Live blogging the 2009 Solheim Cup 1: U.S. Team talent interleaved for final-day singles
I just arrived at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois, and am struck immediately by the throngs of fans and the pristine course. From what I saw of the layout in my long trudge from the wrong lot to the media center, it’s a bit of a curious design: random trees jutting up from carnival-ride fairways, amorphous greens that look almost specially designed for sucker-pin placement, and a pair of white swans in one of the water hazards that looked fake at first.
As I trudged, I also eavesdropped on the fans streaming in. Over a half-dozen times I heard someone exclaim, “Ohh, Paula Creamer off first. That’s strong!” I thought, Well, it had better be. It’s all knotted up 8-8.
Then on the Golf Channel in the media center, I heard analysts muse about the “front-loaded” U.S. Team. Here are the pairings:
10:05 a.m. Suzann Pettersen vs. Paula Creamer
10:15 a.m. Becky Brewerton vs. Angela Stanford
10:25 a.m. Helen Alfredsson vs. Michelle Wie
10:35 a.m. Laura Davies vs. Brittany Lang
10:45 a.m. Gwladys Nocera vs. Juli Inkster
10:55 a.m. Catriona Matthew vs. Kristy McPherson
11:05 a.m. Sophie Gustafson vs. Brittany Lincicome
11:15 a.m. Diana Luna vs. Nicole Castrale
11:25 a.m. Tania Elosegui vs. Christina Kim
11:35 a.m. Maria Hjorth vs. Cristie Kerr
11:45 a.m. Anna Nordqvist vs. Morgan Pressel
11:55 a.m. Janice Moodie vs. Natalie Gulbis
I’m not sure I agree with the “front-loading” analysis, though. Match two pits Angela Stanford (0-2-1) of the U.S. against Becky Brewerton (2-1-0). Instead, it looks like Captain Beth Daniel is interleaving her stronger and weaker players, and then toward the end, placing a couple of players who have not played well this week (Pressel, Gulbis). So I suppose in that sense it’s “front-loaded,” but for the most part, it seems more staggered.
On a personal note, it is a real pleasure to watch players like Creamer, Wie, Kim, and Lincicome again, now that they are pre-eminent professionals. The first time I watched and reported on any of these outstanding players was at the 2004 U.S. Women’s Open. Back then, Creamer, Pressel, and Wie were much-heralded amateurs, Lincicome was an unknown who actually lead the Open after 36 holes (if memory serves), Kim was an unknown rookie, and Gulbis was a pin-up girl.
What a difference five short years make!
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