2021 Solheim Cup – Saturday Final Notes

2021 Solheim Cup

Inverness Club | Toledo, Ohio | Sept. 4-6, 2021

Saturday Final Notes

Sept. 4, 2021

   Leaderboard

  2021 Solheim Cup Record Book

 Team USA Roster and Records

 Team Europe Roster and Records

OVERALL SCORE – EUROPE 5.5, USA 2.5

SATURDAY FOURSOMES RESULTS – EUROPE 3.5, USA .5

Matilda Castren/Anna Nordqvist (EUR) def. Austin Ernst/Danielle Kang (USA), 1 up

Celine Boutier/Georgia Hall (EUR) tied with Ally Ewing/Megan Khang (USA)

Leona Maguire/Mel Reid (EUR) def. Nelly Korda/Jessica Korda (USA), 1 up

Charley Hull/Emily K. Pedersen (EUR) def. Brittany Altomare/Lexi Thompson (USA), 1 up

SATURDAY FOUR-BALL RESULTS – EUROPE 2, USA 2

Nelly Korda and Ally Ewing (USA) def. Nanna Koerstz Madsen and Madelene Sagstrom (EUR), 1 up

Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas (USA) def. Carlota Ciganda and Sophia Popov (EUR), 1 up

Anna Nordqvist and Matilda Castren (EUR) def. Lexi Thompson and Mina Harigae (USA), 4 and 3

Georgia Hall and Leona Maguire (EUR) def. Yealimi Noh and Brittany Altomare (USA), 1 up

SUNDAY FOURSOMES PAIRINGS (all times Eastern)

7:15 a.m. – Georgia Hall and Madelene Sagstrom (EUR) vs. Danielle Kang and Austin Ernst (USA)

7:27 a.m. – Charley Hull and Emily K. Pedersen (EUR) vs. Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare (USA)

7:39 a.m. – Mel Reid and Leona Maguire (EUR) vs. Nelly Korda and Ally Ewing (USA)

7:51 a.m. – Anna Nordqvist and Matilda Castren (EUR) vs. Lizette Salas and Jennifer Kupcho (USA)

SATURDAY FOUR-BALL RECAPS

Nelly Korda and Ally Ewing (USA) def. Nanna Koerstz Madsen and Madelene Sagstrom (EUR), 1 up

On paper, it very well could have been the biggest mismatch of the 2021 Solheim Cup. World No. 1 Nelly Korda and Ally Ewing, a two-time LPGA Tour champion in the last 11 months including the Bank of Hope Match-Play hosted by Shadow Creek, versus LPGA winner Madelene Sagstrom and Nanna Koerstz Madsen, the current Nos. 48 and 49 in the Rolex Rankings, respectively.

The underdogs struck first, going 2-up through two on a birdie-eagle start from Sagstrom. About the only thing that could slow the Swede down was a bee sting as she walked off No. 5 green. That same hole, Ewing sent a jolt of life into Team USA with a 25-foot birdie. The other half of the duo tied the match on No. 7, where Korda blistered a drive 310 down the middle, stuck it close and converted birdie.

“I think Madelene started off hot, made two birdies, and we certainly were a little out of sync for the first two holes,” Ewing said. “We changed our order and switched my ball number, and we got it back on track, started to play better golf.”

Ewing continued the wave of momentum, reaching the par-5 8th in two and two-putting before Koerstz Madsen responded with her own birdie on No. 9. The match was tied as they made the turn.

All was quiet until the 13th. Korda reached the par 5 in two and lined up a 27-foot eagle putt. The read, the roll, was all perfect, so much so that she fell to her knees as the ball sat overhanging the hole. But Sagstrom scooped up Korda’s ball to concede birdie, quicker than the allotted waiting time, which was a point of emphasis during the pre-tournament rules meeting on Wednesday. LPGA Tour Rules official Missy Jones stepped in to share the breach of the regulation and that Korda’s previous stroke was deemed to be holed.

“Obviously, I wasn’t following the rules about leaving the ball for 10 seconds. But I do believe in integrity and honor of the game of golf and I would never pick up a putt that had a chance to go in,” Sagstrom said. “I personally don’t agree with the decision about the ball being on the edge but I didn’t follow the 10-second rule, so it sucks right now because I feel like I let my team down.”

“It was definitely awkward, and you don’t want to win a hole like that,” said Korda. “I got off the green, we were kind of talking and Missy already came up to us and was like, ‘I’m calling it in, I want to check it out.’ We didn’t even have a say, honestly. We told ourselves to focus on golf and finish it off.”

OFFICIAL RULING STATEMENT: Rule 13.3b states that “if the opponent in match play deliberately lifts or moves the player’s ball overhanging the hole before the waiting time has ended, the player’s ball is treated as holed with the previous stroke, and there is no penalty to the opponent under Rule 11.2b.” The chief referee, match referee, observer and TV observer all deemed that Nelly Korda’s third shot on No. 13 was overhanging the hole and was picked up by her opponent before the waiting time had ended. Therefore, her third stroke was treated as holed.

Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas (USA) def. Carlota Ciganda and Sophia Popov (EUR), 1 up

The second afternoon match between Team Europe’s Sophia Popov and Carlota Ciganda and Team USA’s Lizette Salas and Jennifer Kupcho offered a nail-biting performance by both teams. USA’s duo won the 18th hole to bring home one point.

It was the Americans who won the second hole to take the early lead, but the Europeans managed to get to 2 up with birdies at 4, 5 and 7.

“We started off really great, we were 5-under on the front nine and we didn’t make any bogeys,” said Ciganda.

Team USA pulled back with wins at 8 and 10 to even the score and took a 1-up lead when both players birdied No. 14. Europe squared the match with a Popov birdie at No. 16, sparked by a spectacular approach shot.

It was all square coming down 18 when Salas hit a perfect second shot into a tough pin position and made the birdie putt to win the match and secure a crucial point for Team USA.

“I just embraced the moment. I knew what I had to do. Jen pretty much carried me all day. It was a great partnership, and I didn’t have to tell her anything before the round. I said, just do your thing and I’m here for you,” said Salas. “It was definitely a team effort, but I wanted to make that for her and for Team USA and for all the fans. We played our hearts out for that whole entire round, and to get it done on 18 in front of our team and our fans, our family, it meant a lot.”

“Kudos to [Team USA], they played really well, and they made those putts when it was necessary,” said Popov. “I think we actually played really well, ball-striking-wise both of us had a good day. We made quite a few putts, but we didn’t make the key putts in the key moments.”

Anna Nordqvist/Matilda Castren (EUR) def. Lexi Thompson/Mina Harigae (USA), 4 and 3

In the third match of the afternoon fourballs, European duo Anna Nordqvist and Matilda Castren returned to the scene of their morning success and picked up where they left off. The European pair went 1 up with a birdie on the second hole, but Americans Lexi Thompson and Mina Harigae fought back with the latter making a birdie on the next hole to level the match.

Seven-time Solheim Cup star Nordqvist then rolled in a birdie on the fourth and made a par on the sixth to put Team Europe 2 up. A solid run of form continued, and it was the Swede again who birdied the 10th and 13th to put the Europeans 4 up with five to play.

Thompson made a clutch putt on 14 to keep pace with Castren’s birdie and keep the match alive, but a tied hole on 15 secured a 4-and-3 victory for the Europeans.

“It’s been a great day for the both of us, and I really enjoyed playing with Matilda. She played great all day, and I think we’re just happy to see some blue on the board. They’re tough competitors, but I feel like we played great in the best ball and complemented each other pretty well,” said Nordqvist.

Castren added, “Getting two points is more than I could ask for and playing with Anna was great. I could really trust her. I just tried to do my best and tried to make some putts, and I managed to do that in the end. We had so much fun today. We both played great.”

Georgia Hall and Leona Maguire (EUR) def. Yealimi Noh and Brittany Altomare (USA), 1 up

Whisked off the green after a victorious Saturday foursome match with Mel Reid against Nelly and Jess Korda, Solheim Cup rookie Leona Maguire looked anything but new with teammate and major champion Georgia Hall. The duo went out in the afternoon and earned another point for Europe in the four-ball matches against American rookie Yealimi Noh and two-time U.S. Team member Brittany Altomare.  

After a long birdie putt at the first from Hall, the European squad quickly went 2 up on the second hole thanks to a birdie from Maguire. But the United States refused to go down without a fight. After two consecutive birdies by Noh on Nos. 6 and 7, the Americans went 1 up through the turn. Hall tied it again with a birdie at No. 10, a margin that remained until she made yet another crucial birdie at 15 to regain the lead 1 up on the United States. Hall and Maguire sealed the 1-up victory on No. 18 when Noh and Altomare failed to birdie. 

“It was good fun. I think we played better the back nine and managed to hit some good shots in, so obviously very pleased to get a point,” said Hall. 

Hall, who led in birdies with 253 heading into the competition, improves her overall Solheim four-ball record to 2-2-0 over her three starts for the European Team. Maguire remains undefeated through her first-ever matches in the Solheim Cup. Both players will tee off in different pairings for the Sunday morning foursomes, and the first Irishwoman on the European Solheim Cup team looks to continue her hot start in her dream event. 

“We played some great golf today and we knew they would, so it was a case of staying patient, hanging in there. We fought back and we were 1 down at the turn. We knew we had to stay patient,” said Maguire. “Georgia made some nice birdies right when we needed it, and yeah, it was nice to get that win in the end over two really good golfers.” 

SATURDAY FOURSOMES RECAPS

Matilda Castren/Anna Nordqvist (EUR) def. Austin Ernst/Danielle Kang (USA), 1 up

On the par-5 second, Matilda Castren dropped in a right-to-left 30-foot bomb that, for an instant, seemed like it would put Team Europe on the board first. Instead, Team USA answered with a 20-foot bender from Danielle Kang. The script was flipped on the par-3 third as Kang missed a par opportunity, handing Europe a 1-up advantage. Anna Nordqvist and Castren carried that momentum to the very next hole to go 2 up, but gave it right back at No. 5 with a three-putt performance.

The tide turned on No. 7. Kang left her chip shot short, but Austin Ernst swooped in like Captain America to pick her partner up. She buried the 20-foot par putt and flashed a fierce fist pump as the gallery erupted. Another par on No. 8 put the Stars and Stripes 1 up, and they made the turn with the same margin.

“I felt like we were doing great. Things happen,” said Nordqvist. “She made that putt to give them a little bit of momentum, but Matilda putted really well all day, had great speed. She made a couple really good ones that took the momentum back for us, especially the good par putt on 9 followed by a great birdie on 10.”   

Team Europe and Team USA exchanged birdies at Nos. 10 and 12, respectively. Castren found the bottom of the cup at No. 10 from 23 feet, while Ernst left it inside 5 feet off the tee at the par-3 12th and Kang capitalized. From there, Nordqvist and Castren strung together three straight birdies from Nos. 13-15 to open a 2-up lead. Despite a par from Team USA to take No. 17, the European duo shut the door on No. 18 for a 1-up victory. 

“We’re very happy to get off to a good start, and Matilda played fantastic,” said Nordqvist. “For her to go out there as a rookie and just be fearless, it’s not easy.”

The rookie added, “I couldn’t ask for a better way to start my Solheim Cup career winning the first point with Anna. She’s a legend and such a nice person.”

Celine Boutier/Georgia Hall (EUR) tied with Ally Ewing/Megan Khang (USA)

The European duo of Celine Boutier and Georgia Hall had a great comeback in their morning foursome match against USA’s Ally Ewing and Megan Khang. While the Americans took the early lead after winning the first two holes and kept a 2-up advantage for much of the match, the Europeans stormed back over the closing holes to tie the match.

Ewing and Khang kicked off the morning with a birdie and eagle on the opening two holes. They dropped a shot and a hole on the fourth but regained the 2-up lead on the next hole. Holes 7/ 8 and 14/15 witnessed the same scenario, with the Americans regaining a 2-up lead each time the Europeans won a hole.

Ewing holed a clutch par putt to keep Team USA comfortably ahead by two through 16. From there, Hall sunk a difficult putt for birdie on the 17th to push the match to 18. With the USA laying up after finding bunker off the tee, the European duo won the 18th hole with a par and halved the match as they continue their Solheim Cup performance unbeaten.

“It was a really tough match actually. Both teams played really well,” said Hall. “Being 2 down with two to play is not ideal, but really glad that we managed to get a half point.”

Leona Maguire/Mel Reid (EUR) def. Nelly Korda/Jessica Korda (USA), 1 up 

With an eagle at the par-5 third hole, Europe’s Mel Reid and Leona Maguire took an early 1-up lead over the American sister duo of Nelly Korda and Jessica Korda. Reid and Maguire grew the advantage to 2 up through six holes, but just could not pull clear of the Kordas. 

The Americans rallied the gathered crowds when Jessica drained a masterful chip-in from off the green at No. 13. She punctuated the ball drop with a fierce fist pump, even garnering a huge round of applause from the notoriously stoic Nelly.  

“That’s what you hope for,” Jessica said. “That is the Solheim Cup, and that’s what’s really cool.” 

But the Kordas, undefeated as a pairing in the 2019 Solheim Cup in Scotland, could not turn that moment into a true momentum shift. Jessica just missed a birdie putt at No. 18 that would have tied the match, instead watching Maguire, the first Irish player in the history of the Solheim Cup, drain a short par putt to earn the 1-up victory. Reid had nothing but raves about her rookie teammate, someone she admitted to barely knowing when the week started. 

“Honestly I could not be more impressed with this girl here. I said to her, we hadn’t really spoken before this week, that’s kind of what Solheim is about,” said Reid. “This girl honestly, she’s some player, and just really, really proud of the way she handled herself and she’s a very, very impressive girl, so it was an honor honestly to play with her in the first match.” 

Maguire added, “I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my Solheim career. Very lucky to have Mel alongside me. I think everybody had written us off today, and we just sort of took that in our stride and wanted to be as relentless and fearless as possible, and I feel like we did that.” 

Charley Hull/Emily K. Pedersen (EUR) def. Brittany Altomare/Lexi Thompson (USA), 1 up

The final match of the opening morning foursomes saw a tight and cagey affair between Team Europe and Team USA. The European pair of Charley Hull and Emily Kristine Pedersen went 1 up after the first hole but American duo of Brittany Altomare and Lexi Thompson pulled it back to all square on the next.

It was then Team USA’s turn to go 1 up but Europe levelled and then 1 up themselves on the ninth in what continued to be a tense encounter. 

The match was tied on the 10th before the Americans found some momentum and soon were 2 up with four holes to play. But Europe came back strong and won two of the last three holes before Pedersen rolled in her putt on 18 to secure a 1-up victory over Team USA.

“I don’t know what to say about that,” said the Danish star. “Nothing feels better than winning a point for Europe. I’m so happy! I knew the line and I saw the putt the whole way. I just had to get a little bit of a stroke on it and I knew I was going to.”

Hull added, “I really enjoyed playing out there. It is great fun. We didn’t really feel the nerves. Three birdies in the last four holes to come from 2 down to be 1 up was pretty good.”

UPDATED COMPETITION SCHEDULE (all times Eastern)

Sunday, Sept. 5

Foursomes – 7:15-7:51 a.m.

Fourball – 12:05-12:50 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 6

Singles – 12:05-1:55 p.m.

TV TIMES (all times Eastern)

Sunday, Sept. 5 – 7 a.m. to 12 p.m., Golf Channel; 12-1:30 p.m., NBC; 1:30-5:30, Golf Channel

Monday, Sept. 6 – 12-6 p.m., Golf Channel

WHITELINE PAR AND YARDAGE

36-36–72, 6,903 yards (par and yardage are subject to change through the start of the competition)

COURTESY LPGA TOUR

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