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Solheim Cup: European Drought Not Set to End This Year

Michael DixonAnalyst IIISeptember 23, 2011

DUNSHAUGHLIN, IRELAND - SEPTEMBER 23:  Christina Kim of the USA and Ryann O'Toole (L) embrace on the 13th green during the afternoon fourballs on day one of the 2011 Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle Golf Club on September 23, 2011 in Dunshaughlin, County Meath, Ireland.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

The Solheim Cup's history has gone in a dramatically different direction that what we've seen in the Ryder Cup.

In the Ryder Cup, the European squads have tended to do extremely well. The Americans won convincingly in 2008, but have otherwise fallen short for most of the last 20 years. Since winning in 1993, the only other American win came in 1999's "Miracle at Brookline," where only a dramatic Sunday charge kept the European side from winning.

The European women have not been so fortunate. Since the event's inception in 1990, the American women are 8-3. Included in that record are wins in each of the last three events. 

More importantly, each of the last three Solheim Cups have been convincing American victories. Actually, none of the Cup's 11 events have been decided by fewer than three points.

The European squad, who is hosting the event, got off to a strong start. After the two sides halved the morning session, the Europeans won the afternoon session 2.5-1.5, taking a 4.5-3.5 lead into Saturday's play.

There's a slight problem though. That's a good day for the Europeans, just not good enough.

If you watched today's afternoon sessions, you saw something that's been seen in nearly every Ryder Cup over the last 20 years, only the sides were reversed.

The European team could have effectively put the Solheim Cup away after one day. They had a real chance to win all four afternoon matches, which would have given them a commanding 6-2 lead. Instead, they won by only one point.

The Americans managed a win in one match that should have been a tie, at best. Ryann O'Toole and Christina Kim salvaged a halve against Catriona Matthew and Sandra Gal that should have been a loss.

So, even though they are a point behind, the American squad has to feel a lot more confident than its European counterparts.

The European team is good, but woman for woman, the Americans have the better team. That can be made up for in the first four sessions over two days. The problem is that the Europeans will now need to at least repeat today's success if they are going to win on Sunday.

The Sunday singles sessions tend to go in favor of the Americans; they have for a long time. If the Europeans don't have at least a two-point lead, it will be really hard for them to hang on.

Also, remember that the Americans are the defending champions, so a tie goes to them.

I don't see the Europeans ending this drought. I like the American's chances to at least even the Cup tomorrow and then win comfortably on Sunday. At the very least, we should all hope for an exciting Sunday session of golf.

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