US sweeps favorite Europe to take 4-0 lead in opening session at Solheim Cup


CASARES, Spain (AP) — The United States enjoyed its best-ever start to a Solheim Cup, sweeping the favored European team in all of the foursomes matches in the opening session to take a 4-0 lead in Spain on Friday.

The Americans, who are trying to avoid losing three Solheim Cups in a row to Europe for the first time, got off to a quick start and were ahead in most matches throughout the morning foursomes. The U.S. trailed briefly in only two of the matches at Finca Cortesin in southern Spain.

The previous best start for the U.S. was 3 1/2-1/2 in Wales in 1996.

The first U.S. point came with the final group, as Ally Ewing and Cheyenne Knight easily beat Charley Hull and Emily Pedersen 5 and 4. Ewing and Knight made the turn 6 up and were never really challenged.

The Americans also won with the first group as Lexi Thompson and Megan Khang defeated Swedish rookies Maja Stark and Linn Grant 2 and 1. Thompson and Khang, who together have nine Solheim Cup appearances, took an early 3-up lead through three holes. The two Swedes rallied to even the match through 13 holes, but winning Nos. 15 and 17 secured the point for the U.S.

Andrea Lee and Danielle Kang were 1 down through eight holes but came back to win 1 up against Celine Boutier and Georgia Hall.

U.S. Women’s Open champion Allisen Corpuz made a short putt on the final hole to secure a 1-up victory with Nelly Korda against Leona Maguire and Anna Nordqvist, who is also acting as a vice captain for the Europeans. Maguire had won four matches in her Solheim Cup debut two years ago,

The teams will be back in the afternoon for the fourball matches, when each player will hit their own ball. They alternated shots with one ball per team in the foursomes.

The Europeans, looking for their unprecedented third consecutive title, came in with the label of favorites after bringing an experienced squad to Spain. The Americans arrived with a young team that included five rookies, though many who have won important tournaments recently.

There was a lively crowd on the first hole ahead of the opening tee shots at Finca Cortesin, with the American fans in smaller numbers but being heard just as loud as the Europeans.

Former Spain great José María Olazábal brought on the trophy to the first tee and lauded what he called “one of the most important tournaments in women’s golf.”

Spain is hosting the Solheim Cup for the first time, 26 years after it hosted the men’s Ryder Cup at Valderrama.


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