2015 The Solheim Cup
Golf Club St. Leon Rot, Germany
Day 1 Morning Recap
September 17, 2015
The 14th staging of The Solheim Cup got underway on Friday morning at Golf Club St. Leon-Rot with four tight foursomes matches. The competition was tied 2-2 at the completion of the morning session.
The American duo of Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel put the first point of the week on the board after defeating Anna Nordqvist and Suzann Pettersen 3&2. Englishwomen Charley Hull and Mel Reid put Europe on the board with a birdie on the 17th hole to seal the 2&1 victory over Michelle Wie and Brittany Lincicome. The final match of the morning foursomes finished next with Sandra Gal and Catriona Matthew defeating Stacy Lewis and Lizette Salas 3&2 to put the Europeans up, 2-1. But the Americans evened the score at 2-2 at the completion of the morning foursomes thanks to a 3&2 victory by Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson over Azahara Munoz and Karine Icher.
Morgan Pressel/Paula Creamer win 3&2 over Anna Nordqvist/Suzann Pettersen
U.S. Team Captain Juli Inkster showed a lot of confidence in her captain’s pick, Paula Creamer, by sending her out in the first match of the day with Morgan Pressel and it paid off. Creamer made a clutch par putt on the first to put the Americans 1 UP early and they never trailed in the match. Suzann Pettersen and Anna Nordqvist had never lost in team play as partners but they managed to win just two holes against Creamer and Pressel. Pettersen sank a birdie putt on 14 to cut the Americans’ lead to 3 UP with four to play but Creamer drained another clutch par putt on the 16th to close out the match.
“[Juli Inkster] told me, even before this week, she said I think I want to send you and Paula out first match, get that first point on the board. And as the week progressed, she said that’s definitely my plan. [Paula and I] are both very comfortable with each other. It’s nice to play with your best bud on the golf course. We have similar games. We stayed patient. We didn’t hit the best shots out there. We made a few birdies, I think we were probably a couple under and just made it work.” – Morgan Pressel
Charley Hull/Melissa Reid win 2&1 over Michelle Wie/Brittany Lincicome
Match No. 2 was a battle of the bombers with Brittany Lincicome and Michelle Wie vs. Mel Reid and Charley Hull. The English duo of Reid and Hull got off to a fast start winning the first hole but a birdie on the par-5 6th hole by the Americans brought the match back to all square. The Europeans responded with a birdie on the next hole to go 1 UP. The Europeans held onto their lead until a 4-foot birdie putt by Michelle Wie on the 13th brought it back to all square again. A three-putt bogey by Team USA on the 14th gave Europe a 1 UP lead with four holes to play. The American headed to the 17th still trailing and needed to at least halve the hole to continue the match. Both teams had birdie putts; Hull sank her birdie putt from 12 feet to put the pressure on Wie who failed to convert giving the Europeans the 2&1 victory and their first point of the day.
“It was great. We got off to a fast start. It was brilliant, that tee shot, I ripped it. Finishing with a birdie, it was brilliant. It was fun.” - Charley Hull
Cristie Kerr/Lexi Thompson win 2&1 over Karine Icher/Azahara Munoz
Americans Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson made a formidable pair at last year’s International Crown and jumped out to an early lead against Karine Icher and Azahara Munoz in the third match of the morning. Team USA found themselves 4 UP after 6 holes and appeared as if they would dominate the match. Icher and Munoz, who were paired together twice in 2013, stormed back and after Icher holed a bomb on 15 the Europeans found themselves down just one with three to play. After Thompson missed her birdie putt on 16, Kerr was there with encouragement and the duo headed to 17 to try to close out the match. The Americans were able to hang on for 2&1 victory after Icher’s long putt on 17 ended up nearly a foot left of the hole.
“She’s amazing. She’s always here to cheer me on. Even if I hit a bad shot, she’s always there to pick me up if I’m down. That’s what a partner is for. That’s why we love team events, because we’re not only playing for ourself, but we’re playing for the person next to us, that’s what’s great about it.” - Lexi Thompson
Sandra Gal/Catriona Matthew win 3&2 over Stacy Lewis/Lizette Salas
A huge roar from her fellow Germans greeted Sandra Gal on the first tee and the native of Duesseldof, Germany gave them a lot to cheer for throughout her morning match. It was the Americans who drew first blood thanks to a long par putt by Salas on the first hole but it would be the only lead they’d hold in the match. The match was all square at the turn but back-to-back birdies by the Europeans on the 10th and 11th gave them a 2 UP lead, which they would never relinquish. Salas sank a birdie putt on the par-3 15th to keep the Americans’ hopes alive, but it was Gal who created another roar when she sank a short birdie putt on the par-5 16th to close out the match with a 3&2 victory and the second point of the day for the Europeans.
“It was more than I expected. It was just electrifying. It’s just so cool to have their joy and their enthusiasm catch on us. I think we played better because of them.” – Sandra Gal on playing in front of her home crowd in Germany