Los Angeles - The United States swept all four fourball
matches to surge to a three-point lead over Europe on Friday, the first day of
the Solheim Cup women's golf matches.
The Americans' afternoon surge at Des Moines Golf and
Country Club in Iowa marked the first time in the history of the Ryder
Cup-style competition that the US have swept an entire session - something
Europe has done three times.
Europe held a slim 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 lead at the end of the
morning foursomes, but the Americans head into Saturday's matches leading 5 1/2
to 2 1/2.
It was a dominant display. Europe never led at any point in
any fourball match.
Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller finished it off with a 2 &
1 victory over Charley Hull and Georgia Hall - both of England - the tightest
match of the afternoon.
Hull chipped in at the 15th to put some late pressure on the
Americans, but Lewis rolled in a birdie putt at 17 to finish it.
Angel Yin and Lizette Salas thumped Spain's Carlota Ciganda
and Denmark's Emily Pedersen 6 & 5.
Michelle Wie and Danielle Kang beat Sweden's Madelene
Sagstrom and England's Jodi Ewart Shadoff 3 & 1.
Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang beat Florentyna Parker
of England and Germany's Caroline Masson 3 & 2.
The United States, captained by Juli Inkster, are defending
the title they won with a thrilling final-day charge in 2015.
"I kind of switched my lineup a little bit in the
afternoon," said Inkster. "I thought my afternoon matches, they
played amazing golf, inspired golf.
"They played with a lot of pride and a lot of heart.
And we got up early and I think that really helped."
Salas and Solhiem Cup newcomer Kang produced the United
States' only win of the morning foursomes, beating Ciganda and Masson 1 up
before going on to win again with different partners.
Kang thrived in the more rowdy atmosphere of the team
competition, clearly enjoying the enthusiasm of the galleries.
But the visitors gained the first advantage.
Scotland's Catriona Matthew, pressed into action when
Norwegian Suzann Pettersen withdrew from the European team on Wednesday with a
back injury, teamed with France's Karine Icher for a 1 up foursomes win over
Lewis and Piller.
"I was super nervous at the start but I always enjoy
this event," said the 47-year-old Matthew, who now has 20 Solheim Cup
points on her resume. "It doesn't matter how many of these you play in,
you are always going to be nervous but I managed to get over that."
Icher's hot putter was a big help.
She drained a 40-footer for birdie at the 13th that cut the
US lead in their match to 1 up and her birdie at the 14th squared the match.
She and Matthew took their first lead at the 16th hole,
Icher sinking the short par putt to take the hole.
In other morning results, Sweden's Anna Nordqvist and Hall
never trailed en route to a 3 & 1 victory over Paula Creamer and Austin
The English duo of Mel Reid and Hull halved their match with
Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson.
European captain Annika Sorenstam said on Friday is just a
taste of what they can do.
"It's going to be a challenge the whole way," she
"And I can tell you the spirit has not died down. I
think, on the contrary, we're fired up. If they can do it; we can do it. So
going to go home, take a shower, regroup and get some good sleep and be ready
Results on Friday in the Solheim Cup women's golf matches between Europe and the United States at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa:
United States 5 1/2 Europe 2 1/2
United States 1 1/2 Europe 2 1/2
Mel Reid/Charley Hull (ENG) v Cristie Kerr/Lexi Thompson (USA) halved
Danielle Kang/Lizette Salas (USA) bt Carlota Ciganda (ESP)/Caroline Masson (GER) 1 up
Anna Nordqvist (SWE)/Georgia Hall (ENG) bt Paula Creamer/Austin Ernst (USA) 3 & 1
Karine Icher (FRA)/Catriona Matthew (SCO) bt Stacy Lewis/Gerina Piller (USA) 1 up
United States 4 Europe 0
Michelle Wie/Danielle Kang (USA) bt Madelene Sagstrom (SWE)/Jodi Ewart Shadoff (ENG) 3 & 1
Angel Yin/Lizette Salas (USA) bt Carlota Ciganda (ESP)/Emily Pedersen (DEN) 6 & 5
Brittany Lincicome/Brittany Lang (USA) bt Florentyna Parker (ENG)/Caroline Masson (GER) 3 & 2
Stacy Lewis/Gerina Piller (USA) bt Charley Hull (ENG)/Georgia Hall (ENG) 2 & 1