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If Catriona Matthew is looking for good omens heading into tomorrow’s final day of the 2019 Solheim Cup, here are two.
One, Europe has won each of the two previous matches played in Scotland; and two, the last time the match entered the final day deadlocked, Europe went on to win.
That was in 2011 in Ireland. How Matthew and her team would love for a little luck of the Irish to rub off on them tomorrow.
“I think we’ve got a good chance,” said the Scot after the US narrowly won the Saturday afternoon fourballs to level the match up at 8-8. “The first two days, you can tell there’s not too much to pick between the two teams, so we’re going in with a lot of confidence that we can do it tomorrow.”
After Europe maintained its advantage when the morning foursomes were shared, the US struck back in brutally tough afternoon conditions.
Had it not been for a stirring late fightback by Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier, who came from three-down after 13 to win two-up against Angel Yin and Ally McDonald, and Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Caroline Masson salvaging a half-point against Lexi Thompson and Marina Alex, Matthew’s side could have been whitewashed.
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Instead, they’re entitled to feel as though the momentum is with them as a grandstand finale looms.
“To be honest, probably as a team, we’re slightly chippier tonight,” she said. “At one point this afternoon, it looked as though it could potentially go 4-0 or 3-1. So, two-and-a-half, one-and-a-half ended up being good for us.
“We’re really pretty pleased.”
Matthew’s opposite number Juli Inkster – seeking a third successive winning Solheim captaincy – is equally pleased.
“I’m ecstatic to be where we’re at right now,” said the US skipper. “I think we’re pretty good in singles. Hopefully the weather will be a little better tomorrow, so we can see some really good golf from the Euros and the USA and battle for the cup. That’s what we do.”
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