbed for a second straight day.
In the afternoon, however, the US team made up the ground they needed to get the overall event back to even. It wasn't without a further setback, though.
Team Europe widened their lead to three points courtesy of Laura Davies and Melissa Reid, who defeated Michelle Wie and Brittany Lang four and three. In the process, the lopsided win with Reid vaulted Davies ahead of Annika Sorenstam as the all-time leader in Solheim Cup points.
Then, Team USA got down to business. Jones explained her thinking:
"I felt like I really had to get our big guns back out on the golf course and figure out some good pairings that would kind of shake it up a little bit, but at the same time give us some success, of course."
For starters, Solheim Cup rookies Ryann O'Toole and Stacy Lewis defeated Sandra Gal and Christel Boeljon two and one.
O'Toole continued her impressive play, again proving her selection as Jones' Captain's Pick was indeed a wise one.
For Lewis, her outstanding afternoon performance, complete with four birdies, provided a tremendous shot of confidence. Lewis struggled in two alternating shot foursome matches before returning to the form that earned her a major championship earlier this year.
Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel hung on to defeat Suzann Pettersen and Caroline Hedwall 1-up.
And finally, the US duo of Paula Creamer and Brittany Lincicome—paired together for a second straight day—beat Maria Hjorth and Azahara Munoz three and one to set the stage for tomorrow's singles matches.
UPDATE: Here is the schedule for Sunday's singles matches. This is the order in which they will play.
- Paula Creamer (USA) vs. Catriona Matthew (EUR)
- Stacy Lewis (USA) vs. Sophie Gustafson (EUR)
- Morgan Pressel (USA) vs. Anna Nordqvist (EUR)
- Juli Inkster (USA) vs. Laura Davies (EUR)
- Vicky Hurst (USA) vs. Melissa Reid (EUR)
- Brittany Lincicome (USA) vs. Christel Boeljon (EUR)
- Brittany Lang (USA) vs. Sandra Gal (EUR)
- Christina Kim (USA) vs. Maria Hjorth (EUR)
- Michelle Wie (USA) vs. Suzann Pettersen (EUR)
- Ryann O'Toole (USA) vs. Caroline Hedwall (EUR)
- Angela Stanford (USA) vs. Azahara Munoz (EUR)
- Cristie Kerr (USA) vs. Karen Stupples (EUR)
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