Sunday at the Solheim Cup
So we?re all square going into Sunday?s round, 8-8.
The final day will feature 12 individual matches, mano e mano, or womano e womano, as the case may be.
So what does the American team have that the Europeans don?t?
1. Home court advantage. Americans haven?t lost on U.S. soil yet, and it?s because of the lift they get from the crowds. We saw it play out on Friday morning?the crowd got quiet, momentum died, and leads slipped away.
But Sunday?s crowd will be extra enthusiastic, and the biggest ever, since an extra 3,000 tickets are being sold to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims. Don?t discount the boost our team will get from all those cheering fans.
2. Capitalism. What?s that got to do with anything, you ask? Well, up to now, everything?s been team play. Someone’s there to back you up. If you fail, you can share the blame. If you succeed, you share the glory. It?s socialism in a nutshell. But Sunday?s matches are all about self-reliance and the individual. Every shot is your own, every mistake is your own, and every ounce of your weight is yours to carry. Singles matches: an inherently American ideal.
3. Way cooler uniforms. What was up with those orange argyle tops and olive drab bottoms? Yuck. At least our ladies look snappy.
Here are the pairings, starting at 9:05 Eastern:
Juli Inkster vs. Sophie Gustafson
Paula Creamer vs. Laura Davies
Pat Hurst vs. Trish Johnson
Laura Diaz vs. Iben Tinning
Christina Kim vs. Ludivine Kreutz
Beth Daniel vs. Annika Sorenstam
Natalie Gulbis vs. Maria Hjorth
Wendy Ward vs. Catriona Matthew
Michele Redman vs. Carin Koch
Cristie Kerr vs. Gwladys Nocera
Meg Mallon vs. Karen Stupples
Rosie Jones vs. Suzann Pettersen
Go Team USA!
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2. Even in puns, I believe in maintaining grammatical agreement, so it "should" be "womana e womana" (feminine gender).
3. Did I mention the network issue? My local paper didn't even bother to mention the Golf Channel coverage, though some crappy IRL event broadcast on the Speed network was listed.
As for Captain Nancy and how wonderful a job she did - James has summed it up elsewhere better than I ever could. Nancy had two choices for this team, and her choices sucked. She brought a previous proven losing player in Wendy Ward, and Wendy lost again. And she brought an undeserving old friend in Beth Daniel along for one more ride. Ostensibly, Beth was providing some form of leadership and guidance for the younger players. Unfortunately, the only leadership she provided was a losing effort every time she played, and the only guidance was how to be a real jerk of a teammate in a post-match interview. Not to mention a first-rate lesson on ignoring your own sucky play and dumping blame on someone else.
Quality choices by Lopez. She should be commended, for sure. Please. As James pointed out, it was the narrowest margin on U.S. soil ever. I am thankful for only one thing - that Nancy's "leadership" only had potential costs. We won the Cup despite her, so all is well. Now let's NEVER have her captain a team for us again.