PARKER, COLO. (AP) - The drama for Stacy Lewis was about the golf Saturday, not the rules.
The day after a rules debacle left her standing on the 15th green for more than 25 minutes, America’s highest-ranked player finally got on the board at the Solheim Cup, teaming with Paula Creamer for a back-and-forth, 1-up victory over Azahara Munoz and Karin Icher.
“We had a blast today,” said Lewis, the Women’s British Open champion who is ranked second in the world.
It was a tense match, filled with huge momentum shifts and, ultimately, a gift from the Europeans.
Heading into Saturday afternoon’s matches, Europe led 6 1/2-5 1/2.
Tied on the 18th hole of the morning’s alternate-shot match, Lewis put Creamer in trouble when she smothered her approach shot into trees to the left of the green. But Icher hit an even worse shot, thinning her third shot out of a fairway bunker and lodging the ball inside a yucca plant in front of the sand.
Creamer successfully hit the third shot out of trouble. After a drop and a bad pitch, the Europeans were lying 6 and conceded the hole and the match. The United States got the victory _ Lewis‘ first in three tries this week _ after squandering a 4-up lead after 10 holes.
“I was just hoping we weren’t going to spend 27 minutes on the green again,” she said. “So, the fact that we got out of there pretty quick was nice.”
Quite a different scene from Friday, when rules officials took nearly a half-hour to decide where Carlota Ciganda should drop after she hit her ball in a hazard fronting the green. Ciganda ended up getting up and down for par to halve the hole and Europe went on to defeat Lewis and Lexi Thompson 1 up. Officials later acknowledged they had made an incorrect ruling, but couldn’t change the result.
Lewis reiterated her frustration with the scenario, especially the long wait that sapped her momentum and that of the American team behind her, which also lost.
“When you have to sit there and just stand around and stand around, it’s hard to hit a putt or shot or anything,” Lewis said. “It just throws you out of your rhythm. And golf is a lot of rhythm and momentum, and especially in match play. So, it definitely had an effect.”
ACE IN PLACE: It’s no overstatement to say Anna Nordqvist finished with a bang.