If anyone had any doubt, Leona Maguire and Mel Reid put it to rest with another phenomenal performance on Sunday to cement themselves as the dominant duo for this year’s European Solheim Team. Two wins and a tie later, the two have earned 2.5 points together for the blue and yellow through the first two days of the Solheim Cup at Inverness Club, with the final half point coming from an exciting afternoon fourball session with Americans Lizette Salas and Jennifer Kupcho.
With an hour to reset from their dominant morning triumph together in foursomes, Maguire and Reid struck first with a birdie on No. 1 courtesy of Maguire. After Salas birdied No. 4 to tie it, the Americans gained their first lead at No. 6 where both players notched birdies. But before the turn, Maguire stuffed it close on No. 9 to easily tie it up as they made the turn.
U.S. Solheim Cup rookie Kupcho answered the call immediately, making consecutive birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 to go 2 up, but the Europeans answered back with a birdie by Reid on the par-3 12th to cut into the American’s momentum and cut the lead in half. Two bogeys from Kupcho and Salas on No. 15 brought the match to a tie, until an outstanding chip in from just off the green at 17 put the Stars and Stripes out front.
It all came down to 18. With the opportunity to gain a half point for the Euros, Reid found birdie. From 136 yards out, she put it a few feet from the pin, tying the match. The half point was “huge,” said the 33-year-old.
“I didn't have my best stuff today. I think they were obviously two great players and they played perfect four-ball. If one was out, one was making a look at birdie,” said Reid. “Leona, again, played great, putted fantastic, kept us in the match, and then I just saw kind of a wave of yellow and blue, which was all our team, and I knew I had to pull something off. Leona has been obviously holing the winning putts everywhere, so I thought I'd take a little bit of credit finally.”
And the veteran Salas only had positive things to say about her rookie partner as well. “I feel like the MVP of our team is this one right here,” she said, hugging Kupcho on 18 green. “She played, again, amazing golf today. I did my part the first like six holes, and obviously we would have wanted a full point, but Europe is a tough competitor. She played amazing, and I'll figure my game out by tomorrow.”