Europe reacts after an initial 3-5 against the United States in the Solheim Cup

After 0-4 in the morning, the European team, with the collaboration of Carlota Ciganda, defeated the Americans in Finca Cortesín


The Solheim Cup 2023 started this Friday with a serious blow from the United States in the ‘foursomes’ to which Europe was able to respond in the ‘fourballs’ to leave a 3-5 on the first day of the tournament that is held for the first time in Spain, in Finca Cortesín.

USA swept the hosts in the morning with a worrying 0-4. The Swedes Meja Stark and Linn Grant, debutants in the competition, fell 2 and 1 against Lexi Thompson and Meghan Kang weighed down by a bad start. Meanwhile, Celine Boutier and Georgia Hall lost one up to Andrea Lee and Danielle Kang, a much closer match but which continued to turn the scoreboard red.

The blue hopes on the Malaga tour rested on Leona Maguire and Anna Nordqvist, the strongest pair a priori of the European captain Suzann Pettersen, but, from more to less, they suffered another defeat by one up against Nelly Korda and Allisen Corpuz, two ‘Top 10’ in the world who imposed their law.

The closing of the morning was the worst possible for Europe, with a clear defeat for Charley Hull and Emily Kristine Pedersen in a match to forget against Ally Ewing and Cheyenne Knight by 5 and 4, where the Europeans did not make a birdie until the hole 10.

The ballot became complicated with a 0-4 loss for a European team in search of a triplet of consecutive titles that it has never achieved before, in addition to continuing to reduce its record against the Yankees (7-10). The afternoon of ‘fourballs’ had all the excitement of ‘match-play’ and, although with suspense, the hosts pulled one back to stay alive within two points (3-5).

The script changed at Finca Cortesín and Europe took the early lead in the four afternoon matches, where the only Spanish in the fray, Carlota Ciganda, came into action alongside Linn Grant. The Navarrese’s match was in fact the most convincing, with a 4 and 2 that followed the blue line that the second round had drawn.

A hole-in-one by Emily Pedersen, the second in Solheim history, marked the way and the Dane was close to making another on the 17th hole, but had to settle for half a point alongside Maja Stark. The Americans did not throw in the towel and found their shots on the second nine holes, like Jennifer Kupcho and Allisen Corpuz who showed her stripes as US Open champion.

Rose Zhang and Megan Khang also sold their skin dearly, with the option of even winning the match on the 18th hole, but Gemma Dryburgh and Madelene Sagstrom saved at least half a point with which Europe opened its score. Leona Maguire, who took revenge well in the morning, signed with Georgia Hall a hard-fought one-up against Lexi Thompson and Lilia Vu.