Europe hold commanding Solheim Cup lead

Europe's women held a commanding five-point lead over the United States and were on the verge of their first Solheim Cup title in eight years as four washed-out matches were completed today.

Europe's women held a commanding five-point lead over the United States and were on the verge of their first Solheim Cup title in eight years as four washed-out matches were completed today.

Europe, which has won only once in the women's version of the Ryder Cup, led the American 9 1/2-4 1/2 going into Sunday's 12 crucial singles matches. Europe needs 13 1/2 points to claim the cup and the Americans need 13 to retain it with one point at stake in each match.

The underdog Europeans took an unprecedented 4-0 lead after Friday's first session of foursomes (alternate shot) and never looked back. They led 5 1/2-2 1/2 after Friday and the lead grew to five points points when they won the first two fourball (best-ball) matches on Saturday before driving rain washed out play.

The remaining four best-ball matches were completed on a Sunday morning under clear skies with Europe holding its lead.

The Swedish pair of Carin Koch and Catrin Nilsmark, in a match that was level after 14 when it was rained outwashed out, birdied the next three holes when play resumed to beat Nancy Scranton and Michele Redman 2 and 1.

Lisolette Neumann and Patricia Muenier Lebouc, 1-up when play was called, halved with Dottie Pepper and Brandie Burton.

The biggest controversy in the three-day event came when Swede Annika Sorenstam chipped in from 25 feet off the 13th green for what appeared to be a birdie. But the Americans protested that she had played out of turn - meaning she was not the farthest from the hole.

Sorenstam, who broke down in tears and was consoled by partner Janice Moodie, replayed the shot and just missed. American Pat Hurst - playing with Kelly Robbins - dropped her short birdie putt to increase the lead to two holes.

Hurst and Robbins went on to win 2 and 1 for the only U.S. victory in fourball.

"It is just really sad when you have tournaments like this," Sorenstam said. "It is sad to see that the ugly part of them came out because both Pat and Kelly are the nicest they have. It is just sad to see that - that they don't even have sportsmanship."

"Annika was very upset," said European captain Dale Reid. "She thought she had been given the nod to go ahead. By the time Kelly (Robbins) got around to her putt she realized that Annika had played out of turn."

Tournament director Ian Randell said there was no indication there had been any communication prior to the shot being played between the players" and said American captain Pat Bradley made the decision to ask for the replay.

Match referee Barb Trammell said the paced off the distances afterwards and Sorenstam was about 1 1/2 yard closer to the pin. Trammell said she didn't see Robbins give Sorenstam the go-ahead to play.

The incident, although the Americans were within their rights to call the shot back, created what Trammell called "obviously a tense situation" for the rest of the match and cast the U.S. as a win-at-all costs team.

In the final match, the Americans let a half point slip away when Beth Daniel, playing with Meg Mallon, missed a 5-foot birdie on the 18th to win the match against Laura Davies and Raquel Carriedo. They havled the match.

In Saturday's fourball matches, Trish Johnson and Swede Sophie Gustafson stayed unbeaten in three matches, beating Rosie Jones and Becky Iverson 3 and 2. Nicholas and Helen Alfredsson beat Juli Inkster and Sherri Steinhauer 3 and 2 with Alfredsson, playing poorly most of the season, racking up six birdies.

With Sunday's singles threatened by rain, both captains loaded their singles lineups with the top players leading off. The lineup: Juli Inkster, United States, vs. Annika Sorenstam, Europe; Brandie Burton, United States, vs. Sophie Gustafson, Europe; Beth Daniel, United States, vs. Helen Alfredsson, Europe; Dottie Pepper, United States, vs. Trish Johnson, Europe; Kelly Robbins, United States, vs. Laura Davies, Europe; Pat Hurst, United States, vs. Lisolette Neumann, Europe.

Sherri Steinhauer, United States, vs. Alison Nicholas, Europe; Meg Mallon, United States, vs. Patricia Meunier Lebouc, Europe; Rosie Jones, United States, vs. Catrin Nilsmark, Europe; Becky Iverson, United States, vs. Raquel Carriedo, Europe; Michele Redman, United States, vs. Carin Koch, Europe; Nancy Scranton, United States, vs. Janice Moodie, Europe.

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower