Coming into the Sunday singles matches at the LPGA International Crown Team Spain (#ESP) is in a unique position. Starting the four-ball matches on Thursday Spain was ranked fifth of the eight teams. They picked up 3 points in their matches against Thailand, but on Friday they ran into the proverbial brick wall and were twice defeated in their matches against the United States (#USA). It was a demoralizing moment, but then Saturday the Spaniards rallied, twice defeated the Chinese Taipei teams, and ended the four-ball matches with seven points on the board. They’re going into the Sunday singles matches in a 3-way tie with Sweden and Thailand for second place. What’s the nature of the magic inside Team Spain that fueled their rebound?
Spain’s Sunday Lineup
I’m looking for Beatriz Recari and Azahara Munoz to claim solid victories. The Ciganda-Choi and Mozo-Jutanugarn matches are going to be toss-ups.
Noon: Carlota Ciganda vs Na Yeon Choi: Ciganda tends to be more aggressive than consistent, but Choi’s had an up and down performance during the four-ball matches. I’m looking for this match to test the players’ ability to set and sustain a steady pace early in the match. The mental edge may be the most critical factor for both Cignada and Choi, and the one who’s forced to play a catch-up game will be playing at the disadvantage. Let’s see who establishes the early lead.
12:20pm: Beatriz Recari vs Mikaela Parmlid: Parmlid’s been playing hot but so has Recari, and Recari’s steadily improved over the three days of four-ball. If Recari continues her upswing this one will go the full 18 holes but I think Recari has the edge with her broader match play experience.
12:40pm: Belen Mozo vs Moriya Jutanugarn: Mozo’s already scored an eagle and 5 birdies on day 3 and made 4 birdies against the Jutanugarn sister act on day 1, so we know she can make birdies in bunches on this course. But can she do it solo on Sunday? Moriya was the stronger of the sisters during the four-ball matches. This one will be close, too close to call.
1pm: Azahara Munoz vs Ai Miyazato: Munoz has played a strong game at the Crown. She recorded 3 birdies on Thursday, 4 on Friday, and 5 on Saturday, well ahead of Miyazato’s birdie record at the Crown. Munoz, drawing on her 2013 Solheim Cup and 2012 Sybase Match Play experience, knows how to manage today’s pressure. I look for her to win this match.
LPGA has announced that with bad weather predicted for this afternoon, the tee times for the final day of the International Crown have been moved up. The first singles match tees off at 11:30 a.m. ET with the final pairing teeing off at 1:00 p.m.
Due to the change in schedule, the final matches of the International Crown will be available to watch from 1-2:30 p.m. ET on GolfChannel.com and live TV coverage will take place from 2:30-5 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.
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