Today at the Solheim: Match recaps, high fives and an American whitewash

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It all started so promisingly for Europe edging the foursomes but then the United States made history by claiming all four points in the afternoon fourballs

USA 5 1/2 Europe 2 1/2

Friday afternoon fourballs – USA 4 Europe 0 

Wie/Kang beat Ewart Shadoff/Sagstrom 2&1

Michelle Wie’s first contributions to the 2017 competition were successive birdies and Europe could never get back on level terms. Ewart Shadoff’s birdie at the 10th was the only hole won by Europe and, while the Yorkshire star was impressive, the Americans were too strong. Sagstrom hit a lot of good shots but the putts didn’t drop.

Kang finished the day with two wins to continue her fantastic year.

Yin/Salas beat Ciganda/Pedersen 6&5

The writing was pretty much on the wall when Salas birdied the first three holes to win the lot. Rookie Yin was steady enough but Salas was the star of the show and struck the winning putt at 13. Pedersen’s opening tee shot was the wonkiest of the afternoon but she did find a couple of birdies, Ciganda didn’t make any.

Lincicome/Lang beat Parker/Masson 3&2

This was the match of really low scoring as first Lincicome and then her partner got stuck into the Europeans. Lang’s putter was incredible as the match went on and, despite Masson’s stirling efforts, it wasn’t even close to being good enough to match the Americans. Parker’s debut ended with a load of pars but not one birdie.

Lewis/Piller beat Hull/Hall 2&1

It is hard to say what was more worrying; Charley Hull’s obvious problem with her wrist or the looming likelihood of the whitewash. It was another game of high quality with Piller hitting a collection of superb irons, Hall again impressing, Hull chipping in for another eagle at the 16th and Lewis knocking in some putts and it finished that way with Lewis making a two at 17 to finish off the demolition job.

Never before had the Americans had a clean sweep, they do now.

Friday morning foursomes – USA 1.5 Europe 2.5

Thompson/Kerr halved with Reid/Hull

Thompson hit the 306-yard opening hole and Kerr holed the eagle putt but, despite missing some short putts, the English pair came to the 17th two up after Hull chipped in.

Cue a pair of clutch putts, Kerr doing the business at the 18th and a share of the spoils.

Kang/Salas beat Ciganda/Masson One hole

Rookie Kang showed no signs of nerves as she cajoled America to their only win. They were always up, but never by more than two holes, and it went all the way after Kang lipped out at 17.

Ernst/Creamer lost to Nordqvist/Hall 3&1

Europe were up as early as the 2nd and were never behind as some solid play was too much for the Americans. Nordqvist did what she does in the Solheim Cup, rolling in the putts, and Hall barely put a foot wrong.

Piller/Lewis lost to Icher/Matthew One hole

This was the real kicker as the experienced Europeans won three of the last six holes. Two up after 12 holes Icher then found her putting touch and a brilliant bunker shot by the Scot kept them ahead playing the 18th.

Both teams made messy fives, the Americans three-putting after Lewis raced one from distance.

Noisiest tee shot – Danielle Kang

Remember Bubba at Medinah? The PGA champion tried to get the 1st tee crowd going earlier in the day but it didn’t really take off. Alongside her good mate Michelle Wie in the fourballs it did. Wie made a birdie, America one up.

Most repetitive chant – USA for U S A

Most understated high five – Matthew and Icher

You weren’t expecting these mums to break into dance were you. Softly softly catchee monkey is the way forward for this European anchor pairing and they delivered with a point in the foursomes.

Expect them to be reunited on Saturday morning…

Best clutch putt – Cristie Kerr

It’s the top match, your partner has just kept your side in it at the previous hole and Europe have already made a par four.

Kerr, 40 in October, had 15 feet left after Lexi Thompson’s short-iron approach and she knew it was in with three feet left to go. The American walked it in.

“You know, the greens are tough, man. You gotta get the right speed and we were both struggling a bit. And I’m just glad it ended up the way it did.

“I took a lot of deep breaths before I even went back to mark my ball, and I didn’t have any nerves. So that’s scary.”

Cristie Kerr

Best quote – Danielle Kang

The 24-year-old Californian is something of a tremendous addition to the Solheim Cup party. This is how she describes the unique nature of making your debut: “It was so special. If I could use some cuss words to explain to you how much it means to me, I would just explain it better. But it was absolutely amazing.”

Worst celebration – Hull and Reid

It’s worth noting, as well as the shambolic aftermath of the high five, Mel Reid’s caddie is also left hanging.

The pair combined with another misjudged effort when Hull chipped in at 16, not that anyone cared too much.

 

 

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