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U.S. women rally, pull even at Solheim Cup

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Momentum swung fast and furious in the Solheim Cup, stopping only when Paula Creamer holed a 5-foot par putt to win for the second time Saturday and leave the matches where they started -- all square, with 12 singles matches left to decide who wins.

The 19-year-old Creamer and five women old enough to be her mother led an American rally at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind., none more spectacular than 45-year-old Rosie Jones. Playing in her final Solheim Cup, Jones made a 30-foot birdie putt up the ridge on the 18th for an unlikely halve.

Annika Sorenstam recovered from a meltdown in the morning by teaming with Laura Davies for the first time and picking up an easy point. Trish Johnson and Sophie Gustafson came up with clutch putts for Europe.

Creamer's par putt gave her and Cristie Kerr a 1-up victory over Cationa Matthew and Carin Koch, leaving the matches tied at 8 going into today's singles. The only other time the Solheim Cup was tied going into the last day was in 1994, and the Americans won handily.

This might be the first time they have an advantage.

The United States typically does its best in singles, having won five of eight times and outscoring Europe 51 1/2-36 1/2 in Solheim Cup history. But the way these matches have gone the first two days, expect anything.

PGA Tour

Mark Calcavecchia, seeking his first PGA Tour win in four years, didn't make a birdie in Saturday's third round at the Canadian Open, and that proved costly. He shot a 2-over 72 and saw his five-shot lead shrink to one going into the final round at the Shaughnessy Golf Club in Vancouver, British Columbia.

There's no room for error today, not with 12 players within five shots of the lead. Among them are Craig Barlow and Stephen Ames, both of whom benefited from spectacular shotmaking in the third round.

Ames had a course-record tying 64, and Barlow made a hole-in-one in a round of 65 to surge into contention.

Calcavecchia will have to hold off a host of pursuers to win for the first time since the 2001 Phoenix Open. Among the challengers will be Barlow and Jesper Parnevik (67), one shot back at 5 under. Ryan Moore (67), the 2004 U.S. Amateur and NCAA champion, is two shots back.

-- From wire reports


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