GOLF ROUNDUP: Europe on verge of Solheim route
Karine Icher put an emphatic end to a stunning shutout that put Europe on the verge of its first Solheim Cup win in America.
Icher rolled in a 45-foot birdie putt from just off the back of the 18th green Saturday afternoon as she and Beatriz Recari hung on for a 1-up win, giving Europe its first sweep of a Solheim Cup session in 11 years.
By winning all the fourballs matches in the afternoon, Europe led 10 1/2 to 5 1/2 , matching the largest lead in Solheim Cup history. With only the 12 singles matches remaining today, Europe only needs to win three matches and halve another to capture the cup away from home for the first time since this event began in 1990.
It also would be the first time Europe retained the cup.
Icher’s putt was the final blow on a day filled with them for the Americans. Anna Nordqvist closed out a foursomes match in the morning with a hole-in-one on the 17th hole. And after the Americans thought they had momentum from a strong showing in foursomes, Europe came out firing with a pair of rookies.
Charley Hull, the 17-year-old from England and youngest player in Solheim Cup history, hit a 9-iron just over the bunker to 4 feet on the par-3 17th with her match all square. She finally felt nervous, and drained the putt for a 1-up lead. Jodi Ewart-Shadoff did the rest, smashing a tee shot some 30 yards by Lexi Thompson that left her only a 9-iron into the green. The birdie putt was conceded for a 2-up win over Thompson and Paula Creamer.
Caroline Hedwall, the only player to go all four matches, teamed with Caroline Masson to beat Michelle Wie and Jessica Korda. It was Wie’s first loss at Colorado Golf Club. The Spanish tandem of Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Munoz beat Angela Stanford and Gerina Piller, leaving the American duo winless for the week.
PGA TOUR: John Huh shot an even-par 70 for a share of the lead with Patrick Reed after three rounds in the Wyndham Championship, in Greensboro, N.C.
Huh, the PGA Tour’s reigning rookie of the year, and Reed, the second-round leader who shot a 71, were at 10-under 200. Zach Johnson had the day’s best round — a 66 — and was one stroke back along with Bob Estes and John Deere winner Jordan Spieth. Estes shot 68, and Spieth had a 70.
Play was halted for 2 hours, 59 minutes in the morning while the soaked course could dry out somewhat.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: Bart Bryant shot a 10-under 62 to take the lead in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, in Endicott, N.Y.
Bryant, a rookie on the Champions Tour, took advantage of another serene day at En-Joie Golf Club, making six birdies in his first seven holes to surge past first-round leader Kenny Perry. Bryant was at 16-under 128, a 36-hole record for the tournament, four shots ahead of Corey Pavin.
Pavin had a 64. Duffy Waldorf was 11 under after a 65, and Rick Fehr and Russ Cochran were 10 under.
Fehr and Cochran shot 67. Perry was eight strokes back at 8 under after a 71.
U.S. AMATEUR: Matt Fitzpatrick advanced to the final of the U.S. Amateur on Saturday with a 2-and-1 victory over Corey Conners at The Country Club, in Brookline, Mass.
Fitzpatrick could become the first English champion of the tournament since Harold Hilton in 1911. He will play Oliver Goss, a 2-up winner over fellow Australian Brady Watt.