Saturday, September 15, 2007

Americans lead but Davies makes great escape to keep Europeans in it

HALMSTAD (Sweden): Tromping through the bushes, Laura Davies looked as lost as she'd ever been on a golf course.

Then, she made two shots that will go down in Solheim Cup lore to win the hole, save her match and turn a rough opening day for the Europeans into something much better.

The United States led 4 1/2-3 1/2 after a windy, wet and frigid day in Sweden – a good sign for a team that hasn't been ahead after the first day of this event since 1998.

But it was the Europeans who walked off the course with all the momentum. Davies was a big part of that.

Playing in the final fourball match of the day, she was the last player to hit on the tricky par-3 16th hole. She didn't learn a lesson by watching Americans Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer and her own teammate, Trish Johnson, all hit to the wrong side of Backen – the creek that runs in front of and down the right side of the green.

In fact, Davies hit the worst shot of the foursome.

So bad, that she found herself climbing through the shrubbery simply to get to her ball.

Once there, she took a wild swing and a gash of underbrush, blasting the ball out to the fringe on the opposite side of the green. Still away, she chipped in her next shot from 50 feet to win the hole and draw even in a match she and Johnson had trailed all day.

Davies and Johnson played the last two holes to a draw – Creamer and Pressel both had decent looks at putts to win – and wound up with a tie that, in many ways, felt more like a win.

That, plus a rally by Annika Sorenstam and Maria Hjorth to salvage another half point, helped the Europeans split the afternoon matches after being behind in all four of them at one point about halfway through. – AP

Source - The Star