Though the U.S. team may yet remain unbeaten at the conclusion of this week’s ISPS Handa Cup, it doesn’t look like it’ll be a walk in the park.
The World team won two best-ball matches during Saturday morning’s nine-hole session and halved another, trailing just 7-5 as the competition broke for lunch at Reunion Resort. Alternate shot will be the afternoon format, again contested over nine holes.
Two points are awarded for a match win and one for a halve. The score was even at 5-5 until Rosie Jones and Patty Sheehan gave the Americans the final two points of the session, shooting a 4-under-par 32 to beat Lorie Kane and Dawn Coe-Jones by two in the stroke-play format.
“Patty came on real strong at the end; I got off to a good start,” said Jones, who ran her Handa Cup unbeaten streak to 13 consecutive matches. “We’ll try to do it again in the afternoon.”
Pat Bradley and Betsy King turned in the strongest performance for the U.S. team, posting a 6-under 30 to beat Catrin Nilsmark and Alicia Dibos by three. Sherri Turner and Cindy Figg-Currier came close, shooting a 31 to beat Helen Alfredsson and Alison Nicholas.
The World team got a 30 as well from Sally Little and Anne Marie Palli, rolling to a four-shot win over Sherri Steinhauer and Cindy Rarick. The result ended a five-match unbeaten streak for Steinhauer.
The lone halve came in the duel between Americans Nancy Lopez and Nancy Scranton against Gail Graham and Jenny Lidback. Though all but Graham had birdie chances from inside 8 feet at the par-5 ninth hole, all grazed the same side of the hole without falling.Jeff Shain covers golf for the Orlando Sentinel and Tribune Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter at @JeffShain, or reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.