TOLEDO, Ohio – Anna Nordqvist and Lexi Thompson will kick off what could be a sensational Labor Day finish at rockin’ Inverness Club. If their singles match four years ago in Iowa is any indication, Nordqvist and Thompson will deliver at the 17th Solheim Cup. They might have halved that lead-off match in Des Moines, but former U.S. captain Juli Inkster joked that it felt like six points.
The third match of the day on Monday at Inverness is a gift of the golf gods, with Leona Maguire and Jennifer Kupcho squaring off in what should be a roaring rookie showdown. Maguire, the only player in the event to go all five matches, is 3-0-1 in her Solheim debut while Kupcho is 2-0-1. The pair faced each other earlier this year in the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play event and finished the match tied.
“You never know how you’re going to react in these situations until you’re put in them,” said Maguire. “This is what you practice for. This is what you prepare for. I love team golf. I love match play.”
World No. 1 Nelly Korda looked out of sorts in her morning foursomes loss and sat out in the afternoon. She was embroiled in controversy in Saturday four-balls, and while she and Ally Ewing went on to win the match, it was emotionally draining and upsetting.
Korda defeated Caroline Hedwall in her singles debut two years ago.
Another one of Europe’s heralded rookies, Matilda Castren, will have her work cut out against Lizette Salas, who has never lost in singles with a 3-0-1 record.
On the European side, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda has the team’s best singles record of 3-0-1. She’ll face Brittany Altomare on Monday.
Mel Reid had her neck attended to in the middle of the round on Sunday afternoon. She said it happened at lunch, but that she’ll be fine. She faces rookie Yealimi Noh, who is riding a high after putting up her first Solheim Cup point in afternoon four-balls.
“The Americans have put something in our food, I think,” joked Reid. “The tiramisu is keeping us up at night and the spring rolls are giving us a bad necks.”
If it all comes down to the final match, rookie Emily K. Pedersen will carry the load for Europe against American Danielle Kang, who won the LPGA Drive On event at Inverness last summer. And just for fun, Pedersen’s boyfriend happens to be Kang’s caddie.
Europe needs five points to retain the Cup, and the Americans need 7.5 to win it back.
The final round of the Solheim Cup will be live on Golf Channel Monday, Sept. 6 from 12-6 p.m. EDT.
Singles matches (all times Eastern)
12:05 p.m. – Anna Nordqvist (EUR) vs. Lexi Thompson (USA)
12:15 p.m. – Madelene Sagstrom (EUR) vs. Ally Ewing (USA)
12:25 p.m. – Leona Maguire (EUR) vs. Jennifer Kupcho (USA)
12:35 p.m. – Georgia Hall (EUR) vs. Nelly Korda (USA)
12:45 p.m. – Celine Boutier (EUR) vs. Mina Harigae (USA)
12:55 p.m. – Nanna Koerstz Madsen (EUR) vs. Austin Ernst (USA)
1:05 p.m. – Matilda Castren (EUR) vs. Lizette Salas (USA)
1:15 p.m. – Carlota Ciganda (EUR) vs. Brittany Altomare (USA)
1:25 p.m. – Sophia Popov (EUR) vs. Megan Khang (USA)
1:35 p.m. – Mel Reid (EUR) vs. Yealimi Noh (USA)
1:45 p.m. – Charley Hull (EUR) vs. Jessica Korda (USA)
1:55 p.m. – Emily K. Pedersen (EUR) vs. Danielle Kang (USA)