Happy Captain

“It was nice to see some red on the board,” said Kuehne, relieved to have broken her Solheim duck.

“Cristie and I played really well today. It was like ham and eggs. She would make birdie and I’d make par. Then I made birdie and she was right there for me.”

Kuehne, whose older brother Trip was a member of the defeated Walker Cup team at Ganton last week, was the star of a partnership that produced the afternoon’s best figures of three under to the turn and seven birdies in all.

Inkster was equally relieved at the end of a marathon day that started and ended in near darkness and included a one hour 40 minute fog delay.

“The scoreboard is certainly looking far healthier than it was this morning,” said a relieved Inkster, who had suffered a crushing foursomes defeat.

“Beth played great today and I began to feel better and better as the match went on.”

While it could have been even better, the opening day score line was a fine tonic for Europe’s Captain Courageous Catrin Nilsmark, who continued to show her remarkable bravery while suffering from severe back pain by following her troops strapped to crutches.

While American Captain Patty Sheehan gave all 12 in her side an opening day outing, Europe’s Mhairi McKay and rookie Ana Belen Sanchez had to make do with roles as cheerleaders.

First day four balls results (European names first): Laura Davies and Catriona Matthew lost to Kelli Kuehne and Cristie Kerr 2 and 1; Annika Sorenstam and Carin Koch lost to Juli Inkster and Beth Daniel one hole; Suzann Pettersen and Patricia Meunier Lebouc beat Angela Stanford and Meg Mallon 3 and 2; Iben Tinning and Sophie Gustafson lost to Michele Redman and Rosie Jones two holes Fourballs score: Europe 1 USA 3 Overall score: Europe 4.5 USA 3.5.