Solheim Cup Saturday Midday Notes: Europe Leads 3.5 – .5

The grandstands at Inverness Club just ahead of the first tee shots of the Solheim Cup.

Solheim Cup Saturday Midday Notes: Europe Leads 3.5 – .5

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Matilda Castren/Anna Nordqvist (EUR) def. Austin Ernst/Danielle Kang (USA), 1 up

Celine Boutier/Georgia Hall (EUR) tied with Ally Ewing/Megan Khang (USA)

Leona Maguire/Mel Reid (EUR) def. Nelly Korda/Jessica Korda (USA), 1 up

Charley Hull/Emily K. Pedersen (EUR) def. Brittany Altomare/Lexi Thompson (USA), 1 up


12:35 p.m. – Nanna Koerstz Madsen and Madelene Sagstrom (EUR) vs. Nelly Korda and Ally Ewing (USA)

12:50 p.m. – Carlota Ciganda and Sophia Popov (EUR) vs. Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas (USA)

1:05 p.m. – Anna Nordqvist and Matilda Castren (EUR) vs. Lexi Thompson and Mina Harigae (USA)

1:20 p.m. – Georgia Hall and Leona Maguire (EUR) vs. Yealimi Noh and Brittany Altomare (USA)


Anna Nordqvist hits the first shot of the 2021 Solheim Cup.

Matilda Castren/Anna Nordqvist (EUR) def. Austin Ernst/Danielle Kang (USA), 1 up

On the par-5 second, Matilda Castren dropped in a right-to-left 30-foot bomb that, for an instant, seemed like it would put Team Europe on the board first. Instead, Team USA answered with a 20-foot bender from Danielle Kang. The script was flipped on the par-3 third as Kang missed a par opportunity, handing Europe a 1-up advantage. Anna Nordqvist and Castren carried that momentum to the very next hole to go 2 up, but gave it right back at No. 5 with a three-putt performance.

Danielle Kang

The tide turned on No. 7. Kang left her chip shot short, but Austin Ernst swooped in like Captain America to pick her partner up. She buried the 20-foot par putt and flashed a fierce fist pump as the gallery erupted. Another par on No. 8 put the Stars and Stripes 1 up, and they made the turn with the same margin.

“I felt like we were doing great. Things happen,” said Nordqvist. “She made that putt to give them a little bit of momentum, but Matilda putted really well all day, had great speed. She made a couple really good ones that took the momentum back for us, especially the good par putt on 9 followed by a great birdie on 10.”   

Team Europe and Team USA exchanged birdies at Nos. 10 and 12, respectively. Castren found the bottom of the cup at No. 10 from 23 feet, while Ernst left it inside 5 feet off the tee at the par-3 12th and Kang capitalized. From there, Nordqvist and Castren strung together three straight birdies from Nos. 13-15 to open a 2-up lead. Despite a par from Team USA to take No. 17, the European duo shut the door on No. 18 for a 1-up victory. 

“We’re very happy to get off to a good start, and Matilda played fantastic,” said Nordqvist. “For her to go out there as a rookie and just be fearless, it’s not easy.”

The rookie added, “I couldn’t ask for a better way to start my Solheim Cup career winning the first point with Anna. She’s a legend and such a nice person.”

Georgia Hall Tees Off On the 17th

Celine Boutier/Georgia Hall (EUR) tied with Ally Ewing/Megan Khang (USA)

The European duo of Celine Boutier and Georgia Hall had a great comeback in their morning foursome match against USA’s Ally Ewing and Megan Khang. While the Americans took the early lead after winning the first two holes and kept a 2-up advantage for much of the match, the Europeans stormed back over the closing holes to tie the match.

Ewing and Khang kicked off the morning with a birdie and eagle on the opening two holes. They dropped a shot and a hole on the fourth but regained the 2-up lead on the next hole. Holes 7/ 8 and 14/15 witnessed the same scenario, with the Americans regaining a 2-up lead each time the Europeans won a hole.

Ewing holed a clutch par putt to keep Team USA comfortably ahead by two through 16. From there, Hall sunk a difficult putt for birdie on the 17th to push the match to 18. With the USA laying up after finding bunker off the tee, the European duo won the 18th hole with a par and halved the match as they continue their Solheim Cup performance unbeaten.

“It was a really tough match actually. Both teams played really well,” said Hall. “Being 2 down with two to play is not ideal, but really glad that we managed to get a half point.”

Nelly Korda on the 17th tee

Leona Maguire/Mel Reid (EUR) def. Nelly Korda/Jessica Korda (USA), 1 up 

With an eagle at the par-5 third hole, Europe’s Mel Reid and Leona Maguire took an early 1-up lead over the American sister duo of Nelly Korda and Jessica Korda. Reid and Maguire grew the advantage to 2 up through six holes, but just could not pull clear of the Kordas. 

The Americans rallied the gathered crowds when Jessica drained a masterful chip-in from off the green at No. 13. She punctuated the ball drop with a fierce fist pump, even garnering a huge round of applause from the notoriously stoic Nelly.  

“That’s what you hope for,” Jessica said. “That is the Solheim Cup, and that’s what’s really cool.” 

But the Kordas, undefeated as a pairing in the 2019 Solheim Cup in Scotland, could not turn that moment into a true momentum shift. Jessica just missed a birdie putt at No. 18 that would have tied the match, instead watching Maguire, the first Irish player in the history of the Solheim Cup, drain a short par putt to earn the 1-up victory. Reid had nothing but raves about her rookie teammate, someone she admitted to barely knowing when the week started. 

“Honestly I could not be more impressed with this girl here. I said to her, we hadn’t really spoken before this week, that’s kind of what Solheim is about,” said Reid. “This girl honestly, she’s some player, and just really, really proud of the way she handled herself and she’s a very, very impressive girl, so it was an honor honestly to play with her in the first match.” 

Maguire added, “I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my Solheim career. Very lucky to have Mel alongside me. I think everybody had written us off today, and we just sort of took that in our stride and wanted to be as relentless and fearless as possible, and I feel like we did that.”  


Charley Hull

Charley Hull/Emily K. Pedersen (EUR) def. Brittany Altomare/Lexi Thompson (USA), 1 up

The final match of the opening morning foursomes saw a tight and cagey affair between Team Europe and Team USA. The European pair of Charley Hull and Emily Kristine Pedersen went 1 up after the first hole but American duo of Brittany Altomare and Lexi Thompson pulled it back to all square on the next.

It was then Team USA’s turn to go 1 up but Europe levelled and then 1 up themselves on the ninth in what continued to be a tense encounter. 

The match was tied on the 10th before the Americans found some momentum and soon were 2 up with four holes to play. But Europe came back strong and won two of the last three holes before Pedersen rolled in her putt on 18 to secure a 1-up victory over Team USA.

“I don’t know what to say about that,” said the Danish star. “Nothing feels better than winning a point for Europe. I’m so happy! I knew the line and I saw the putt the whole way. I just had to get a little bit of a stroke on it and I knew I was going to.”

Hull added, “I really enjoyed playing out there. It is great fun. We didn’t really feel the nerves. Three birdies in the last four holes to come from 2 down to be 1 up was pretty good.”


Sunday, Sept. 5

Foursomes – 7:15-7:51 a.m.

Fourball – 12:05-12:50 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 6

Singles – 12:05-1:55 p.m.

TV TIMES (all times Eastern)

Sunday, Sept. 5 – 7 a.m. to 12 p.m., Golf Channel; 12-1:30 p.m., NBC; 1:30-5:30, Golf Channel

Monday, Sept. 6 – 12-6 p.m., Golf Channel


36-36–72, 6,903 yards (par and yardage are subject to change through the start of the competition)

via LPGA

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