Melissa Reid celebrated her 28th birthday by helping Europe win the top match in the second series of foursomes at the 14th Solheim Cup at St Leon-Rot.
Reid and her Spanish partner Carlota Ciganda defeated Michelle Wie and Alison Lee by 4 & 3 on a dramatic morning in which the Europeans won the series 3-1 to extend their overall lead to 8-4.
Four more points will be contested in this afternoon’s fourballs with tomorrow’s 12 singles matches deciding whether the Europeans can win the Solheim Cup for a third match in-a-row.
Reid and Ciganda opened up a two hole lead after birdies at the second and third and they maintained that advantage when they halved the par-4 fourth in three. They went four ahead with a birdie and a par on the sixth and seventh, lost the eighth to a par but regained their four hole advantage with their fourth birdie of the round on the 11th. The Americans rallied briefly when the won the 12th with a par but the match ended on the 15th when they dropped a shot.
The victory consolidates Ciganda’s record of never having lost a match in the Solheim Cup. The Spaniard won three games out of three two years ago in Colorado and her victory alongside Reid gives her 1 ½ points out of two here in Germany. Reid has secured 2 ½ points out of three this week.
“Carlota’s a great girl. She hits it a mile so it’s easier for me because I’m hitting shorter shots into the greens. I don’t have any stress with Carlota. I have absolute faith in her. She’s a Spaniard. She’s a Sergio. A Seve. She’s an incredible player.”
“It was a great morning,” the birthday girl added. “I’m absolutely buzzing.” In the second match Reid’s compatriot Charley Hull maintained this week’s one hundred percent record when she and partner Suzann Pettersen battled back in spectacular fashion to beat experienced Americans Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel on the 18th hole.
The Europeans were four down after 11 holes but then birdied the 12th, 15th, 16th and parred the 17th to get back to all square and before Pettersen holed from 12-feet behind the hole on the last to grab an unlikely one-hole victory.
“This was robbery,” admitted Pettersen. “I told Charley to throw darts at the pin. We wanted to stay aggressive and it worked.
“She’s awesome and it’s fantastic to play with her.”
“I was buzzing,” admitted Hull. “I nearly had a hole-in-one on the 15th hole and we kicked on from there. Suzann holed a great putt on the last and it might be big for the team.”
Hull and Pettersen produced golf of the highest order and it was quickly followed by the European’s third win of the series when Catriona Matthew and Sandra Gal got up-and-down from off the back of the last green to beat Angela Stanford and Brittany Lincicome by one hole.
The Europeans were three up through the first nine holes but the Americans birdied both the 11th and the 12th to get the game back to one. Gal and Matthew birdied the 15th to move two ahead again before Stanford and Lincicome birdied the 16th. At that stage the game might have gone either way but the two teams halved the 17th in birdies before the Scot dug her pitch out of the thick grass surrounding the 18th green and the German calmly rolled in the resultant seven foot putt.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Gal. “We were trying to watch the score a little bit and we knew a couple of matches turned around. It’s just unreal. We’re just so thrilled. And I think that’s our strength, the team competition. I’m speechless.”
In the bottom match American duo Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller were an incredible seven under par when they beat Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall 5 & 4. The birdie barrage started on the second and continued on the fourth, seventh, eighth, 10th, 11th and 14th before completing the job with a par on the 14th hole.
“This win was huge,” said Piller. We rode the momentum.” “I’ve been asking to play with her (Gerina) all week,” said Lewis.” I just thought our games would mesh really well. She hits it so far and so straight, it just kind of tees it up for me. We played great. We made the key putts. That was the thing. It was awesome.
“I think every match is just as important as the last one. One thing I’ve always believed in is taking care of yourself and taking care of what you have control over. That was my main thing today. We came out here and took control so it’s pretty awesome.”
The pairings for the afternoon fourballs were published at 1.00 pm and Spaniards Ciganda and Azahara Munoz were given the task of playing in the top match against Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr. Behind them Karine Icher partners Catriona Matthew against Lizette Salas and Brittany Lang while in the third match Hull and Pettersen face Alison Lee and Brittany Lincicome. The final match features Caroline Masson and Caroline Hedwall against the in-form Lewis and Piller.
Foursomes: (Europe first)
Anna Nordqvist and Suzann Pettersen lost to Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer 3 and 2
Charley Hull and Melissa Reid beat Michelle Wie and Brittany Lincicome 2 and 1
Karine Icher and Azahara Munoz lost to Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson 2 and 1
Sandra Gal and Catriona Matthew beat Stacy Lewis and Lizette Salas 3 and 2
Europe 2 USA 2
Fourballs: (Europe first)
*The last two matches finished on Saturday morning due to poor light on Friday evening.
Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall beat Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer 4 and 3
Charley Hull and Gwladys Nocera beat Alison Lee and Angela Stanford 3 and 2
Melissa Reid and Carlota Ciganda halved with Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson
Caroline Masson and Sandra Gal halved with Gerina Piller and Brittany Lang
Europe 3 USA 1
Cumulative Results Europe 5 USA 3
Melissa Reid and Carlota Ciganda beat Alison Lee and Michelle Wie 4&3
Charley Hull and Suzann Pettersen beat Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel 1 up
Sandra Gal and Catriona Matthew beat Angela Stanford and Brittany Lincicome 1 hole
Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall lost to Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller 5&4
Europe 3 USA 1
Cumulative Results: Europe 8 USA 4