Europe take early lead in Solheim Cup at Gleneagles

Catriona Matthew’s European team edged into an early lead after the opening session in the 16th Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.

Rookie Celine Boutier, right, is hugged by Georgia Hall after their win in the opening session in the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles. Picture: Getty Images

On a morning when the golf overall was a bit scrappy, the home team won the foursomes 2.5-1.5 on the PGA Centenary Course.

It was the start Matthew was looking for as Europe bid to reclaim the trophy after wins for the US in the last two matches.

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Jessica and Nelly Korda were making history as the first sisters to play for the US and they made it a morning to remember by putting the first point on the board.

Birdies at the opening two holes set the tone against Caroline Masson and Jodi Ewart Shadoff, who’d seen her preparations disrupted due to her clubs turning up late and was badly out of sorts.

Despite having a double-bogey and three bogeys, the Kordas won 6&4, with Europe’s performance being summed up when they three-putted from four feet at the seventh.

Thankfully for Matthew, that was the only match in which the European players didn’t play to their potential on a glorious morning in Perthshire.

In the top match, Bronte Law and Carlota Ciganda had nudged two holes ahead after a

bright start before Morgan Pressel rolled in long birdie putt at the fifth to reduce the deficit.

Pressel and her partner Marina Alex also won the next two holes to go ahead, but, thanks to Ciganga holing a 25-foot birdie putt across the green at the short 17th, it ended in a fitting half.

Behind them, Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier recovered from being down early on to record a brilliant 2&1 win over Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare.

Rookie Boutier holed a birdie putt from the back edge at the 11th as Europe took control and then clinched the point by holding her nerve to convert a par putt at the 17th.

It was Thomspon’s first taste of defeat since making her debut in 2013, having enjoyed a run of nine matches without a loss coming into this event.

With the score 1.5-1.5, that meant the bottom match was the one that would determine which side would secure an upper hand - and that went to Europe.

Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz were never down against Megan Khang and Annie Park, but it was all to play for with six holes to play.

Hull then delivered a crucial blow by setting up a European birdie with a majestic approach from 163 yards at the 13th and that effectively set up a subsequent 2&1 success.

Foursomes (European names first)

Carlota Ciganda and Bronte Law halved with Morgan Pressel Marina Alex

Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier beat Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare 2&1

Caroline Masson and Jodi Ewart Shadoff lost to Jessica Korda and Nelly Korda 6&4

Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz beat Megan Khang and Annie Park 2&1

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