Solheim Cup: Honours even after morning foursomes
There will be an element of relief for Europe as the morning foursomes finished level at two matches apiece.
At one stage the Americans were comfortably clear in the first and third matches while there was little in the other two but England’s Charley Hull and Mel Reid kept their nerve in their first outing together and Sandra Gal and Catriona Matthew cranked it up on the back nine to add a second
There was a sniff of ending the morning with an unlikely advantage as Karine Icher and Aza Munoz reduced a four-hole deficit to just one with three straight birdies. But Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson closed them out at the 17th to make the scoreline 2-2.
Much had been made of Paula Creamer’s poor form coming into the matches but Juli Inkster showed the ultimate faith in her wildcard as she and best buddy Morgan Pressel beat the strongly fancied Suzann Pettersen and Anna Nordqvist.
Pressel has an impressive record despite playing on the last two losing sides and she was happy to lead her team out.
“That’s what Juli sent us out to do. She told me, even before this week, she said I think I want to send you and Paula out first match, get that first point on the board. And as the week progressed, she said that’s definitely my plan,” she said.
“We’re both very comfortable with each other. It’s nice to play with your best bud on the golf course. We have similar games. We stayed patient. We didn’t hit the best shots out there. We made a few birdies, I think we were probably a couple under and just made it work.”
Norway’s Pettersen was strangely out of sorts as the Scandinavians only made one birdie all morning but there is plenty of time left for these two to make their mark.
There was less drama for Hull and Reid, the English duo were ahead for all bar two holes after an opening birdie and Hull closed out the match in style with a 20-footer from off the 17th green.
“I feel like we both have quite a similar game. But she puts up with me, like my randomness, so it’s good. But I feel like we’ve got similar games, if one hits off line, we both feel that we can recover quite well,” explained Hull.
“That’s why I enjoy playing foursomes with Mel. We do know each other’s games. And it’s a lot of fun. And I think it was a good pair.”
In the third match Kerr and Thompson got off to a flyer with three birdies in six holes but Icher’s putter then set about the four-hole arrears. In the end they ran out of holes.
On Gal’s debut in Ireland she contributed half a point and she has already bettered that. At the turn the match was level but Matthew then knocked in a pair of 15-footers at 10 and 11 and Gal rolled in one of her own at the 16th to register her first win.