Matches Level After First Day

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EDINA, Minn. -- Sunny skies broke through cloud cover as the U.S. squad battled their way back in the Friday afternoon fourball matches earning three of the four available points to end the day level with the Europeans.
 
Thats the whole fun of foursomes and fourball, European Captain Dale Reid said upon the conclusion of todays matches. You never know whats going to happen. But I think 4-4 is a good way to start off tomorrow.
 
U.S. Captain Patty Sheehan was brimming with pride for her squad and the comeback they made.
 
Obviously I was still out on the course watching the morning matches when the afternoon matches got underway so I didnt get to talk to my players before they went out, Sheehan said.
 
My players took it upon themselves to be self-motivated. They obviously know that this afternoon they would turn it around.

Americans Laura Diaz and Emilee Klein, both of whom are playing in the Solheim Cup for the first time, were a hot afternoon pairing. Diaz was a late substitution for Beth Daniel who is suffering from flu-like symptoms.
 
Ive waited and worked my whole life for this and Ive got no problem playing 36 today if you need me, Diaz told her Captain this morning.
 
The rookie duo chipped their way towards a lead with solid par play and some key birdies.
 
We made a lot of birdies together and that was great because were both rookies! Diaz shouted.
 
All the while European counterparts Sophie Gustafson and Cup rookie Karine Icher did their best to match par on the front nine while Diaz and Klein birdied there way through the turn. By the 14th the U.S. Cup rookies were dormie.
 
They scored the first afternoon point for the U.S. team after ended their match 4 up on the par-4 15th with three holes to go.
 
I tell you what, Ive got some stud muffin, tough rookies out there, the proud U.S. Captain said.
 
The feisty pairing of Rosie Jones and Cristie Kerr held their weight against Laura Davies and Paula Marti. Kerr, a first timer to the Cup and described as a methodical player by Davies, jump-started the round by recording birdie-birdie on the opening holes.
 
She showed no fear in her first match and by the time the U.S. pairing made the turn they were up by four.
 
I think I went a little unconscious there for a while, Kerr said of her first taste of match play in the Solheim Cup. My heart rate was pretty high all day.
 
For the European team of Davies and Marti, they received their first break on the par-5 10th after Davies holed a putt from 40 feet for eagle. The back nine, much like the front was a struggle yet Davies rallied late in the round making another spectacular birdie on the par-4 17th.
 
The Americans lead dwindled as they made their way into the closing holes and with only one hole remaining; the Americans were reduced to a lead of one. Thats when long ball hitter Laura Davies hit her tee shot into the water and then proceeded to recover making birdie on the last.
 
Once I knew it was in the water, I kind of counted her out and I know better, Jones said. I should never, ever, ever, ever count her out. A couple of years ago she wasnt putting or driving the ball well but now shes back.
 
Laura is back!
 
Both sides recorded birdie on the par-5 18th leaving the U.S. pairing of Jones and Kerr victoriously up by one.
 
We made a great comeback, and we made them make a birdie to beat us, Marti said. So thats pretty good.
 
We really lost it in the middle, on 6,7,8 and 9, Davies added. They won the match there. We made them work, but they won the match and thats all that matters.
 
Michele Redman and Meg Mallon got off to a good start winning the first hole but the European duo of Annika Sorenstam and Maria Hjorth matched on the par-3 4th with a birdie putt by Annika.
 
The match remained all square through the 11th but the Americans upped the ante by moving to one up after recording par on the par-4 15th. Sorenstam was visibly upset by this development.
 
Mallon and Redman were dormie after Mallons birdie on the 16th.
 
Mhairi McKay made her debut this afternoon with teammate Carin Koch in the final match of the day. Koch, who played with Sorenstam a Foursome match earlier in the day, was one of three winning European pairings this morning.
 
Paired against Americans Juli Inkster and Kelli Kuehne, the Europeans were all square for much of the round. Kochs par save on the par-4 11th put some blue back on the boards for Europe. By the 15th, the Europeans were dormie.
 
They ended the match on the par-4 16th with par to win the match 3 and 2 and record the sole afternoon point for Europe.
 
The Minnesota galleries out there are awesome. They came out in droves and it was huge for the team, Sheehan said shortly before rushing off to consult with her Captains Assistant Jane Geddes on tomorrows pairings.
 

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