Team ALPG captain Karrie Webb remained upbeat while admitting her team will face an uphill battle to make the final at The Queens presented by Kowa, after finishing day one with just one point after three losses and one halved match.
Webb said "I feel that our team played well today and that we were unlucky to end the day with just 1 point. We will go out and have a nice dinner tonight to celebrate Whitney's birthday and then come out fighting tomorrow"
Webb and West Australian Rookie Hannah Green were the first pair out for ALPG this morning and were off to a promising start after winning the first hole with a birdie. Their Korean opponents Jin Young Ko and Ji Young Oh replied by making birdie the 4th hole to get back to all square, before making further birdies at the 6th and 7th holes to take a 2 up lead through nine holes. It was always going to take a monumental effort to come back against the number 1 pairing from the KLPGA who went on to birdie the 14th and 15th holes to close out the match 5&3.
In the second match out for the ALPG team Stacey Peters and Cathryn Bristow faced the experienced Ladies European Tour pairing of Lee-Anne Pace and Felicity Johnson, and got off to a positive start being 2 up through 5 holes. They reached the turn with a slender 1 up advantage, however after both Peters and Bristow bogeyed the par 4 11th hole the match was back to all square. With momentum now well and truly on their side, the Europeans made birdie at the par 3 13th hole to take the lead for the 1st time in the match, and went on to win 2&1.
In the third ALPG match good friends Sarah Jane Smith and Sarah Kemp also made a solid start turning 1 up against the LPGA of Japan pairing of Momoko Ueda and Yukari Nishiyama. The JLPG duo made birdies at the 10th and 12th holes to turn the match in their favour taking a 2up lead, after both Australians had bogeyed the difficult par 4 11th hole.
Despite getting one hole back after a birdie on the 14th, Smith and Kemp were still one down playing the par 4 18th hole, and briefly looked like they may sneak a half when the Queenslander knocked her approach shot to within one metre of the hole. However, Nishiyama had different ideas and replied magnificently in front of her home fans, hitting her approach to within tap-in range to seal the victory for the JLPGA team.
It was a disappointing loss for the ALPG duo having finished the day at 6 under par, however the quality of the golf played was such that they will no doubt take a lot of positives into the weekend.
In the final match out for the ALPG, Katherine Kirk and Whitney Hillier found themselves in trouble early, with the LPGA of Japan team of Ai Suzuki and Fumika Kawagishi making birdies at 4 of the first 6 holes to take an early 3 up lead. The determined Aussie duo were not about to lie down though, and fought back with a birdie at the 7th and a spectacular eagle 2 at the par 4 9th hole from Hillier to get back to just 1 down at the turn.
Another birdie at the 11th hole, saw them get back to all square, before the JLPGA pair themselves birdied the 14th hole to again take a slender 1 up lead.
The Australian pair hit back immediately with a birdie at the 14th hole to send the match back to all square, and after three halved holes the match was still all square heading up the 18th. All four players found themselves with birdie putts from makeable distances on 18, with Kirks' birdie chance going the closest, shaving the right edge of the hole.
The halved match was a relief for the ALPG Team who had for much of the back nine looked like they could walk away pointless on the day.
"It was a great match today and a half is probably a fair result to be honest" said an upbeat Kirk "Whitney played great today and I played well, I just didn't putt that well"
Hillier, who was celebrating her 27th birthday today was equally positive about the finish " We were 3 down early and fought so hard to get back into the match today. I hit a great shot into 9 and obviously, it was lucky to go in but that really got us going. We knew that we needed to get something out of this match so really pleased with the result"
Saturday ALPG Singles pairings;
Match 2 Hannah Green vs Jeong-Eurn Lee (KLPGA)
Match 3 Stacey Peters vs Annabel Dimmock (LET)
Match 5 Katherine Kirk vs Mamiko Higa (JLPGA)
Match 8 Cathryn Bristow vs Char-Young Kim (KLPGA)
Match 9 Karrie Webb vs Florentyna Parker (LET)
Match 11 Sarah Jane Smith vs Ritsuko Ryu (JLPGA)
Match 13 Whitney Hillier vs Kotone Hori (JLPGA)
Match 16 Rachel Hetherington vs Ji-Hyun Kim2 (KLPGA)
Match 17 Sarah Kemp vs Olafia Kristinsdottir (LET)
The Queens Cup presented by Kowa will be played in Nagoya, Japan from 1st-3rd December. Day one on 1st December will be Fourball Matchplay, Day 2 on 2nd December will be Singles Matchplay, while the Final Day will be Foursomes Matchplay.
Follow all the scores on our website www.alpg.com.au
Watch the final two days live on Fox Sports Australia;
SATURDAY – from 14:00 to 17:00 on FS501
SUNDAY – from 13:00 to 16:00 on FS506
Watch out for all the news and stories on our website alpg.com.au and follow our social media pages Facebook (ALPG Official), Twitter (@ALPGTour) and Instagram (alpgtour)