Europe has never won the Solheim Cup playing on American soil, but took a 5-3 lead on Friday after the first two sessions. On the American side, Jessica Korda and Morgan Pressel were the only pair able to salvage one of the four available points in the morning foursome matches, and the U.S. managed to split the afternoon fourballs, for two points apiece.
The top-ranked American player, Stacy Lewis, went 0-for-2 in day one. Suzann Pettersen and Carlota Ciganda trailed Lewis and Lexi Thompson for most of the match, but rallied for the 1-up victory.
Afterward, Lewis was still upset over the ruling — which took nearly 30 minutes and killed the momentum in several matches — that resulted in Ciganda getting up-and-down for par to halve the 15th hole at a crucial point in the match. Lewis, who turned out to be right all along, was shown arguing with an official after she and Thompson had lost the point. (Waiting for the video on the ruling and the heated discussion — please e-mail if you see it!)
The laser was used to make sure Ciganda’s options would be equal distance from the hole.
“Part of the problem we had with it was the rules official lasered the flag and made it public information. So he gave them a number,” Lewis said.
That was a moot point, however, when Ciganda eventually dropped from an entirely different spot. She hit her fourth shot just off the green, and holed a 15-foot putt right when it looked as if the Americans would take the lead.
“The explanation was about as bad as the ruling, I thought,” Lewis said. “I don’t think it was correct. It took way too long. It killed the momentum of our match. It killed the momentum of the matches behind us, and it’s just not what you want the rules officials to ever do.”
Update 2: Oh, yes, it only gets crazier…
Official just said Carlota Ciganda was given a wrong ruling on the 15th hole today. She did drop at the wrong spot. Officials error. #wow
— Jay Coffin (@JayCoffinGC) August 17, 2013
Meanwhile, Michelle Wie and Cristie Kerr made a fantastic pair, putting on a short game clinic on their way to defeating Catriona Matthew and Charley Hull. Wie, who was a controversial captain’s pick, posted five birdies and needed to two-putt for the win on no. 17 and rolled a nice lag to tap-in range to secure the point.
“I love match play, I love the Solheim Cup and I love Cristie Kerr,” said an ecstatic Wie. “It’s so much fun.”
Wie’s enthusiasm and team spirit are hard to beat, and she is indeed a valuable asset to the Solheim Cup that makes her irreplaceable. Given all the criticism she’s endured throughout her career, she could have turned out to be a really miserable, snotty brat, but she continues to rise above the negativity and remain a lovely young lady. So, take that, haters.
(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)