UL International Crown
The Merit Club
Teams from both pools narrowed the gap on the leaders as the United States and Australia earned their first points of the tournament – each had one win and one halved match on Day 2. The most notable match of the day came from England and Japan as Mel Reid was forced to play against Haru Nomura and Mike Miyazato on her own after Charley Hull sat out due to illness. Hull took the Japanese to 18 holes but would eventually lose 1 down.
Teams had 30 minutes following the drop of the last putt in the final match of the day to determine their pairings for Day 3 of pool play.
DAY TWO MATCH RECAPS
(4) TEAM AUSTRALIA VS. (8) TEAM CHINA – POOL A
Minjee Lee/Su Oh (Australia) HALVED Shanshan Feng/Xi Yu Lin (China)
Minjee Lee birdied the 18th hole in the first match of pool play on Friday to square the match against Team China and gave Team Australia their first point of the tournament. Shanshan Feng and Xi Yu Lin flipped the script after making the turn 1DN and won three holes in a row on 10-12. Australia got within one but China held onto the lead all the way until the final hole of the match.
Su Oh was responsible for four of Team Australia’s five winning holes before Lee’s clutch putt on 18.
“I think it was very important for us to make it into Sunday,” said Oh. “We had a tough day yesterday, but we got it back together, and at the start we just thought, we can do this. We just got out there and made lots of birdies.”
Karrie Webb/Rebecca Artis (Australia) DEFEATED Jing Yan/Simin Feng (China), 2&1
Karrie Webb and Rebecca Artis never trailed as they earned 2 points for Team Australia on Friday by defeating Jing Yan and Simin Feng of China 2&1. Yan birdied No. 4 to send the match back to all square early on but Artis responded with a birdie on the 5th to give Australia a lead they never gave up the rest of the way.
After losing both matches against Team Chinese Taipei on Day 1, Webb said that the pairings for today made a big difference for the Aussies.
“Well, obviously we changed the pairings up,” Webb said. “We got no points yesterday, so we thought it wouldn’t hurt. Getting three points out of four, I think we’re pretty happy with that. Minjee birdied the last to get that half, which I think is huge.”
(3) TEAM JAPAN VS. (7) TEAM ENGLAND – POOL B
Ai Suzuki/Ayaka Watanabe (Japan) HALVED Holly Clyburn/Jodi Ewart Shadoff (England)
Team England walked out to the first tee to the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” knowing they needed two points since Charley Hull was unable to compete on the second day due to illness. Team Japan struck first on the first hole and the match went back and forth from there.
Suzuki had an eagle chance on 16 but couldn’t capitalize and Ewart Shadoff was able to bring the match all square headed to 17. Watanabe could have won the match by making her two foot birdie putt on 18 but missed and the Japanese settled for one point.
“We had a lot of chances to win, and we’re a little disappointed,” Suzuki said. “I had a lot of eagle putt chances, and 16 was when that turned, so yeah.”
“Yeah, it was obviously tough,” Holly Clyburn said. “We knew that we wanted to go out there and get them two points as quickly as possible. But it never is going to be that case. We’re always going to think about what’s going on and think about Mel at the same time, and we just tried to do our best out there, and we scrambled that point, and Jodi played absolutely fantastic by my side, and with her without, we would have been in earlier.”
Haru Nomura/Mika Miyazato (Japan) DEFEATED Mel Reid (England), 1UP
The match of the day ended up being Match 12 after Team England’s Charley Hull could not compete due to illness, leaving teammate Mel Reid to take on Japan on her own. As the major underdog, Reid fought her way back from being down two thanks to a birdie on 12 followed by a hole out for eagle on 13 to bring the match back to all square.
Reid and Team Japan each went birdie-par-birdie over the next three holes with Nomura’s birdie on 17 giving Team Japan the lead they would not relinquish. It ended up being 2 points for Japan but Reid’s solo performance and play on the back nine made this one of the more memorable matches in team golf history.
“I would say that I am best when I — like when I’m really under severe pressure, not just in golf but in life. I’ve been under quite a lot of pressure in many situations, and you know, I did see that today,” Reid said. “I could have quite easily just been like, do you know what, I’m on my own, I’m not going to — I know I’m not going to win. But I don’t know, there’s something that switches inside of me where when I’m under severe pressure, I tend to just turn it on. I need to learn how to do that every single time I play. But yeah, I seem to perform my best when I’m under a lot, a lot of pressure.”
Statement from Team England’s Charley Hull
“I am gutted that I was not able to play today. I woke up feeling poorly with my asthma and a fever early this morning and sought medical attention when I arrived at the course. I really wanted to join my partner Mel at some point during the match, but at the advice of the medical team, the best thing to do was to rest and get healthy for my team for tomorrow.”
(2) TEAM USA VS. (6) TEAM THAILAND – POOL B
Gerina Piller/Stacy Lewis (USA) HALVED Pornanong Phatlum/Moriya Jutanugarn (Thailand)
Stacy Lewis missed an 8-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to halve the match with Thailand’s Moriya Jutanuagrn and Pornanong Phatlum. The Americans earned an early lead with two holes won by Gerina Piller on Nos. 3 and 4 and never trailed in the match. Birdies by Pornanong Phatlum on Nos. 9 and 11 pulled the Thai even but Lewis poured in a 15-foot birdie putt of her own on 12 to go 1UP with two holes to play. But Phatlum responded once again with a 25-foot bomb on 17 to go all square heading to 18th tee. Both Thai players left their long birdie chances short while Piller failed to convert on hers. Lewis just missed her 8-footer to give each team 1 point on the board.
“I think we’re playing great golf. I can’t recall one hole that either one of us has been out of the hole,” said Piller. “You know, that’s all you can really ask for. We’re making lots of birdies, making putts. It’s just one of those things where as cliche as it sounds, you just have to stay patient with it and keep doing what you’re doing. It’s bound to produce results.”
Cristie Kerr/Lexi Thompson (USA) DEFEATED Ariya Jutanugarn/Porani Chutichai (Thailand), 4&3
Lexi Thompson drained a 22-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole to defeat Team Thailand 4&3 for the biggest margin of victory of the week so far. Thompson and Kerr combined for 15 birdies on the day and earned 2 points for USA – their first of the week after being shut out on Day 1. Thompson had a stretch of four consecutive birdies on Nos. 8-11 and put the Americans 3UP after winning the 10th hole. Kerr sank a 30-footer on the 12th to win the hole and to put them 4UP with six holes to play.
Porani Chutichai used a birdie on 13 to cut the lead back to 3 but Thompson’s putt on 15 was the nail in the coffin.
“It’s very important,” said Thompson. “Every point matters. Coming off yesterday and not getting a point yesterday, it was important to come in today with a positive attitude and come in strong like we did, and we pulled it off.”
the Americans. Even on paper, we was obviously not as strong as the Americans. Yeah, it was great. I think it definitely helped us in a way because even people not cheering us on the golf course, we was kind of saying that, that we kind of like it because it makes us want to keep on making birdies and keep their crowd quiet.”
(1) TEAM KOREA VS. (5) TEAM CHINESE TAIPEI – POOL B
So Yeon Ryu/Sei Young Kim (Republic of Korea) DEFEATED Teresa Lu/Yani Tseng (Chinese Taipei), 4&2
After being upset on Day 1, the duo of So Yeon Ryu and Sei Young Kim came out wanting to make a statement. And with their 4&2 victory over Chinese Taipei, they did just that. With a birdie on the first hole of the day from Kim, Korea took the early lead – one they never gave up. Team Chinese Taipei trailed the entire round and by at least two holes from the 8th hole and on. Back-to-back birdies on the 10th and 11th hole by Kim gave Korea a commanding 4-hole lead with five to play.
A birdie by Teresa Lu on 14 cut the lead to three but after Lu and Tseng both missed their eagle attempts on 16, they conceded the match to Korea.
“Actually to be honest, yesterday’s play was better than today’s play from both of us, but I think today our teamwork was really nice, but maybe we couldn’t make enough birdies, so I think we might have a chance to finish even earlier,” said Ryu. “But I think today our teamwork was really nice. Like when Sei Young was a little hurried and Sei Young was a little upset, I was able to help her out, and as soon as I said something to her, she was able to play better.”
Candie Kung/Ssu-Chia Cheng (Chinese Taipei) DEFEATED Amy Yang/In Gee Chun (Republic of Korea), 2&1
Ssu Chia Cheng and Candie Kung of Team Chinese Taipei remained undefeated with a 2&1 victory over In Gee Chun and Amy Yang of Korea.
“I think we’re very relaxed out there,” said Kung. “We’re having a lot of fun. I trusted her play. I know she was going to make her pars wherever she is, and I could be a little more aggressive with the par-5s and a couple of the par-4s, and I happened to make a couple putts coming in, too.”
The group tallied eight birdies on their day including a stretch of five in a row from holes 4-8 which turned a 1DN deficit into a 2UP lead which they never gave up. The duo has been benefiting from some local knowledge as Cheng’s caddie, Jorge Olguin, caddied at Merit Club for 11 years.
“There was actually a couple putts out here today that I asked Jorge about it, and he was pretty good with it,” Kung said.
Concerning the Saturday Wild Card Playoff:
· If there are only two teams in the playoff, the format for the playoff will be hole-by-hole, four-ball match play (i.e. concessions allowed) with the second ball serving as the tie-breaker
· If there are more than two teams in the playoff, the format for the playoff will be hole-by-hole, four-ball stroke play (i.e. concessions not allowed) with the second ball serving as the tie-breaker
INBEE PARK WILL NOT DEFEND TITLE AT RICOH WOMEN’S BRITISH OPEN
Inbee Park announced today that she will be unable to defend her title next week at the RICOH Women’s British Open due to her lingering left thumb injury that has plagued her all season. Park has not seen LPGA action since missing the cut at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship where she officially qualified for the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame.
Park completed the Career Grand Slam with her victory at Trump Turnberry last year and said she is now concentrating on getting healthy to represent Korea at the Olympic Games in Rio in August. It’s the first major victory of her career she will not defend.
“With extreme disappointment I must announce that I will be withdrawing from this year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open at Woburn. This has been an incredibly hard decision for me to make and the reason I’ve left it to the very last minute. Winning the British Open last year at Turnberry meant so much to me in more ways than you could imagine. Since the PGA I’ve been resting and rehabilitating my left thumb in the hope that I would be right to defend my title next week but it just needs a little bit more time. Therefore, I will be unable to attend this year’s British Open and now must concentrate on getting healthy and ready to compete for my country at the Olympic Games in Rio.”