Solheim Cup: Suzann Pettersen justifies selection as Europe lead USA after day one

Team Europe's Suzann Pettersen
Team Europe's Suzann Pettersen

Suzann Pettersen justified her controversial selection and silenced Danielle Kang into the bargain as Europe had to settle for a slender lead after the opening day of the 16th Solheim Cup.

Pettersen had played just twice since November 2017 when she was handed a wild card by captain Catriona Matthew, since when she finished 59th in the CP Women's Open and missed the cut in the Cambia Portland Classic.

However, the 38-year-old Norwegian produced the goods when it mattered as she partnered rookie Anne Van Dam to a 4&2 victory over Kang and Lizette Salas before a dramatic climax to the afternoon fourballs.

After Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall suffered a record-equalling 7&5 loss to Ally McDonald and Angel Yin, Carlota Ciganda and Bronte Law fought back from two down with four to play to take the lead up the 18th against Lexi Thompson and Jessica Korda, only for Thompson to make birdie and snatch half a point.

And there was more disappointment for the home side in the final match as Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz were unable to convert a four-hole lead with six to play against Nelly Korda and Brittany Altomare, who birdied five of the holes and saw Korda almost make a hole-in-one on the 17th.

Kang had caused controversy earlier in the week after her comments to the Drop Zone podcast in which she outlined her approach to the Solheim Cup.

"You're trying to take souls, you know," Kang said.

"You're going there to make people cry at this point, just crush the other team."

Pettersen's response of "we're just going to step on their necks" was said with a smile and the two-time major winner had more reasons to be cheerful after dovetailing superbly with the big-hitting Van Dam.

"I just want to say I have the best partner in the world," Pettersen said.

"Today I felt a bit like Seve (Ballesteros), I was left and right and everywhere. But when you have a superstar partner like this who just bombs it, you just have to be very happy.

"I mean, this girl I think is the best golfer I've ever seen on the women's side. And today she just was absolutely a rock star."

Van Dam added: "I was so relaxed. Standing on the first tee Suzann told me, 'Just enjoy this experience', and that's what I did. I saw so many of my family and friends, hit a good drive and good iron shot and I was just rolling after that."

In the morning foursomes, Caroline Masson and Jodi Ewart Shadoff were thrashed 6&4 by sisters Jessica and Nelly Korda before the home side fought back with victories from Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier and Hull and Munoz.

The first match between Ciganda and Law and Morgan Pressel and Marina Alex was halved to leave the contest finely poised ahead of the afternoon fourballs, with the four players on each side who sat out the morning session getting their first taste of the action.

MATCH-BY-MATCH RESULTS

Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz of Europe
Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz of Europe

Foursomes (Europe names first)

  • Caroline Masson and Jodi Ewart Shadoff lost 6&4 to Jessica Korda and Nelly Korda - Europe 0 United States 1
  • Carlota Ciganda and Bronte Law halved with Morgan Pressel and Marina Alex - Europe 0.5 United States 1.5
  • Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier beat Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare 2&1 - Europe 1.5 United States 1.5
  • Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz beat Megan Khang and Annie Park 2&1 - Europe 2.5 United States 1.5

Fourballs

  • Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall lost 7&5 to Ally McDonald and Angel Yin - Europe 2.5 United States 2.5
  • Suzann Pettersen and Anne van Dam beat Danielle Kang and Lizette Salas 4&2 - Europe 3.5 United States 2.5
  • Carlota Ciganda and Bronte Law halved with Lexi Thompson and Jessica Korda - Europe 4 United States 3
  • Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz halved with Nelly Korda and Brittany Altomare - Europe 4.5 United States 3 .5
Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Check out the latest daily tipping preview1

Wednesday's racing preview

Grace And Danger can finally hit the mark in Listed company at Bath, according to Anita Chambers - she has a tip for every race.

Football gossip and transfer rumours from the back pages2

Paper Talk: Spurs line up Jose

Wednesday's Paper Talk includes Tottenham's pursuit of Jose Mourinho to replace Mauricio Pochettino should be leave the club.

Check out the day's main market movers and most backed3

Market Movers: Punters wreak havoc

Newcomer Cry Havoc has been the best-backed horse of the day at Sky Bet ahead of her debut at Kempton while Sam Spinner is on the drift ahead of his chasing debut.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day4

Daily Nap: Yes Chef!

Ben Linfoot heads to Kempton Park for the Sporting Life Daily Nap on Wednesday with one of Jim Boyle's fancied to prevail.

5

This Manager's Life: Sabri Lamouchi

Sabri Lamouchi is hoping his new club will give him the time to build a Premier League side. Tom Carnduff speaks with September's Manager of the Month.

Most Read

Check out the latest daily tipping preview1

Wednesday's racing preview

Grace And Danger can finally hit the mark in Listed company at Bath, according to Anita Chambers - she has a tip for every race.

Football gossip and transfer rumours from the back pages2

Paper Talk: Spurs line up Jose

Wednesday's Paper Talk includes Tottenham's pursuit of Jose Mourinho to replace Mauricio Pochettino should be leave the club.

Check out the day's main market movers and most backed3

Market Movers: Punters wreak havoc

Newcomer Cry Havoc has been the best-backed horse of the day at Sky Bet ahead of her debut at Kempton while Sam Spinner is on the drift ahead of his chasing debut.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day4

Daily Nap: Yes Chef!

Ben Linfoot heads to Kempton Park for the Sporting Life Daily Nap on Wednesday with one of Jim Boyle's fancied to prevail.

5

This Manager's Life: Sabri Lamouchi

Sabri Lamouchi is hoping his new club will give him the time to build a Premier League side. Tom Carnduff speaks with September's Manager of the Month.

Racing Tips

Check out the latest daily tipping preview

Wednesday's racing preview

Grace And Danger can finally hit the mark in Listed company at Bath, according to Anita Chambers - she has a tip for every race.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day

Daily Nap: Yes Chef!

Ben Linfoot heads to Kempton Park for the Sporting Life Daily Nap on Wednesday with one of Jim Boyle's fancied to prevail.

Check out the latest daily racing preview

Thursday's racing preview

Keith Hamer previews all of Thursday's racing in the UK and Ireland with his best bet coming at Brighton.

Next Race Off

13:50 Wetherby
1
(0)
Zeb Spirit
J: D A Jacob
2
(0)
Frankadore
J: G Sheehan
9
(0)
Lady Shanawell
J: R P McLernon

Football Tips

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette celebrate a goal for Arsenal in Valencia

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in October 2019.

All of Sporting Life's current best bets across a range of sports

Our best bets

Check out Sporting Life's best bets across racing, football and more.

Our best bets for Tuesday's Euro 2020 Qualifying action

Euro 2020: Tuesday's preview & tips

The latest international break comes to an end on Tuesday and Tom Carnduff picks out his best bets - all at prices of odds-against.