Solheim Cup: Europe lead the USA 5-3 after an exciting opening day in Colorado
Last Updated: August 18, 2013 12:58am
Suzann Pettersen and Carlota Ciganda won a thrilling match
Norway's Suzann Pettersen was the star of the show as Europe finished day one of the Solheim Cup with a 5-3 lead over the USA.
Having won her morning foursomes match with Beatriz Recari at the Colorado Golf Club, Pettersen teamed up with Carlota Ciganda in the afternoon fourballs to secure a crucial victory over Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson.
Pettersen carried the team for much of the round as Ciganda struggled and the USA surged into a two-up lead when they won three holes in a row from the seventh, as youngster Thompson's putter warmed up.
But Europe won the 10th and 13th before Ciganda secured a crucial half at 15, where she made par after finding the hazard to the right of the green and a near 30-minute delay while it was determined where she could drop the ball.
Europe hold a 5-3 lead
Pettersen then took charge again, birdieing 16 to put Europe one-up and then making a short par putt at the last to secure the one-up victory.
"A great start," said Pettersen. "I think it has worked out pretty well. It is just an amazing feeling."
USA hit back
Europe led 3-1 after the morning foursomes but the hosts won the first point of the afternoon when Brittany Lang and Brittany Lincicome beat Anna Nordqvist and Giulia Sergas 4 and 3.
The Europeans won the first hole in the match but that was as good as it got for them, USA levelling at the sixth and then winning four holes out of seven from the ninth to pull clear.
However, Caroline Hedwall and Caroline Masson proved a useful pairing for Europe, leading all the way to get the better of Angela Stanford and Gerina Piller 2 and 1.
Swede Hedwall joined Pettersen in claiming two points on the day, having earlier won a foursomes match with Nordqvist.
But the Americans ensured their overnight deficit was just two points when Cristie Kerr and captain's pick Michelle Wie beat Catriona Matthew and Charley Hull 2 and 1 in the bottom fourballs match.
The 17-year-old Hull became the youngest player in the event's history and acquitted herself well but the strong US duo won 10 and 13 to go two-up and then held on to claim a vital point.