U.S. sweeps session for 1st time at Solheim Cup to open 3-point lead

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

U.S. sweeps session for 1st time at Solheim Cup to open 3-point lead

LPGA Tour

U.S. sweeps session for 1st time at Solheim Cup to open 3-point lead

A day that could’ve put the Americans in an early hole turned out overwhelmingly in their favor.

The U.S. stormed through Des Moines Golf and Country Club Friday afternoon, turning a one-point deficit into a three-point lead heading into Saturday via a sweep in four-ball. No afternoon match ever reached the 18th hole, as the U.S. pulled off its first session sweep in Solheim Cup history to lead 5.5-2.5 after Day One.

It didn’t start out that way. In fact, morning foursomes were absolutely deadlocked. Lexi Thompson drove the par-4 first, and Cristie Kerr rolled in the ensuing eagle putt to win the opening hole in the opening match. But it was a battle from there, and Kerr had to bury a 12-footer for birdie at 18 just to halve the match against Mel Reid and Charley Hull.

Danielle Kang would also come up big with a clutch 10-foot par putt to halve the 18th and win her match (with Lizette Salas), 1 up, over Carlota Ciganda and Caroline Masson.

But the Europeans took the final two morning matches, with Anna Nordqvist and Georgia Hall downing Paula Creamer and Austin Ernst, 3 and 1, and Karine Icher and Catriona Matthew outlasting Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller, 1 up. The Nordqvist/Hall win actually took place before Kang’s clinching putt, meaning the Americans never led in the morning session.

And the strong play on the backend gave the Euros the session and the early lead at 2.5-1.5.

But then came the afternoon American storm in four-ball.

Salas and Angel Yin, just 18 years old and a source of humor, drubbed Ciganda and Emily Pedersen, 6 and 5, in the second match.

Kang and Michelle Wie led from the start in the opening afternoon match against Madelene Sagstrom and Jodi Ewart Shadoff, and Kang – a Solheim Cup rookie and possibly the star of Friday – closed out a 3-and-1 triumph with back-to-back birdies for wins at 16 and 17. When Kang and Wie closed, the U.S. had taken its first lead, 3.5-2.5.

Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang won four of the first 14 holes against Florentyna Parker and Caroline Masson to build a dormie-4 cushion. The pair would close out a 3-and-2 win.

Lewis and Piller would be the ones to complete the sweep, as they took down Hull and Hall, 2 and 1. Hull made it interesting with an eagle at 15 to get the match back to 1 down, but Lewis birdied 17 to win that hole and the match.

The U.S. is looking to go back-to-back at the Solheim Cup after a miracle 10-6 comeback abroad in 2015. This American sweep in the Solheim Cup comes less than a year after the U.S. completed its first sweep of the opening session at the Ryder Cup in over 40 years.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home