In front of roaring crowds, Europe made a positive start against the USA at Gleneagles today in their bid to win the Solheim Cup, the biennial match against the USA that Europe last won in Colorado in 2013.
In the morning foursomes on the PGA Centenary Course, the American sister duo of Jessica and Nelly Korda not only put the first point on the board, defeating Caroline Masson and Jodi Ewart 6&4, but they also made history as the first sisters to win a Solheim Cup match.
Europe’s Carlota Ciganda and Bronte Law versus America’s Morgan Pressel and Marina Alex was the first match out and after a real tussle with the lead changing between each pair, the match finished all square.
Celine Boutier, one of three rookies on the European team, and former British Open champion Georgia Hall, played some super golf to beat Lexi Thompson and rookie Brittany Altomare 2&1. Boutier secured the winning putt and the first full point for Europe on the 17th hole and thrilled with her first Solheim Cup experience.
“I love being at home in Europe and having all the home crowd behind us. It’s definitely something special,” said the Frenchwoman.
The final match out on the course between England’s Charley Hull and Spain’s Azahara Munoz against Megan Kang and Annie Park gave Europe the lead they were hoping for heading into the afternoon fourballs, as the pair claimed a 2&1 victory, giving Europe a slender one point lead, 2½-1½.
Suzann Pettersen and rookie Ann van Dam got Europe’s fourball challenge off to a flying start. Playing against Danielle Kang and Lizete Salas, the Europeans reached the turn 4up and remained in control to win 4&2 and stamp another blue point on the board.
The Americans wasted no time in reducing the deficit as Ally McDonald and Angel Yin trounced Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall 7&5.
Match play at its best describes the remaining two matches. Europe’s Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz were in a commanding position, 4up with six holes to play, however, the Americans Nelly Korda and Britany Altomore dug deep and the match finished all square.
In the final match, Carlota Ciganda and Bronte Law showed tremendous fighting spirit. Playing the 15th hole two down, the European pair won three holes in a row, but the Americans Jessica Korda and Lexi Thompson won the 18th to halve the match.
"Obviously going one up, going down 18, you hope to finish it off, but they played the hole great and our putt just slipped by," said Ciganda.
Europe lead the USA 4½-3½
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