Kerr withdraws from Solheim Cup singles

Europe moved into a 9-8 lead early on the final day of the Solheim Cup when American Cristie Kerr was forced to forfeit her singles match because of injury on Sunday.

”I’m devastated that I couldn’t play today,” Kerr said. ”I tried my best but I couldn’t hold the golf club.”

The third-ranked Kerr was suffering from tendinitis in her right arm and unable to start against England’s Karen Stupples in the last of 12 singles matches.

The highest ranked player on the United States side, Kerr had contributed 2 1/2 points from her four matches at Killeen Castle.

Heavy rain fell on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course, 25 miles northwest of Dublin where the sides were tied 8-8 entering Sunday’s singles matches.

Europe needs 14 1/2 points to win the Solheim Cup for the first time since 2003 while the U.S. only needs a 14-14 tie to retain the trophy.

”We have worried about her playing since Friday morning,” U.S. captain Rosie Jones said. ”She started anti-inflammatories on Friday night and felt better.

”I checked her every day to see if she could go. The wrist is just fatigue and it’s too painful. She can’t pick up the club … We considered a change Friday morning but she was fine then.”

Kerr’s withdrawal meant that Stupples earned her first Solheim Cup singles point having lost to Meg Mallon at Crooked Stick, Indiana, in her only previous appearance in 2005.

”I’m gutted for her and I’m gutted for me because I think we would have had a fantastic game,” Stupples said. ”I was ready to play and if she hadn’t been injured, I know she would have given it a good crack too.”

Several greens became flooded, forcing a brief suspension in play.

The United States, which leads the series 8-3, is bidding for its fourth consecutive victory in the biennial matchplay competition.