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.

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
News
An Apple iPhone 6 stands on display at the Apple Store
businessRegulators give iPhone 6 and 6 Plus the green light
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Britain's internet habits have been revealed in a new survey
tech
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
film
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Arts and Entertainment
film
News
news
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

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style