The United States produced a birdie fest on Friday afternoon to claim a three-point lead over Europe at the end of the first day of the 15th Solheim Cup at Des Moines Golf & Country Club in Iowa.
Europe led the morning foursomes 2 ½ – 1 ½ but Captain Juli Inkster’s Solheim Cup team achieved the United States’ first clean sweep in a single session, winning all the afternoon four-ball matches to give their side a 5 ½ – 2 ½ lead heading into the second day.
Lizette Salas and Danielle Salas, who won their morning foursomes match against Carlota Ciganda and Caroline Masson 1 up, proved to be the stars of the first day as they both earned a second point in the four-balls.
Lizette Salas was exceptional as she guided 18-year-old rookie Angel Yin to a 6&5 victory over Ciganda and European rookie Emily Kristine Pedersen for the first red point of the afternoon.
Kang also had a hot putter partnering Michelle Wie to a 3 and 1 victory over Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Madelene Sagstrom.
However, the Brittanys, Lincicome and Lang, who nickname themselves the ‘Killer Bs’ came out fresh and full of energy as they took on the German-speaking pair, Masson and Florentyna Parker, eventually winning by 3&2.
Although Charley Hull and Georgia Hall were only one down with two holes to play in the anchor match, Stacy Lewis made a birdie putt on the 17th green to seal the fourth four-ball match 2&1, Hull having been struggling with an injured wrist throughout the round.
European Captain Annika Sorenstam said: “It wasn’t the afternoon we had wished for, but the players fought very hard. I must say the U.S. team played very well. “They made a lot of birdies. They made a lot of putts. And we just didn’t have the same flow. So overall, just still feel pretty happy how we had the setup. And like I said, the girls fought to the end.
“It’s just one of those days in golf and luckily this was just the first day. It’s almost like playing 27 holes out of 72, which means you have a lot of holes left, and it’s a marathon. The players are back at the hotel and grabbing something to eat, and we’re going to start out fresh tomorrow. The spirit is still there, if not stronger. You get a little fired up when you see an afternoon like this. “We knew coming in here it was going to be a challenge. I have fighters on the team and I believe in them, so we’re just going to forget about this day. Tomorrow’s Saturday. New points. Go out there and grab as many as we can.”
However, Inkster also compared her mission to a marathon and said: “I’ll tell (my players), but I think they know, that this is a distance run. It’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint. We have to do the work. We have to do the process. We gotta go out there, and 36 holes, we got eight points out there tomorrow. That’s a lot of points and we need to get a lot of those. And that’s what I’m going to tell them.”
Saturday’s foursomes matches will begin at 7.10am.
NUMBERS TO KNOW AFTER FRIDAY AT THE SOLHEIM CUP
0 – Number of points earned by Team Europe in the afternoon four-balls
3 – Lead that Team USA holds over Team Europe, which ties 1998 for the largest lead after the first day for the Americans
4 – Number of points earned by Team USA in the afternoon four-balls, the first time in Solheim Cup history that the USA has swept a single session
18 – Career number of points at the Solheim Cup for Cristie Kerr, putting her one point behind Juli Inkster for the most points in USA history
2017 SOLHEIM CUP
Day One – Friday 18th August
Morning Foursomes Results
8.10am Melissa Reid and Charley Hull (EUR) halved with Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson (USA)
8.22am Danielle Kang and Lizette Salas (USA) defeated Carlota Ciganda and Caroline Masson (EUR) 1up
8.34am Georgia Hall and Anna Nordqvist (EUR) defeated Paula Creamer and Austin Ernst (USA) 3&1
8.46am Karine Icher and Catriona Matthew (EUR) defeated Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller (USA) 1 up
Result Europe 2 ½ USA 1 ½
Afternoon Four Ball Results
1:20 p.m. –Michelle Wie and Danielle Kang (USA) defeated Madelene Sagstrom and Jodi Ewart Shadoff (EUR) 3&1
1:35 p.m. – Angel Yin and Lizette Salas (USA) defeated Carlota Ciganda and Emily Pedersen (EUR) 6&5
1:50 p.m. – Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang (USA) defeated Florentyna Parker and Caroline Masson (EUR) 3&2
2:05 p.m. – Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller (USA) defeated Charley Hull and Georgia Hall (EUR) 2&1
Result Europe 0 USA 4
Cumulative Result Europe 2 ½ USA 5 ½
Saturday Foursomes Pairings:
7.10am Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Caroline Masson (EUR) versus Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson (USA)
7.22am Mel Reid and Emily Kristine Pedersen (EUR) versus Paula Creamer and Austin Ernst (USA)
7.34am Anna Nordqvist and Georgia Hall (EUR) versus Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller (USA)
7.46am Catriona Matthew and Karine Icher (EUR) versus Michelle Wie and Danielle Kang (USA)