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U.S. ousted at International Crown
Owings Mills, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Korea's So Yeon Ryu and Inbee Park both birdied the first playoff hole on Saturday to oust the United States and earn the final spot in Sunday's singles matches at the International Crown.
"You know, when I won the U.S. Women's Open, I had a playoff, but I wasn't that nervous. This was the most nervous I've ever been in my life," Ryu said.
Ryu and Park beat Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr in the extra session. Thompson and Kerr made a par and birdie, respectively. They had beaten the Jutanugarn sisters, Ariya and Moriya, to move the U.S. to six points.
However, Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum and Onnarin Sattayabanphot fended off Paula Creamer and world No. 1 Stacy Lewis, 1-up. Thailand and Spain topped group A with seven points, while Chinese Taipei was eliminated with four points.
Japan split its two matches with Korea, but still finished atop group B with eight points. Sweden beat Australia in both matches Saturday to earn four points and moved into second place with seven points.
Korea finished with six, while Australia was ousted with just three points.
Korea and the United States went to the par-5 16th for the playoff at Caves Valley Golf Club. All four players found the fairway off the tee, but only Kerr reached the green in two.
Park laid up, then chipped her third to five feet. Ryu and Thompson both came up just short with their second shots. Thompson putted onto the green, but was still 15 feet short of the hole. Ryu chipped to about three feet.
After Kerr missed her lengthy eagle attempt, Thompson's birdie try stayed above ground and she was conceded par. Kerr made her birdie try before both Park and Ryu made their birdies to win the final spot in Sunday's singles.
"Lexi hit an awesome shot in here (at 16), but that's golf. We can't just say that one shot was it. There's four players on this team, and (Cristie) said that we win together and we lose together," said Creamer.
After getting shutout on Thursday, the U.S. rallied with four points on Friday.
"First day was really the killer. Honestly, the format in this event is hard, it's really hard and to have a playoff end on one hole is really hard too," Kerr stated.
Kerr birdied the second and parred the fourth to give the U.S. a 2-up lead against the Jutanugarns. The teams halved seven in a row from the fifth before Thompson birdied 13 and 14 to give the U.S. a 4-up lead. The Jutanugarns birdie the 15th to get within 3-down, but after two more halves, the U.S. won that match, 3 & 2.
In the final match on the course, Lewis and Creamer trailed much of the way. The Thai duo of Phatlum and Sattayabanphot won the second and fifth with birdies.
Lewis answered with a birdie on No. 7 and the U.S. also birdie the eighth to square the match. After Phatlum birdied the 11th, Lewis answered with an eagle on No. 12. The U.S. had two chances to birdie the 13th and go 1-up, but both players missed.
Phatlum made an 8-footer for birdie on 14 and stuffed her second to a foot on the 15th. After Lewis missed, the U.S. duo was 2-down with three to play. Lewis was conceded a birdie on 16 after just missing her eagle try. Both Thai players missed birdie chances and the U.S. was back within 1-down.
Sattayabanphot 2-putted for par on the 17th to halve the 17th after Phatlum went in the water with her tee ball. Creamer and Lewis had similar birdie chances on the 18th, but neither was able to convert and the Thai duo earned two points to advance and the U.S. was later ousted in the playoff for the final spot.
Spain's Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Munoz rolled to a 6 & 5 win over Taipei's Yani Tseng and Phoebe Yao. Spain also claimed the other match as Belen Mozo and Beatriz Recari held off Candie Kung and Teresa Lu, 1-up. Those two wins gave Spain seven points and a spot in Sunday's singles matches and those results ousted Taipei.
In group B, Park and Ryu cruised to a 4 & 3 victory over Mamiko Higa and Mika Miyazato, while Japan's Sakura Yokomine and Ai Miyazato rallied for a 3 & 2 win over Korea's Na Yeon Choi and I.K. Kim.
Sweden earned two huge wins to earn the second spot in group B. Caroline Hedwall and Anna Nordqvist easily took down Australia's Minjee Lee and Karrie Webb, 5 & 3. Pernilla Lindberg and Mikaela Parmlid trounced Katherine Kirk and Lindsey Wright, 7 & 5. That was the largest win of the week.
NOTES: The United States had been the top-seeded team in the event ... Kirk and Wright lost six of their last seven holes on Friday, and lost six of the first 12 on Saturday.
07/26 20:50:38 ET
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