(Reuters) – Americans Jessica and Nelly Korda became the first sister pairing to earn a point at the Solheim Cup but Team Europe emerged with a one-point lead after Friday’s foursomes at Gleneagles.
Roared on by raucous support from the stands, Catriona Matthew’s European team won the foursomes 2-1/2 to 1-1/2 on the PGA Centenary Course, and were indebted to Charley Hull and Spain’s Azahara Munoz for producing some remarkable clutch play.
Hull delivered a near-perfect approach shot to seal a birdie at the 13th hole and that set up a decisive 2 and 1 victory over the U.S. pairing of Megan Khang and Annie Park.
Teeing off in the third match of the morning, the Korda sisters were five up on the front nine and put the Americans on the board with a convincing 6 and 4 victory over Caroline Masson and Jodi Ewart Shadoff.
U.S. captain Juli Inkster was initially sceptical about the merits of pairing the sisters but went ahead after their impressive showing at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational in July where they finished in a tie for 12th place.
Jessica said the secret to their success in the alternate-shot format was having each other’s backs at Gleneagles, the venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup.
“It doesn’t matter if I hit a bad shot, (Nelly’s) like ‘I’ve got this’ and it’s the same the other way,” said the 26-year-old Jessica, who is five years older than her sister. “There’s no disappointment either way, especially in this format.”
Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier earned Europe their first point with a 2 and 1 win over Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare.
Bronte Law and Carlota Ciganda halved with Americans Morgan Pressel and Marina Alex, with Spaniard Ciganda pulling off arguably the shot of the day when she sunk a 30-foot putt on the 17th green to level the match.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)