Bad light ends play early with Europe in a strong position


Bad light meant the first day of the 14th Solheim Cup at St. Leon-Rot Golf Club in Germany ended with the European team leading 4-2.

The remaining two ‘opening day’ fourball matches will be finished tomorrow morning.

Europeans Melissa Reid and Carlota Ciganda have one hole to play in their match with Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr which stands all square after Ciganda holed a long approach on 17 for eagle. The European pair wanted to finish the game, but the Americans, who had been 2 up leaving the 14th, declined to.

In the other outstanding game, Caroline Masson and Sandra Gal are 1-up with 3 to play on Gerina Piller and Brittany Lang.

The morning foursomes had been split 2-2.

European Solheim Cup captain Carin Koch had put her highest-ranked pairing of Suzann Pettersen and Anna Nordqvist out first in the morning forusomes, but they struggled. They only recorded a singlebirdie, and had to wait for the 14th for that. After a scruffy start, they did manage to pull it back to level on the 4th, but were never ahead and went down 3&2 to Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer.

t was a vindication for American Solheim Cup captain Judi Inkster in putting Creamer out first despite her recent poor form – she had failed to make the cut in her last four tournaments.

The victors of game two, the English pair of Melissa Reid and Charley Hull, were similarly never behind in their game, and defeated Michelle Wie and Brittany Lincicome 2&1.

Game three was going all America’s away when Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr pulled four holes ahead by the 6th. But Azahara Munoz and Karine Icher fought back and made birdies to win the 13th, 14th and 15th to leave them only one down, before eventually succumbing 2&1.

Germany’s Sandra Gal partnered Scot Catriona Matthew to a 3&2 victory over world number three Stacy Lewis and Lizette Salas in the fourth game.Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer resumed their partnership in the afternoon fourballs but went down 4&3 to their opponent of the morning, Anna Nordqvist, who was now partnered by fellow Swede Caroline Hedwall.

The only other fourball to finish resulted in a European victory for Charley Hull and Gwladys Nocera 3&2. This match was all square when the American duo of Alison Lee and Angela Standford won the 7th, but wins on 8, 10, 12 and 12 gave the European pairing the ascendancy.