The United States has never lost a Solheim Cup on home soil. But after the Friday morning foursomes (alternate shot), that record appeared to be in danger.
Friday Morning Foursomes:
Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall def. Stacy Lewis and Lisette Salas
4 and 2
Team USA hit a wall in Hedwall and Nordqvist, who played virtually mistake-free golf, offsetting wins at the 2nd (birdie) and 4th (par) by Lewis and Salas. The two Swedes squared the match on the par-4 5th, then grabbed the lead at the 6th, both with pars. They never looked back.
Interestingly, it was Stacy Lewis— not the rookie Salas — who had trouble with her irons and her putter. At the 16th hole, Lewis shockingly hooked her approach into a bunker, resulting in the bogey that ended the match.
Suzann Pettersen and Beatriz Recari def. Brittany Lang and Angela Stanford
2 and 1
Both teams traded leads until Pettersen and Recari squared the match at the 8th hole with a birdie. A costly bogey at the 13th gave Europe a 1-up lead, then Pettersen and Recari eagled the par-5 16th to go 2-up.
Morgan Pressel and Jessica Korda def. Catriona Matthew and Jodi Ewart-Shadoff
3 & 2
Talk about rookie pressure: Jessica Korda badly hooked her first-ever Solheim Cup tee-shot, then literally vomited.
It helped that Matthew and Ewart-Shadoff bogeyed the first hole and made three more along the way. Pressel guided Korda the rest of the way, winning the 7th and 9th with pars, then winning the 11th and 13th with birdies.
"I felt some pressure," Korda said, "but Morgan helped settle me down."
Azahara Muñoz and Karine Icher def. Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer
2 and 1
Kerr and Creamer, the most experienced pair on Team USA, had never lost when paired together — that is, until Friday morning. Muñoz and Icher took the first hole when Kerr and Creamer bogeyed, and never completely surrendered the lead.
In a tactical move, U.S. captain Meg Mallon had her only winning team from Friday morning (Pressel and Korda) sit out the afternoon, putting Michelle Wie and her considerable match-play experience into the fray. It worked, although Team USA had to endure the most bizarre moment in Solheim Cup history.
Friday Afternoon Four-balls:
Suzann Pettersen and Carlota Ciganda def. Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson
This fascinating match went back-and-forth, but Lewis and Thompson looked strong when they reeled off three straight birdies and 7, 8, and 9. But Pettersen and Ciganda birdied 10 to get to 1-down, then squared the match at 13.
Then came perhaps the strangest moment in Solheim Cup history: At the 595-yard 15th hole, Ciganda hit her tee-shot into the brush within a hazard. Then a committee of rules officials then dorked around with the location for Ciganda to drop. The monstrously long 25-minute delay left three groups backed up on the 15th — and left Lewis steaming mad.
Even fans in the gallery were shouting, "While we're young!!!"
Amazingly, after Ciganda dropped, she laced her approach to 15 feet, then sank a mind-blowing par putt. Shaken and still steaming, Lewis then missed her own ten-footer for birdie, so the Europeans halved the hole and kept the match square — leaving Lewis and Thompson flummoxed. Pettersen capitalized with a birdie on the very next hole and closed out Lewis and Thompson by halving 17 and 18.
As if that wasn't enough, the officials in question later figured out they gave Ciganda an incorrect ruling, but the rules prohibit replaying the remainder of the match, so the ruling stood. But captain Mallon said it was the ridiculously long ruling delay that ruined the match.
"That was my issue with the whole thing. Here's my team sitting there, after they are just charging and making a comeback, and then they have to sit. And so not only does it change the psyche of my team, but it changes the psyche of the other team, because they can have time to regroup."
That sequence took so long that, when it was over, I needed to shave again.
Caroline Hedwall and Caroline Masson def. Angela Stanford and Gerina Pillar
2 and 1
"Team Caroline" burst out of the gate with birdies at 1, 3, and 4. Despite birdies at 8 and 14, Stanford and Piller never could get the match squared again.
Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang def. Anna Nordqvist and Giulia Sergas
4 & 3
Nordqvist and Sergas won the first hole with a birdie, but "Team Brittany" got it back to square when the Swede and Italian bogeyed the par-3 6th. When the two Brittanys birdied 9 and 10 to grab a 2-up lead, Nordqvist and Sergas couldn't respond. Even their birdie at 12 went for naught, because Team Brittany birdied, as well.
Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie def. Catriona Matthew and Charley Hull
2 and 1
Michelle Wie did her part to make Meg Mallon look like a genius. Although the veteran Matthew and 17-year-old Hull twice got their match back to square, Kerr and Wie birdied the 10th. Then at the 13th, Wie chipped in from off the green for birdie. The gallery went nuts, and Matthew and Hull were cooked.
Through Friday, August 16
| Suzann Pettersen || 2-0-0 || 0-2-0 || Stacy Lewis |
| Catriona Matthew || 0-2-0 || 0-1-0 || Paula Creamer |
| Carlota Ciganda || 1-0-0 || 1-1-0 || Cristie Kerr |
| Caroline Masson || 1-0-0 || 0-2-0 || Angela Stanford |
| Beatriz Recari || 1-0-0 || 1-0-0 || Brittany Lincicome |
| Anna Nordqvist || 1-1-0 || 0-1-0 || Lexi Thompson |
| Karine Icher || 1-0-0 || 1-0-0 || Jessica Korda |
| Azahara Muñoz || 1-0-0 || 1-1-0 || Brittany Lang |
| Caroline Hedwall || 2-0-0 || 0-1-0 || Lizette Salas |
| Jodi Ewart-Shadoff || 0-1-0 || 1-0-0 || Morgan Pressel |
| Giulia Sergas || 0-1-0 || 0-1-0 || Gerina Piller |
| Charley Hull || 0-1-0 || 1-0-0 || Michelle Wie |
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Image via SolheimCup.com
I loved the announcer who asked if the officials could be put on the clock during that whole mess on the 15th.
Not to worry, they outdid themselves on Day 2.