Europe Takes Early Lead


European Team Captain Dale Reid reaped the rewards from her first set of pairings after the Europeans won three of four matches Friday morning to take a 3 - 1 lead.
Match play partners Laura Davies and Paula Marti took home the first point for the Europeans. The teammates got along famously in the Foursome match, finding their similar game styles to be an excellent pairing.
Playing opponents Juli Inkster and Laura Diaz put up a good fight during the match but the partnership of Davies and Marti proved too strong. The Europeans were 1-up for most of the match, losing ground at the turn for a short time. It was then that things were starting to look up for the Americans. Inkster holed putts on the 12th and 13th greens, moving the match to all square. That is until the Europeans jumped back into the lead on the 14th.
It was a lead they would not relinquish. On the 18th hole, 1-up over their U.S. opponents, Marti hit her 3-wood second shot to within a few feet of the hole on the 18th green prompting the U.S. to concede the hole. I think I hit the best 3-wood Ive hit all year so Im very happy, Marti said of her shot.
I think Friday morning is the most important series of matches of the week. Davies said shortly after their win. It sets the standard. Its very important. Its just good for the rest of the team to see Europe get off to a good start.
The standard was set in Europes favor but that didnt deter the team of Hall of Famer Beth Daniel and Solheim Cup Rookie Wendy Ward from achieving their goal.
Daniel and Ward were dormie on the 17th and ended their match victoriously 2 up over Iben Tinning and Raquel Carriedo. A side is considered to be dormie when it is as many holes up as there are holes left to play. Ward and Daniel finished the 18th 1-up over the Europeans.
The third match of the day between Europes Helen Alfredsson and Suzann Peterson and the U.S. team of Kelly Robbins and Pat Hurst was fairly evenly matched.
The Americans held their own throughout the day yet were unable to take the lead. I really never got anything going from the get-go, Robbins said. We just knew that we were going to have to get something going with them making the birdies; they were doing it, and we didnt.
Once again Reid had successfully paried teammates with very similar styles and reaped the rewards with the second point of the day.
I think the turning point of the day came on the 9th, Alfredsson said. Suzann made a crucial putt for par and so we tied that hole.
Sometimes you just have this crucial putt, and that was the one.
The European pairing of Alfredsson and Pettersen remained all square with the Americans through the 11th, that is until Alfredsson made some spectacular putts of her own, including a 12 footer on the par-3 14th for birdie. They were dormie on the 15th and finished the match 4 & 2 winners over Robbins and Hurst.
Alfredsson and Pettersen had played all of the practice rounds together and with only half a club lengths difference in their games they found playing together very comfortable. I think the pairings actually made themselves. After three practice rounds, you know who gets along, like Paula and Laura, I mean, its a perfect couple, Pettersen said.
In the final Foursome match of the day, Annika Sorenstam and Carin Koch proved too great a force for Sheehans team of Meg Mallon and Kelli Kuehne. The Europeans were dormie on the 15th and ended the match 3 & 2 winners. We played very solid all day. We got off to a birdie on the second, and then we went two up after four, so we played good and solid all day, and we just didnt make many mistakes, said Sorenstam.
Scores from the 7th Solheim Cup Matches