SUGAR GROVE, Ill.-- Just shy of 12 hours after they teed off in their individual best-ball matches this morning, the four players of match no. 16 finished up their alternate-shot battle in almost complete darkness. The final hole alone included at least three momentum swings, but in the end, Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie were able to hold on to their 1-up lead and beat Anna Nordquist and Maria Hjorth after Hjorth missed a six-foot putt for par.
Fatigue certainly played a part in the outcome. It's late, dark and cold out here, and both Hjorth and Nordquist looked physically and mentally spent. They made several unforced errors on the last two holes -- holes they could have won with bogey and par -- to leave the total team score 8-8 after two days of competition. Had they just played 17 and 18 in one over par, their team would've been going into Sunday with a 9-7 lead, a cushion it desperately needed.Â
Instead, the two sides are now even, which means the Americans have a symbolic lead. Historically, they dominate in singles play, especially with the home-field advantage.Â
Captain Daniel's U.S. players may technically have lost the Saturday matches 3.5-4.5, but they definitely have all the momentum going into Sunday.