Friday Morning Recap: USA Takes 2-1 Lead After Four-Ball Matches
June 8, 2018 | Scarsdale, N.Y.
By USGA and The R&A
Highlights from the three four-ball matches on Friday morning at Quaker Ridge Golf Club between the USA and Great Britain and Ireland:
Olivia Mehaffey/Sophie Lamb (GB&I) vs. Jennifer Kupcho/Lucy Li (USA), Halved
- Mehaffey, the highest-ranked GB&I player at No. 16 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™ and one of the side's two returners from 2016, and Lamb, the low amateur in last year's Women's British Open, rallied from a 3-down deficit to earn a half against the current NCAA Division I individual champion (Kupcho) and the two-time U.S. Women's Open qualifier (Li).
- Key shot: Mehaffey, who helped Arizona State University win the 2017 NCAA title, stuck an approach shot from 160 yards to 2 feet on the par-4 17th hole to square the match. Her partner told her to switch from a 9-iron to a pitching wedge and just "go for it." Lamb had just missed long with her 9-iron approach.
- Mehaffey's birdie came just after Li missed a 6-footer for birdie.
- The USA went 3 up for the first time in the match when Kupcho converted a 15-foot birdie on the par-3 ninth hole.
- Mehaffey started the brilliant comeback on No. 13 with an 8-foot birdie putt, cutting the USA lead to 2 up.
- Mehaffey continued her strong form on No. 15 with a 3-wood tee shot and a pitch to 6 feet to set up a winning birdie, trimming the USA lead to just 1 up.
- We really clawed back there. It was not looking good for awhile, and I knew if went to 4 down, we would really struggle to get it back. Sophie was really strong on the first nine holes, keeping it together." -- Mehaffey
- "On the back nine [Olivia] really found her game. Olivia kept me really relaxed. I just felt really relaxed, which was nice." -- Lamb
Kristen Gillman/Lilia Vu (USA) def. Alice Hewson/Lily May Humphreys (GB&I), 4 and 3
- Vu, the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and Gillman, the 2014 U.S. Women's Amateur champion, combined for eight birdies against no bogeys in knocking off Hewson, one of two returners for GB&I, and Humphreys, the reigning British Girls champion.
- Humphreys helped cut an early 2-down deficit to 1 by converting a 10-foot birdie on the eighth hole.
- Vu's tee shot on the par-3 10th stopped 3 feet from hole to set up a birdie to extend the advantage back to two holes.
- Gillman closed out the match by making a fantastic 15-foot birdie, a downhill putt that sloped to the right and into the hole.
- "I feel I am definitely happy with how we played today. We made a lot of birdies, which is nice and gives us a lot of confidence going into this afternoon." -- Gillman
- "We played really well out there. Like both myself and Lily, we played really, really well. They just holed the absolute world, so I think we've got to take some confidence in how we were actually playing, not worry about the score too much, and just go out there and keep playing our good golf this afternoon." -- Hewson
Paula Grant/Shannon McWilliam (GB&I) vs. Sophia Schubert/Lauren Stephenson (USA), Halved
- The USA side, featuring reigning U.S. Women's Amateur champion Schubert and Alabama first-team All-American Stephenson, made three birdies over a four-hole stretch on the inward nine, including a 20-footer on the 17th hole by Schubert to give the Americans a 1-up lead. But Grant, at 24 the oldest player on either side, made a 15-foot birdie on 18 to earn a key half-point for GB&I.
- Trailing 2 down, Schubert sank a 25 footer on No. 14 and Stephenson made a 12-footer on No. 15 to pull all square, setting the stage for Schubert's putt on No. 17.
- GB&I won five of its six holes with birdies, the lone exception on No. 11 when the Americans each bogeyed the hole.
- “Both of us made some mistakes starting off and we knew we needed to start making pars and get back into it, gain our momentum back. The other team had momentum, but we kind of got it back in the middle of the back nine.” -- Schubert
- Schubert on putt she made on No. 17: “It was awesome. None of our birdie putts were easy. I feel good about it. We finished all square but we were 2 down, so I feel like we’ve got momentum going for the next few matches.”