It was a match that appeared to be a tossup from the moment it was announced. Certainly no one anticipated a rout. All four Friday foursomes matches looked like they would be down-to-the-wire affairs with back-and-forth birdies and nothing settled until sometime after noon. For three of them that was the case. But the U.S. team certainly caught everyone’s attention when Ally Ewing and Cheyenne Knight, who went out in the fourth and final match of the morning, put the first point on the board with 5-and-4 victory over Charley Hull and Emily Pedersen.
“We came out obviously very nervous, but we knew they were going to be there, and we were ready to take on the day,” Ewing said afterward.
It wasn’t spectacular, but it didn’t have to be. Sometimes steady does the trick. Knight, a Solheim Cup rookie who is also five-year LPGA Tour veteran with two career victories, hit the opening tee shot, an uneventful hybrid to the left center of the fairway, leaving Ewing with a perfect wedge number. That hole was halved with pars, but the U.S. went on a tear after that.
“First, I was just so happy to have Ally out there to keep me calm,” Knight said of her debut experience. “She was helping me last week when I had questions and has been so great to lean on.
“The first tee I was nervous,” Knight said. “(Captain) Stacy (Lewis) was like, ‘Are you okay?’ and I said, ‘We need to get this going.’ But it was awesome. I’ve never experienced anything like this so I’m just really grateful to put a point on the board for the USA.”
After winning the second hole with a par, the American duo two-putted for birdie at the par-4 fourth to go 2-up. From there they were off. Pars won the fifth and sixth and another birdie won the eighth. By the time they made the turn, the U.S. held a 6-up lead and people were scrambling for the record book to see what the largest margin of victory was in Solheim Cup history. The answer is 6-and-5 in foursomes done five different times.
That record remained safe after Hull hit a great approach on the downhill par-3 10th that led to a birdie and a win, and Knight found the right fairway bunker on the trickly par-4 15th to force Ewing to make a delicate 12-footer for par to halve.
But on 14, with the outcome no longer in doubt, Knight made a 4-footer for par to close out the match 5 and 4.
“My first (Solheim Cup) was in Scotland (at Gleneagles in 2019),” Ewing said. “There were a lot of ‘Oles ‘and other things to get that crowd pumped up. But there are a lot of USA fans here. So, we’re trying to hear that more than the others.”
Then Ewing smiled at her partner and said, “We’re just happy to get a point on the board.”