Dunsany, Ireland – The U.S. staged an impressive rally in ball matches when it won three points and tied Europe at the Solheim Cup.
It's 8-8 with just Sunday's 12 singles match left to decide this Solheim Cup.
The first American point of the session came from a heavily-criticized pairing. Stacy Lewis, who got crushed in her two previous matches, and Ryann O'Toole, who was maligned the moment Rosie Jones announced her as a captain's pick, had little trouble with Sandra Gal and Christel Boeljon. The U.S. won, 2 & 1, but the only full point for Europe in four-balls was a milestone one.
History was made in the first match when Laura Davies and Melissa Reid trounced Michelle Wie and Brittany Lang, 4 & 3. Davies surpassed one of her assistant captains, Annika Sorenstam, as the leading point earner in Solheim Cup history with 24 1/2.
"Obviously, the more you play in it, the more points you should have," Davies said. "So as I've played in all of them, if I didn't have the most points, it would be a bit embarrassing. It's nice to finally get past Annika, who obviously has a spectacular record, and it's nice to have done it before the singles."
Europe needs 14 1/2 points to wrestle the Cup away, while the Americans only need 14 to keep it by virtue of winning the last three Solheim Cups.
Now it's down to singles where the U.S. has held a historically sizeable advantage.
"We've messed up the singles so many times," admitted Davies. "I don't know what the stat would be in singles, but it would be gigantic against us. I know that much."
In the last three Solheim Cups, two have been tied after the team play and Europe led by a point in 2007. The U.S. has won the singles in those Solheim Cups, 24-12, and left with the prize each time.
"I think we are strong individually," said Jones. "We've got a lot of guts and heart, and it showed not only yesterday, but today as well, and we're going to bring it back tomorrow."
After a 2 1/2 point showing in the morning foursomes, Europe had a two-point lead at the start of four-balls and it got extended thanks to the most successful Solheim Cupper in history.
Davies was awesome on Saturday. She and Reid built a 4-up lead through six holes and all four victories came from Davies. She made three birdies and a par, Lang got a hole back for the Americans with an eagle at the par-five seventh.
Both teams won a hole, so Europe was 3-up until Reid hit an amazing second to four feet at the par-five 12th. Davies and Reid were 4-up with six to play and after three halves, the first point of the session went to Europe.
Saturday was a fitting march into the record books for Davies, who is the only player to participate in every Solheim Cup. Two years ago, this same European captain elected to only play Davies once before the singles, but this week, Davies is 1-1 and the all-time points earner in a tournament she dearly loves.
The next point came thanks to the Lewis/O'Toole combination.
The American team never trailed and closed things out on 17 and it was thanks to a hot putter from O'Toole. In her debut, O'Toole was 2-0-1 in team play.
"I can't complain," O'Toole said on TV. "I love playing for a team."
Pressel and Kerr got 2-up after the 12th hole, but Hedwall sank an eight-foot birdie putt to win the 15th. Pettersen rolled in a long birdie putt at 16 and let out a huge fist pump in celebration. Both Americans missed birdie tries and it was off to 17 all-square.
Pressel hit a nine-iron to six feet at 17. She poured in the birdie putt to win the hole, then two sides halved the 18th to give the U.S. a full point.
The final full point was provided by Creamer and Lincicome. Europe won the ninth to go 1-up, but the U.S. squared it one hole later. It stayed even until Europe made a mess of the 14th.
Lincicome knocked her third to two feet at the par-five 15th and the U.S. was conceded the hole. Creamer and Lincicome were 2-up with three to play and polished off the victory at 17.
NOTES: Europe hasn't won singles since 2003, which was the last time it won the Solheim Cup...Nicholas used all 12 of her players on Saturday, while Christina Kim and Vicky Hurst both sat out both sessions.