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Solheim Cup 2019: What the history of Sunday singles play says about a possible finish at Gleneagles

September 14, 2019

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They’ve played 16 matches over two chilly days at Gleneagles, but the 16th Solheim Cup has only just begun. With the Americans winning Saturday afternoon’s four-ball session, 2½-1½, the United States and Europe are tied 8-8 with 12 singles matches left to decide the winner.

If you like to lean on history before you try to predict what might be in store in Scotland on Sunday, here are some facts to consider about how singles play has shaken out in the 15 previous Solheim Cups:

• Four times previously the overall match has been tied 8-8 entering singles: 1994, 2005, 2009 and 2011. The first three times, the U.S. emerged victorious with Europe winning the most recent.

• The Solheim Cup has never ended in a tie, and it’s unlikely the overall match will do so this year either given the way singles typically plays out. Only once has the Sunday singles session itself ended in a tie. That happened in 2017 at Des Moines Country Club, when the U.S. held a comfortable lead entering the last session.

• It’s a good thing for Europe that it is at least tied for the lead. Never in the history of the Solheim Cup have the Europeans trailed entering Sunday singles and turned things around and won the Cup. (Conversely, the Americans have done it four times).

• The Americans have an edge on the Europeans, 9-5-1, in the number of times they’ve previous won the singles session. That said, in the last four Solheim Cups, the Europeans are 2-1-1.

• Counting all the individual matches, the Americans hold a commanding lead, with a 99½-72½ record since the Solheim Cup’s inaugural playing in 1990.

• Counting all the individual matches when the Solheim Cup was played in Europe, the Americans still hold a sizeable lead , 46-36.

• There is still the potential for this otherwise tight match to become a blowout. Eight times the Americans have won the singles session by three or more points, compared to the Europeans doing it three times.