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 10½- 5½, matching the largest lead in Solheim Cup history. With only the 12 singles matches remaining Sunday in Parker, Colo., 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. 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. It was a devastating end for the Americans, hopeful of at least getting a halve from that final match. No team has ever rallied from more than two points behind to win the Solheim Cup. “Obviously, it was a very disappointing afternoon,” U.S. captain Meg Mallon said. “We have our work cut out for us tomorrow. It can be done. It’s daunting right now but it can be done.”
PGA Tour: John Huh shot an even-par 70 for a share of the lead with Patrick Reed after three rounds of 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.
Earlier, Charles Howell III was disqualified, one day after the weight port cover on his driver came off before his second round. The PGA Tour announced his disqualification for using a non-conforming driver before the start of Howell’s third round. Howell was five strokes off the lead.
Champions Tour: Bart Bryant shot a 10-under 62 to take the second-round lead in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y. Bryant, a rookie on the tour, made 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 (64).
U.S. Amateur: Matt Fitzpatrick advanced to the final of the U.S. Amateur 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, who earned a 2-up victory over fellow Australian Brady Watt. The final is 36 holes of match play Sunday.