Hannah Darling more than held her own in the biggest test of her career so far but was unable to prevent the US taking a three-point lead over Europe into the final day of the PING Junior Solheim Cup over the King’s Course at Gleneagles, writes Martin Dempster
The Broomieknowe 16-year-old and her English partner Annabell Fuller got the home team off to the best possible start in the morning foursomes when they put the first points on the board with a 4&3 victory over America’s Sadie Englemann and Lucy Li.
That session ended 3-3 before the same pairing went down fighting, losing by one hole against Englemann and Rachel Heck, as the visitors dominated the fourballs to lead 7½-4½.
“The Americans just played better than us. It’s that simple,” said European captain Mickey Walker. “We’ve got plenty of points to play for tomorrow and I really believe we can still win,” she added of the concluding singles session.
Darling said of her morning win: “It was unbelievable. I couldn’t have wished for much more to be honest. The first tee was pretty nerve-wracking. You don’t expect anything like that but the club doesn’t feel the same, your hands feel different.
“But I hit a really nice drive down the left side that was better than I expected. Annabell was hitting it close and I was holing the putts, so we worked really well together.”