Steady Europe takes early lead over U.S. at Solheim Cup

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Steady Europe takes early lead over U.S. at Solheim Cup

Defending champion Europe has surged in front on the 2021 Solheim Cup

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Defending champion Europe took the early lead on the 2021 Solheim Cup, winning three of the opening 4 alternate-shot matches on Saturday morning to take a 3 1/2- 1/2 lead over the U.S.

The groups of Anna Nordqvist and Matilda Castren, Mel Reid and Leona Maguire and Charley Hull and Emily Pedersen all earned 1-up victories. Celine Boutier and Georgia Corridor rallied on the 18th to earn the opposite half level in a format the Europeans have frequently dominated on the biennial occasion.

There will probably be 4 four-ball matches within the afternoon.

The morning matches have been tight, with no team main by greater than two holes at any point in idyllic conditions at Inverness.

Europe has long thrived in foursomes. The final time the Individuals gained the morning session alternate-shot format on the event’s first day was in 2009.

Journey limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic left the Europeans with few supporters in a decidedly professional U.S. crowd.

Reid and Maguire, a Solheim Cup rookie, greater than held their own in opposition to world No. 1 Nelly Korda and older sister Jessica. The Europeans took the lead when the Kordas made a mess of the par-4 fourth. They pushed the benefit to 2-up after the Americans posted a double bogey on the par-4 sixth and closed it out when Maguire calmly rolled in a 3-foot par putt on the 18th.

The loss was the first for Nelly Korda in foursomes and simply the second in 5 foursome matches for Jessica. The Americans managed three birdies — two of which have been matched by the Europeans — during the round even with former Masters champion Bubba Watson strolling together with their group whereas serving as a volunteer assistant for U.S. captain Pat Hurst.

Americans Ally Ewing and Megan Khang have been 2-up with three to go but let it slip away when Ewing missed 3-footer on 18 that might have won it, forcing the U.S. to accept a half-point. Brittany Altomare and Lexi Thompson were 2-up with 4 holes to go solely to lose when Altomare’s tee shot on the 18th went into a bunker, opening the door for Pedersen and Hull to slide by.

Europe is searching for simply its second victory on U.S. soil in the Solheim Cup’s 31-year history.

 

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