European Team overwhelmed by USA in opening Solheim Cup session

Lexi Thompson delivered for the USA in the opening match (JORGE GUERRERO)

Lexi Thompson starred as the United States romped to a clean sweep of the opening morning foursomes against Europe at the Solheim Cup in Spain on Friday.

Aiming to prevent Europe from claiming a third straight title, Stacy Lewis’s American team went into the match as underdogs but romped into a 4-0 lead.

It is the first time since 2009 that the USA have won the opening session.

Thompson and Megan Khang set the tone in the top match, winning the opening three holes against European rookies Linn Grant and Maja Stark.

The Swedish pair, who had never lost as a foursomes pairing as amateurs, fought back to level the match with five holes to play.

But Thompson, who has endured a poor season, rose to the occasion and made a vital 15-foot birdie putt at the 15th and another win at 17th closed out a 2 and 1 victory.

“It was a real honour to get to hit the first tee shot and Megan and I just kept swinging it well and we had a lot of fun,” said the 28 year-old.

“It’s great to get a first point on the board.”

The second match was close all the way, but a winning birdie from Danielle Kang and Andrea Lee at the 17th proved decisive and was good enough for a one-hole win over Celine Boutier and Georgia Hall.

The European pair had never lost in four previous Solheim Cup outings.

The third match was also nip and tuck but Nelly Korda and Allisen Corpuz sneaked a one-up victory over the experienced Anna Nordqvist and Leona Maguire.

In the final match, Ally Ewing and rookie Cheyenne Knight trounced Charley Hull and Emily Pedersen 5 and 4.

Hull, playing in her sixth Solheim Cup, was struggling with neck and upper back pain and was worked on by the physiotherapist on the practice range.

She suffered even more agony on the course as the pair struggled to make pars and were six down at the turn and even a win at the 12th couldn’t stop the rot.

“It’s a wonderful start,” said Ewing. “But we know Europe will keep fighting.”

American captain Lewis said: “I couldn’t ask for anything more.

“I’m pleased the way the team have believed in me. We’ll be sticking to more of the same in the afternoon.”

str/jc

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