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U.S. blanked on first day of International Crown
Owings Mills, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Chinese Taipei's Yani Tseng drained a birdie putt at the par-4 18th to defeat the United States' Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson, 1-up, and steal two points.
Earlier on Thursday, Chinese Taipei's Candie Kung and Teresa Lu beat Americans Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr, 4 & 3. As the No. 1 seed, the United States was the only team to finish the first day of four-ball play at Caves Valley Golf Club without a point.
"Doesn't matter who we play with on this team. It really doesn't," Creamer said about Thursday's pairings. "We all mesh well together. We just didn't get the job done."
The eighth-seeded Chinese Taipei led the way in Pool A with four points with help from Tseng and her partner Phoebe Yao.
Right behind them was No. 5 Spain, which picked up three points after a win and a draw against No. 4 Thailand. Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Munoz defeated Pornanong Phatlum and Onnarin Sattayabanphot, while Spain's Belen Mozo and Beatriz Recari halved their match with Ariya Jutanugarn and Moriya Jutanugarn.
No. 3 Japan ended day one in first place in Pool B, also earning three points. Japan's Ai Miyazato and Sakura Yokomine won, 2-up, over No. 6 Sweden's Pernilla Lindberg and Mikaela Parmlid. Mamiko Higa and Mika Miyazato halved their match with Sweden's Caroline Hedwall and Anna Nordqvist.
No. 2 Korea and No. 7 Australia each won one match against each other to earn two points apiece. Korea's Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu got two points for their country with a 3 & 2 win over Katherine Kirk and Lindsey Wright. Australia's Minjee Lee and Karrie Webb won, 2-up, over Na Yeon Choi and I.K. Kim later on.
Lewis and Thompson's match with Tseng and Yao was the last match on the course and it was the United States' last chance to at least collect one point heading into the second day.
With things all-square through 12 holes, Tseng and Yao picked up a win at No. 13, which did not look good for the Americans. Lewis, the No. 1 player in the world, came up huge at the par-5 16th as she put her third shot just feet from the pin. She tapped in for birdie to square things up again.
Thompson made a mess of the last hole, so it was up to Lewis to make birdie with Tseng within about 10 feet of the hole. Lewis narrowly missed her long birdie putt and Tseng knocked hers in for the 1-up win.
"I wouldn't say it's a Yani of old, but she just made putts," Lewis said. "She didn't hit it perfect, she hit some bad shots, she hit some good shots. But she's just made putts. And in best ball, that's what it comes down to."
NOTES: With Lewis at No. 1 and Thompson at No. 5, that United States pairing contained two of the top-3 players in this week's event. Korea's Park is No. 3 in the world ... Friday's matchups include: United States vs. Spain, Korea vs. Sweden, Thailand vs. Chinese Taipei and Japan vs. Australia.
07/24 18:43:37 ET
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