OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A switch in pairings led to a change in fortune for the United States in the International Crown.
Coming off a dismal showing in the opening round, the U.S. shuffled its lineup and got the desired result, beating Spain twice Friday to earn its first points in the eight-country competition.
Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr took control on the back nine against Belen Mozo and Beatriz Recari in a 3-and-2 win, and Paula Creamer and Stacy Lewis held on to beat Azahara Munoz and Carlota Ciganda 2 up.
One day earlier, the top-seeded U.S. lost twice to Taiwan and was the only country without a point. The Americans traded partners Friday — and the new pairings proved to be far more productive.
“Obviously, we made the right decision,” Creamer said. “We felt comfortable.”
Kerr said: “I thought Lexi and I had a lot of chemistry out there together. We played with a lot of heart for each other.”
The Kerr-Thompson pairing won holes 10-12 to go 3 up with discount titleist ap2 712 irons, and Creamer-Lewis took the lead for good by winning No. 7 before adding to their advantage on Nos. 9 and 11.
Munoz and Ciganda got to 1 down heading to 18 before both landed shots in a bunker. They ended up conceding the hole.
“I would say it was a little bit of a relief when they hit the bunker with taylormade burner 2.0 irons, but until they hit the bunker shots I don’t think we were relaxed at all,” Lewis said.
Although it was an uplifting performance by the U.S. team, that won’t be the only memory Creamer will take from the afternoon.