Solheim Cup: Friday morning pairings

mulligan, 08 September 2005, Comments Off on Solheim Cup: Friday morning pairings
Categories: Uncategorized

The Opening Ceromony just ended with the captains announcing their pairings. You can catch all day coverage on The Golf Channel at 9-5 ET, and then replayed tonight at 7-9 ET. The first match (foursomes or alternate shot) pits the following teams:

1. 8:00: Carin Koch/Catriona Matthew v. Beth Daniel/Paula Creamer

The Europeans have put out a strong 1st team. Carin Koch, the attractive Swede, is tenacious; she’s lost only 2 of 12 matches (8-2-2) and has won 9 points in 3 Cups. Catriona Matthew has played in 2 Cups, picking up 3 1/2 points in Europe’s victory the last time around.

Beth Daniel is the oldest US member and has appeared in 8 Cups, while Paula Creamer is the youngest in her 1st Cup. This is a good pairing for Paula against the very experienced Euro team. Beth will be a good, steadying force for Paula (when she has trouble breathing on the first hole, first tee time of the entire Cup), but the Euros will be tough.

Edge on paper: very close, … I love Paula’s game, but (reluctantly) give a slight edge to the Euros. Carin Koch is the Sergio Garcia or Colin Montgomerie for the women (in addition to Annika).

2. 8:10: Laura Davies/Maria Hjorth v. Cristie Kerr/Natalie Gulbis

Again, a very formidable Euro team. Laura Davies (16-13-3) is a seasoned veteran, who is the longest hitter on tour. I watched her play at Wendy’s and Laura could have easily shot 10 under. She reminds me of John Daly, and remember what JD did here at Crooked Stick in the 1991 PGA. Laura will help Maria Hjorth (1 previous Cup), who also is a long ball hitter. Cristie Kerr (2 Cups) and Natalie Gulbis (rookie) are good friends and play together often, and have fairly similar games. For alternate shot, that will be key.

Edge on paper: call me crazy, but I think the relatively inexperienced U.S. pairing of Cristie and Natalie fit better for alternate shot. If nerves don’t take over, I’d give them a slight edge.

3. 8:20: Sophie Gustafson/Trish Johnson v. Christina Kim/Pat Hurst

Sophie Gustafson (7-5-2) and Trish Johnson (5-11-3) — 2-0-1 as a team last time — present a good matchup for Christina Kim (rookie) and Pat Hurst (4 Cups). Christina’s a ham off the course, and clearly a fan favorite at Crooked Stick. It will be important for her to keep the energy up and fans into the competition, without letting her emotions get away from her. Pat Hurst is playing really well of late, and she’s got experience, so that will help.

Edge on paper: toss up.

4. 8:30: Annika Sorenstam/Suzanne Pettersen v. Michelle Redman/Laura Diaz

Edge on paper: let me just cut to the chase. Annika is 16-8-3 and Suzanne Pettersen is 5-2-1; they played together the last time around and never lost a match. Michelle Redman is a grinder, and Laura Diaz’s got game (not to mention a baby on board), but I have to give a big edge to Euros.


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