CHICAGO, Illinois: With Charley Hull back in action on Saturday, England cruised into the final singles matches along with the United States and Taiwan at the LPGA’s International Crown team event.
Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Holly Clyburn routed Pornanong Phatlum and Pornani Chutichai of Thailand 7 and 5. Hull, sidelined by illness on Friday, returned and teamed with Melissa Reid to beat sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn 3 and 1 as England won Pool B with nine points.
Thailand had taken the lead with birdies at the second and fourth by Moriya, but Hull reeled off four straight birdies at the fifth through eighth to put England 2 up.
Reid birdied the ninth to stretch the lead before Ariya stepped up with two birdies and a chip-in eagle on the 16th hole to keep within striking distance.
The group walked to the 17th hole with England 2 up. Both Thai players missed their birdie chances and then conceded the hole and the match.
“I was gutted not to be out there, but I thought it would be the best thing for me today to rest because I really didn’t feel well,” Hull said of missing her match on Friday after dealing with a fever and her asthma.
The United States, who lost two tight matches against England on the opening day, finished second in Pool B with seven points after Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson defeated Ai Suzuki and Ayaka Watanabe of Japan 4 and 2, and Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller beat Mika Miyazato and Haru Nomura, 3 and 1.
“It’s pretty huge considering the way we started out, but we pulled it out,” Kerr said. “We can get some rest since we don’t have go to into a playoff. “We will have a team meeting and figure out our strategy for tomorrow.”
Taiwan lead Pool A and were assured of going through after Candie Kung and Teresa Lu halved their match with China’s Feng Shanshan and Feng Simin for their seventh point of the competition.
China in the hunt
China were lying second in the group on six points after Lin Xi Yu and Yan Jing teamed to beat Tseng Ya-Ni and Cheng Ssu-Chia 5 and 4.
Lin, like playing partner Yan 20, had six birdies and an eagle on the day and won four holes.
That was despite leaving her putter at the hotel on Saturday morning and playing with one borrowed from the club pro.
“I have to thank to all my teammates because after they all know it, it’s obviously my very big mistake, but my partner and Simin and Shanshan, they just kept telling me, ‘it’s OK, it’s OK, just relax,'” she said. “I borrowed a putter from the club pro here, and yeah, I have to thank him as well.”
Two Pool A matches between South Korea and Australia were still on the course when thunderstorms halted play at the Merit Club.
South Korea’s Amy Yang and Chun In-gee were 1 up over Aussies Minjee Lee and Su Oh through 15 holes and Ryu So-Yeon and Kim Sei-Young of South Korea were 2 up through 14 over Karrie Webb and Rebecca Artis.
With the top two teams in each group and one wild card going through to the deciding singles, two spots were still open.
The country with the most points at the end of the weekend lifts the trophy. AFP