SUGAR GROVE, Ill.-- Day two of the 11th Solheim Cup is dawning cloud-free (the forecast for Saturday is much better than Friday's gloom and doom), with an interesting line-up for the morning fourball:
8:05 TEE TIME: Helen Alfredsson and Tania Elosegui (Eur.) vs. Michelle Wie and Christina Kim (USA)
8:20 TEE TIME: Catriona Matthew and Diana Luna (Eur.) vs. Angela Stanford and Brittany Lang (USA)
8:35 TEE TIME: Suzanne Pettersen and Anna Nordquist vs. Nicole Castrale and Cristie Kerr (USA)
8:50 TEE TIME: Gwladys Nocera and Maria Hjorth vs. Brittany Lincicom and Kristy McPherson
Surprises on the U.S. team: Captain Daniel is benching the only American who went 2-0 yesterday, Paula Creamer. But Daniel has a plan, and she's sticking to it. She will not play any one player five times this week ("I need them all fresh for Sunday," she said last night). Strange move or brilliant? Only time will tell. I haven't had time to run the stats, but I believe it's the first time a Solheim Cup captain has done this.
Surprises on the European team: None, really. Captain Nicholas revealed that Laura Davies had questioned her current form after losing 5/4 to the Brittany's in Friday's morning match, and will now be sitting out the second match in a row. Nicholas expressed her sheer amazement with the play of rookie Anna Nordquist in yesterday's afternoon foursomes, saying "She's just great, that one, isn't she?" That's one way of putting it. Nordquist and Hjorth shot seven under in 16 holes in their foursomes match against Kristy McPhearson and Brittany Lincicome. Let me reiterate: they shot seven under in 16 holes of alternate-shot foursomes. Not best-ball. So there's no doubt those two are on form and will be playing another 36 today.