Gleneagles (UK), Sep 13 (AFP) Europe sneaked into a 2.5-1.5 lead after the first series of Solheim Cup foursomes under blue skies at Gleneagles on Friday. The only American win came in a thumping six and four victory for the Korda sisters, Jessica and Nelly, in the third match over Caroline Masson and Jodi Ewart Shadoff.
US captain Juli Inkster admitted she had been a little reluctant to pair the Korda sisters together, but they put in the request and it proved to be perfect pairing. With four birdies and an eagle they were four up at the turn and another birdie at the 14th secured the victory.
"It was great playing with my sister," said Jessica, five years older at 26. "It doesn't matter if one of us hits a bad shot -- we just feel very comfortable together." The top match was halved and European victories came from the pairings of Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier and Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz. The opening tie was a real rollercoaster as Europe's Carlota Ciganda and rookie Bronte Law made a fast start by winning two of the first four holes.
But Morgan Pressel and Marina Alex hit back and led by one hole with two to play. The experienced Ciganda suddenly found her putting touch at the short 17th, holing a monster putt for a birdie and the match ended all square.
Hall and Boutier, one of the three European rookies, got Europe's first victory on the board with a two and one win over Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare. The final match of the morning was a scrappy affair with never more than one hole between Hull and Munoz and Megan Khang and Annie Park through the first 16 holes.
But one up with two to play, the home duo snatched victory with a winning par three at the short 17th. All the players who sat out in the morning were named in the afternoon fourballs with the surprise that the Korda sisters had been split up.
Jessica will team up with Thompson against Ciganda and Law, while Nelly and Altomare take on Hull and Munoz. Friday afternoon fourballs (Europe names first): Suzann Pettersen and Anne Van Dam v Danielle Kang and Lizette Salas Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwalll v Ally McDonald and Angel Yin Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz v Nelly Korda and Brittany Altomare Carlota Ciganda and Bronte Law v Jessica Korda and Lexi Thompson (AFP) APA
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