Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Golf

Americans fight back at Solheim Cup

Europe and the United States will go into the final day of the 12th Solheim Cup all square following a fightback by the Americans in Saturday's afternoon session.

Europe were holding a one-point overnight lead after day one at Killeen Castle in Ireland and they doubled that advantage after winning the morning's foursomes 2 1/2 to 1 1/2.

English duo Laura Davies and Melissa Reid then combined to convincingly win the opening match of the fourballs against Brittany Lang and Michelle Wie to extend Europe's lead to three points at 8-5. However, the United States then staged a determined comeback, winning the final three fourballs to level up the scores up at 8-8 heading into Sunday's singles.

Sophie Gustafson continued her fine showing so far by helping to give Europe a flying start in the morning. Gustafson won both her matches on Friday, alongside world number two Suzann Pettersen and Caroline Hedwall, and she made it three from three after joining up again with Hedwall, the two Swedes thrashing Stacy Lewis and Angela Stanford 6&5.

American Morgan Pressel has also excelled in Ireland, though, and she followed up her fourballs success on Friday with another triumph to earn her side their first point of the day, combining with Ryann O'Toole to beat Karen Stupples and Christel Boeljon 3&2.

Two of Europe's Swedish contingent won the third foursome, Anna Nordqvist and Maria Hjorth defeating Brittany Lang and Juli Inkster 3&2 to restore their advantage before the final tie was halved. In that contest, Solheim Cup veteran Catriona Matthew and rookie Azahara Munoz denied Paula Creamer - teaming up with Cristie Kerr - her third win in two days.

That left Europe two points ahead and it got even better for Alison Nicholas' side when Reid and Davies linked up to inflict a heavy defeat on Lang and Wie in the first match of the fourballs.

However, that was good as it would get for the home side as the United States - with Pressel and Creamer again providing valuable contributions with their third wins - stormed back. A birdie on the 17th was decisive as Pressel and Cristie Kerr beat Pettersen and Hedwall one up, bringing the Americans their first point of the afternoon.

Lewis and O'Toole then joined forces to beat Sandra Gal and Boeljon 2&1, the Americans taking the lead in that match on the second hole and never surrendering it.

Then, in the final fourball, Rosie Jones' team completed their comeback with Creamer and Brittany Lincicome winning 3&1 against Hjorth and Munoz after picking up birdies at the 14th, 15th and 17th holes.


From Belfast Telegraph