SUGAR GROVE, Ill.-- It's the typical Sunday afternoon scenario at the Solheim Cup: The visiting team looked good early on, taking command in more than half of the matches at one point. But as the players come down the stretch, the unbelievable crowd support -- boosted by a couple of early points posted by the U.S. -- is lifting the home squad and causing the wheels to come off the visitors.
Laura Davies, who at one point was 3-up in her match against Brittany Lang, just played some frankly stupid golf and gave away a half point. Gwladys Nocera, Europe's most valuable player so far, is about to hand Juli Inkster the gift of another halve (in what's likely Inkster's last-ever Solheim Cup match as a player) after she dominated the American veteran and was 2-up with five to play. And European big-hitters Hjorth and Nordquist have given up half-time leads and ties to go 1-down in their matches.Â Â
The only Europeans who have been able to hold up under the pressure are Catriona Matthew (who won her match against Kristy McPherson 3&2), Diana Luna (who's 2-up on Nicole Castrale) and Janice Moodie (who's 2-up on Natalie Gulbis in the anchor match).
The noise on this golf course is beyond description right now. The European fans are trying their best to add some "EU-ROPE, EU-ROPE" to the mix, but they're getting drowned out. Â
The American clubhouse lead is 13-10. The home team needs 14 points to retain the cup, and the Europeans need 14.5 points -- plus a miracle -- to win it back.