Rookie Moodie leads Europe's flying start

One of the most entertaining aspects of matchplay is its fluctuating fortune, a point perfectly illustrated here yesterday during an enthralling opening day's play in the sixth Solheim Cup.

One of the most entertaining aspects of matchplay is its fluctuating fortune, a point perfectly illustrated here yesterday during an enthralling opening day's play in the sixth Solheim Cup.

Once the dust, or more correctly, the mud had settled on the sodden Bonnie Banks, Europe had manufactured a three point lead to take into today's six fourball matches, but the overall outcome was uncertain until the final putt of the last tie on the 18th green.

The home side gave themselves the perfect start in their quest to halt America's bid for a fourth successive victory, winning all four of the morning foursomes ties to record a session whitewash for the first time in the event's history.

However, at one stage in the afternoon's four foursomes, it looked possible the visitors could also sweep the board before some courageous European golf towards the end of play.

With two matches lost, Trish Johnson and Sophie Gustafson birdied three of the last four holes to halve their contest with Juli Inkster and Sherri Steinhauer before the final act in the drama was provided by Scotland's Janice Moodie and Sweden's Annika Sorenstam.

Having won on the last green in the morning against Meg Mallon and Beth Daniel, the European duo repeated the feat in the afternoon, recovering from shedding a three hole lead from the 11th to the 13th in the process.

All square coming down the last, Mallon and Daniel could do no better than bogey five after the latter overshot the green, leaving Moodie the task of ensuring the winning par four. She performed it admirably, rolling her 20-foot putt down to hole side.

"As I said at the beginning of the week I picked match players," said the European captain Dale Reid. "I believed in them and I think they've gone out and believed in themselves. They know exactly what they're doing out there."

The fortunes of the European side were mirrored perfectly by their most experienced pairing of Laura Davies and Alison Nicholas who won handsomely in the morning before being trounced 6 and 5 by Becky Iverson and Rosie Jones in the afternoon.

In their first outing the English duo proved too strong for Inkster and an out-of-touch Dottie Pepper, whose recurring back injury hampered her swing and tempered her enthusiasm.

In running out 4 & 3 winners, Davies also stepped ahead of Pepper in the all-time points-scoring table with 13 1/ 2 to her name, but the victory was not without incident, Davies and Nicholas disagreeing over tactics on the sixth hole.

After driving into a fairway bunker, Davies suggested her partner attempt to find the green with her escape, but Nicholas disagreed. It led to a frosty silence between the pair until a winning birdie three at the ninth saw the smiles return.

"It was my stupidity, just reacting to something that was nothing to do with me," said Davies. "Ali never tries to hit my shots so I shouldn't try to hit hers - I should have minded my own business."

Within minutes of the first point on the board the European lead was 3-0, Johnson and Gustafson beating Kelly Robbins and Pat Hurst 3 & 2 before the Swedes Catrin Nilsmark and Carin Koch dealt with Brandie Burton and Iverson 2 & 1.

It left the honour of recording the whitewash to the rookie Moodie and the world No 2 Sorenstam. After untidily halving the short 17th in double bogey five, Sorenstam regained her composure with a telling approach shot to within 10 feet of the flag at the closing hole, the resulting half good enough to furnish a one hole win.

If it felt good for them the first time round, five hours later it felt even better.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
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

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game