Comeback Formula By USA: Patience
By Pete Kowalski, USGA
Buenos Aires, Argentina (Jan. 8) – In individual stroke play golf competitions, each shot is precious. In a four-player team format, consider the exponential version of precious.
In the second round of the 2010 Copa de las Americas, the USA Team of Jessica Korda, Jennifer Song, Nathan Smith and Peter Uihlein rebounded to take the lead at Olivos Golf Club, the site of nine Argentine Opens.
Peter Uihlein's play was key to the USA's turnaround on Day 2 of the Copa de las Americas. (Enrique Berardi/Argentine Golf Association)
Ten strokes behind entering the second day of competition, which featured near perfect scoring conditions, the USA ate up groundlike a bulldozer, pushing past 18-hole leader and host country Argentina and grabbing a three-shot advantage over Canada. Paraguay stood in third place, three strokes behind.
“It’s a team event so you have to try to go as low as possible in case anything happens.” said the 16-year-old Korda, a Floridian who has shot final-round 69s in each of the last two U.S. Women’s Opens. “It feels awesome. I saw Peter [Uihlein] on the course [Thursday] and he asked me how I was doing and I told him two under and he said so was he and we should keep going and keep going.”
At the end of the day when Korda and the 20-year-old Uihlein posted a pair of 69s, and Smith and Song registered solid 75s, the team was in first place. And it had outplayed Canada and Argentina by six and 22 strokes, respectively.
“They managed themselves well out there,” said USA Captain Steve Smyers of the team’s second-round performance. “And the putting was better. Jessica had an absolutely fantastic round. Her irons, driving and putting were great.”
The collective group managed to miss a slew of putts on the first day at Buenos Aires Golf Club and admittedly might have started pressing.
They all finished the day with practice on the peninsula putting green at Buenos Aires G.C.
Korda went as far as e-mailing her father so he could reach out to her coach for putting tips.
“Oh, my gosh, yes, finally,” Korda said of figuring out her putting hiccup. “I sent an e-mail to my dad to contact my coach and I told him what I did and he e-mailed me back to say check your alignment and if I was bent over. It worked today.”
Uihlein, who contributed a bogey-free round that included two birdies, summed up the difficulty of the format at this international competition.
“We still have two rounds to go but how many shots did we make up on Argentina?” he asked. “They are a good team. It shows how hard a four-man competition is.”
Story written by Pete Kowalski, manager of championship communications for the USGA. E-mail him with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.