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Europe off to a flying start in Solheim Cup

Updated: Friday, 16 Aug 2013 20:00 | Comments

Azahara Munoz and Karine Icher won their opening match
Azahara Munoz and Karine Icher won their opening match

Europe got their defence of the Solheim Cup off to a flying start today as they claimed a 3-1 lead after the opening foursomes in Colorado.

Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall got the holders off to the perfect start as they beat Stacy Lewis and Lizette Salas 4&2 and that was quickly followed by a second point with Suzann Pettersen and Beatriz Recari claiming a 2&1 victory over Brittany Lang and Angela Stanford.

Morgan Pressel and Jessica Korda then got the United States on the board as they beat Catriona Matthew and Jodi Ewart Shadoff 3&2 but Azahara Munoz and Karine Icher won their match with Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr 2&1 to give Europe a two-point cushion.

The first match was all-square through five as both pairs won two holes each but the Swedish combination of Nordqvist and Hedwall then claimed three of the next four holes to put them three up at the turn.

Three became four as a par was enough to win the 12th but the Americans claimed the next before a birdie on 16 wrapped up the win.

The second game was a tighter affair with rookie Recari being paired with Pettersen who was playing in her seventh consecutive Solheim Cup.

The front nine was a yo-yo affair with Europe winning the second but surrendering the third before par was good enough to win the fourth.

Five was halved but the Americans won six and seven to go one up for the first time but Europe hit back on eight and it was all square at the turn.

Europe won 13 and an eagle at 16 had them dormie two with 17 halved in threes to give the visitors their second point.

Youth and experience were again paired for Europe in match three as another rookie in Ewart Shadoff was paired with stalwart Matthew but this time the blend could not produce results.

The Americans won the first with a par but Europe hit back on four before home wins on seven and nine saw the Americans go into the back nine two up.

They went three up on 11 and although Europe cut the deficit on 12 America won 13 and halves all the way home got them on the board.

Munoz and Icher never trailed in the final match of the morning after winning the first and a run of three birdies from eight to 10 had them four up.

Creamer and Kerr won 15 and 16 as they mounted a superb fightback in an attempt to claim a half but a pair of threes on 17 put Europe well in command going in to the afternoon fourballs.

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