Europe makes a dream start at the Solheim Cup in Ohio as Leona Maguire and Mel Reid inflict the Korda sisters with their first defeat after heroism on the last hole
- Europe only allowed half a point in the opening series of four foursomes matches
- It was Europe’s best result in the first series since 2000
- All four games went to the last hole – and Europe won it each time
Europe got off to a dream start at the Solheim Cup, losing just half a point in the opening streak of four foursomes games, including a first loss to the Korda sisters, Jess and world number one Nelly.
It was the best result that Europe has had in the first series since the Americans took the victory at Loch Lomond in 2000.
For four hours there had been barely any ball width between the two teams, but that changed drastically on the 18th at the Inverness club in Toledo, Ohio. All four games went to the last hole – and Europe won it each time to give the morning game a very different tan than seemed likely.
Leona Maguire (L) and Mel Reid (R) gave Europe a dream start in the Solheim Cup
First up was Open champion Anna Nordqvist, who aired first, as so often in the past, and she usually performed alongside her gifted rookie partner Matilda Castren from Finland. The real bonus came next, where Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier were two behind for most of their game against Ally Ewing and Megan Khang.
Hall then hit a daring 20ft putt on the 17th before taking half a point at the finish when the Americans bogeyed on the last, Ewing missing by no more than 6ft. It was the first time that Hall and Boutier had been tied since they tied for the first.
The Korda sisters, touted as invincible in some circles in the run-up to the run-up to the opposition in Gleneagles in 2019, would come to America’s aid, right? Not this time.
They were almost comically bad and should have been put out of their misery long before the 18th. Appropriately, it was exciting debutant Leona Maguire, Solheim’s first representative in Ireland and who had been the dominant partner alongside Mel Reid, who hit the winning putt.
The best match in quality was the anchor match, where Charley Hull and her Danish partner Emily Pedersen played fantastic golf over the back nine, registering six birdies during that stretch, including one on the 18th, closing Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare. through one hole.
“It was a great turnaround because for nine holes it seemed like the Americans were getting all the breaks,” said Europe captain Catriona Matthew.
“But it all went our way late to get it off to a great start.”
As with the Ryder Cup, the opening series was followed by four fourballs games.
World No 1 Nelly Korda (pictured) and her sister Jess were beaten by Maguire and Reid
Charley Hull and partner Emily Pedersen played fantastic golf over the last nine