Europe’s bid for an unprecedented third straight Solheim Cup victory got off to a nightmare start as they were whitewashed in the opening foursomes at Finca Cortesin.
Charley Hull and Emily Kristine Pedersen were an estimated eight over par for the front nine on their way to a 5&4 thrashing by Ally Ewing and Cheyenne Knight in the bottom match, which was so one-sided it finished first.
The rookie Swedish pairing of Linn Grant and Maja Stark, who had fought back from three down after three, then lost 2&1 to Lexi Thompson and Meghan Khang before Celine Boutier and Georgia Hall surrendered their unbeaten record to Danielle Kang and Andrea Lee.
Leona Maguire and Anna Nordqvist birdied the 16th and 17th to keep their match against Nelly Korda and Allisen Corpuz alive, but they were unable to birdie the par-five 18th as the visitors won a foursomes session 4-0 for the first time in the event’s history.
United States captain Stacy Lewis had seen her selections questioned after picking an out-of-form Thompson and leaving two-time major winner Lilia Vu and rising star Rose Zhang out, but was totally vindicated by the scoreline.
Lewis told Sky Sports: “You could not ask for much more. We knew those middle two matches were going to be tough and just saw a tonne of fight in our girls and fortunately we were on the right side of it.”
Asked about picking Thompson, Lewis added: “I had a feeling yesterday.
“She wasn’t in my line-up that I’ve had for a couple of weeks. The way the last four days have gone, just the way she seemed mentally I had a good feeling about it and Meghan’s been playing amazing the last month or so.
“I literally went to them with about three holes left in their practice round and said, ‘hey can you figure out some golf balls’ and fortunately they managed it and got the win.”
Former Europe captain Catriona Matthew, who led the side to victories in 2019 and 2021, admitted she was surprised by the outcome of the session.
“I don’t think anyone saw this coming,” Matthew said on Sky Sports. “I think it’s deflating for everyone. The Americans have done what they wanted to do, they’ve quietened the crowd.
“The Europeans just looked edgy this morning, we got off to a very poor start, were down in all the games, barely ever actually saw any blue on the board so I think this afternoon they’re going to have to go out there strong, try and get some blue on the board and get the crowd into this.”
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