Solheim Cup: Europe race into two-point lead
United States 1 Europe 3
Stacy Lewis & Lizette Salas v Anna Nordqvist & Caroline Hedwall
Europe won 4&2
Caroline Hedwall’s previous foursomes outing finished in a 6&5 win over Stacy Lewis and Angela Stanford. Then she partnered Sophie Gustafson, this time she and another Swede Anna Nordqvist beat Lewis and rookie Lizette Salas.
Nordqvist got the matches underway with a perfect drive as both teams birdied and, other than two three putts from nowhere, they were always in control.
Pars were good enough at 5 and 6 and a pair of birdies at 8 and 9 meant Europe turned at three up. Lewis, the recent British Open champion, was out of sorts throughout and the hosts didn’t manage a second birdie after their promising start.
The match was closed out at the 16th when the Swedes added a fourth birdie leaving Lewis still to find her feet in the competition.
Brittany Lang & Angela Stanford v Suzann Pettersen & Beatriz Recari
Europe won 2&1
Suzann Pettersen picked up where she left off from Killeen Castle as she chaperoned a rock-solid Beatriz Recari perfectly to beat the Texan duo.
The Norwegian holed a 30-footer at the 2nd, a 25-footer at the 9th and one more from 20 feet at the 10th.
Brittany Lang very nearly became the first player to record a hole-in-one when she hit the flagstick full on at the 6th to take the lead for just one hole but that was all it lasted.
An eagle, after a crunching approach by Pettersen at the 16th, made it two up with two to play and pars at the penultimate hole put Europe 2-0 up.
Eyebrows were rasied when Munoz and Icher were paired, expect to see them back together again on Saturday morning.
Morgan Pressel & Jessica Korda v Catriona Matthew & Jodi Ewart
USA won 3&2
Jodi Ewart’s opening salvo in the Solheim Cup was a perfect drive down the middle, minutes later she missed a two-footer and the pair always struggled after that.
Europe only won two holes, the second after a rare fluffed chip by Pressel at the 12th, but, now back to two down, they found a bunker with the approach to the next and the rookie then knocked it into the other greenside bunker.
With a glimmer of hope at the 16th the home side then got up and down for an unlikely par and the first American point was on the board.
Cristie Kerr & Paula Creamer v Azahara Munoz & Karine Icher
Europe won 2&1
The last time Karine Icher played in the Solheim Cup was in 2002, then she didn’t play in a foursomes match.
Alongside Aza Munoz, who also has just one previous appearance, they overcame the powerful pairing of Creamer and Kerr.
The Americans had yet to lose in three previous ventures but they were never in it thanks to some inspired putting from the Europeans. Kerr couldn’t buy a putt, Icher holed from distance at the 8th and 10th and her partner knocked one in from off the green at the 9th.
Icher made a crucial birdie for a half at the 14th with the Americans already in and, despite Creamer and Kerr winning 15 and 16, Munoz put an end to proceedings with a 15-footer for par at the penultimate hole.
Eyebrows were raised when Munoz and Icher were paired, expect to see them back together again on Saturday morning.