US, Australia bounce back in International Crown

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Karrie Webb of Australia lines up a putt on the 17th hole during the four-ball session of the 2016 UL International Crown at the Merit Club on Saturday in Chicago, Illinois. AFP PHOTO

Karrie Webb of Australia lines up a putt on the 17th hole during the four-ball session of the 2016 UL International Crown at the Merit Club on Saturday in Chicago, Illinois. AFP PHOTO

CHICAGO: The United States and Australia bounced back from opening day shutouts but Taiwan and England still topped the pools after Friday’s (Saturday in Manila) second day of the LPGA International Crown team event.

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Hall of Famer Karrie Webb and Rebecca Artis of Australia never trailed as they earned two points in a 2 and 1 triumph over Chian’s Yan Jing and Feng Simin.

Yan birdied the fourth to square the match early but Artis responded with a birdie on the fifth to give Australia a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

After losing both matches against Taiwan on Thursday, Webb said the day two pairings were the difference. Australia earned a third point as Minjee Le and Su Oh halved their match with China’s Feng Shanshan and Lin Xi Yu.

“We got no points yesterday, so we thought it wouldn’t hurt,” Webb said of changing the lineup. “Getting three points out of four, I think we’re pretty happy with that. Minjee birdied the last to get that half, which I think is huge.”

Taiwan remained atop the Pool A standings with six points, followed by South Korea on four and Australia and China on three.

The top two teams in each pool and one wildcard advance to Sunday’s singles matches.

After being upset on Thursday, the South Korean duo of Ryu So-Yeon and Kim Sei-Young wanted to make a statement, and they did so with a 4 and 2 victory over Taiwan’s Teresa Lu and Tseng Ya-Ni.

They took the lead with Kim’s birdie at the first and never gave it up. Taiwan trailed by at least two holes from the eighth on.

“Actually to be honest, yesterday’s play was better than today’s play from both of us, but I think today our teamwork was really nice,” said Ryu.

Taiwan still maintained a two-point lead in the standings, however, thanks to a 2 and 1 victory for Candie Kung and Chang Ssu-Chia over South Korea’s Amy Yang and Chun In-Gee.

Japan emerged with a victory and one halved match against an England depleted by the absence of ailing Charley Hull.

Reid flies solo
Haru Nomura and Mika Miyazato beat Mel Reid 1 up, the English player pushing them hard despite the absence of scheduled playing partner Hull.

Reid fought her way back from two-down with a birdie at the 12th and a hole out for eagle on 13 that squared the match.

Reid and Team Japan each went birdie-par-birdie over the next three holes before Nomura made the decisive birdie on 17.

Hull said she was “gutted” to miss the match because of asthma and a fever, but hoped some rest would have her ready for the weekend.

In the other Japan-England match, Ai Suzuki and Ayaka Watanabe halved their contest with Holly Clyburn and Jodi Ewart Shadoff.

England topped pool B on five points with Japan and Thailand on four and the United States on three.

Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson gave the United States two points with their 4 and 3 victory over Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and Porani Chutichai.

Thompson drained a 22-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole to seal the victory. Thompson and Kerr combined for 15 birdies on the day.

Gerina Piller and Stacy Lewis nabbed another point for the US, halving their match with Pornanong Phatlum and Moriya Jutanugarn.

AFP

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