Europe lead United States 9-7 after fighting back in Sunday’s fourballs; Mel Reid and Leona Maguire claim crucial half-point late in the day after superb second shot from Reid; watch Monday’s singles live on Sky Sports Golf from 4.30pm
Last Updated: 06/09/21 1:14am
Team Europe captain Catriona Matthew was delighted to have a 9-7 lead over Team USA after a ‘rollercoaster’ second day at the Solheim Cup
Team Europe captain Catriona Matthew believes her team will be buoyed by their strong finish to Sunday’s fourballs when they tee up in Monday’s Solheim Cup singles.
Matthew’s side led 6.5-5.5 after the morning foursomes and looked set to lose their lead in the afternoon with the Americans ahead in three of the matches and tied in the other at one stage.
However, Charley Hull and Emily Pedersen pulled clear to defeat Austin Ernst and Danielle Kang 3&2, while Carlota Ciganda and Nanna Koerstz Madsen rallied from one down to beat Jessica Korda and Megan Khang 1up.
Rookie USA duo Yealimi Noh and Mina Harigae held firm to see off Sophia Popov and Celine Boutier 3&1 in the top match, but the real drama came in the third match.
Jennifer Kupcho, playing with Lizette Salas chipped in at the 17th, to put the USA one up against Mel Reid and Leona Maguire, but the European duo hit back at the 18th as Reid’s superb approach, which cleared a bunker by inches, set up a tap-in birdie and the match was halved.
“I thought they did really well today,” said Matthew. “It was in a way slightly tough coming in with a three-point lead. We knew the Americans were going to come back fighting at us. We knew it was going to be close.
“We had a slightly disappointing morning, and then to come back like we did in the afternoon, because at one point it was kind of very much the Americans had the momentum, and around about the turn you could sense it was changing a little bit and going toward Europe and you weren’t hearing quite so many cheers.
Highlights of Mel Reid and Leona Maguire’s Solheim Cup fourball match against Lizette Salas and Jennifer Kupcho
“The finish with Mel and Leona was fantastic and has really buoyed us up going into the singles tomorrow.
“We wanted to come in and win the Solheim Cup. That’s what we’ve been gearing up for for the last two years and the last two days of play, and that’s what we’re going to be going out there tomorrow to do.
“Obviously you all want to have fun while you do it, and I think we’ve all gelled well together as a team, the whole kind of captains, helpers, caddies, players.
Highlights of Charley Hull and Emily Pedersen’s 3&2 victory over Austin Ernst and Danielle Kang
“You know, we’re having fun, but we’re certainly wanting to go out there and win tomorrow.”
Reid, who played down a neck issue which had troubled her during the match, also feels the half-point could be vital.
“I think it’s difficult to not look at leaderboards,” she said. “It was very red there for a minute, so to turn it around and have the afternoon that we did, have a two-point lead is an incredible result for us. They came out firing this morning. They were obviously very pumped up from that.
Leona Maguire said Europe’s half-point against USA duo Salas and Kupcho almost felt like a win
“The crowd were getting behind them, heckling us a little bit. Whatever, some of it was funny, some of it wasn’t. Whenever they came up with more original stuff. But obviously to go in with a two-point lead is huge. Getting that halve was huge.”
USA captain Pat Hurst, meanwhile, remains hopeful of a singles fightback at Inverness Club on Monday.
“I feel pretty strong about our team and about our line-up. We’re looking forward to that, and just looking to go out and make as many points as we can and hopefully get on the board early and keep it going,” she said.
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