Euros win fourballs, cut deficit to 2 at Solheim Cup

Euros win fourballs, cut deficit to 2 at Solheim Cup
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After getting blanked in the morning foursomes, Europe won two matches and tied two others to take the afternoon fourballs, 3-1, and cut its overall deficit to two points at the Solheim Cup.

The U.S. leads, 5-3, entering Day 2 in Casares, Spain.

Here’s how the best-ball session played out Friday at Finca Cortesin:

Match 5: Rose Zhang/Megan Khang (U.S.) tied Gemma Dryburgh/Madelene Sagstrom (EUR)

Zhang made her much-anticipated cup debut alongside Khang, who won her morning foursomes with Lexi Thompson. This match was back-and-forth, with Europe taking a 1-up lead through 14, before the U.S. tied it by winning the 15th.

At the par-4 16th, Dryburgh holed out from well off the green for birdie to stir up the home crowd.

But she was matched by Zhang, who drilled a 12-footer.

Even at the last, Zhang hit a brilliant shot from the trees to set up another 12-footer for birdie, this one to win the match. She missed low. The tie finally got Europe on the board as they now trailed, 4 1/2 to 1/2.

Match 6: Leona Maguire/Georgia Hall (EUR) def. Lexi Thompson/Lilia Vu (U.S.), 1 up

Birdies were few and far between in this match. Neither Thompson nor Vu made one for 16 holes, though, Lexi drained a lengthy eagle putt at the par-4 14th to tie the match.

Maguire and Hall combined for only one birdie through the first 14 holes, but notched another to win the 15th and go 1 up.

Vu’s first birdie of the day, at the par-3 17th, tied the match, which led to some final hole dramatics, provided by Maguire.

After suffering her first-ever Solheim Cup defeat in the morning, Maguire chipped in for birdie at the par-5 18th and the U.S. couldn’t match it. Europe notched its first full point to cut its deficit to 3 points.

Match 7: Jennifer Kupcho/Allisen Corpuz (U.S.) tied Emily Pedersen/Maja Stark (EUR)

Pedersen provided the shot of the day by acing the par-3 12th, just the second hole-in-one in cup history.

That tied the match, with the U.S. regaining a 1-up lead by making birdie on the following hole. Europe knotted it again with a birdie at the 16th, bringing the match all square to the 18th.

Corpuz put the pressure on her counterparts by making a 15-footer for birdie. Stark responded by making one of similar length. In the final match to conclude Friday, the tie gave the U.S. a 5-3 lead.

Match 8: Carlota Ciganda/Linn Grant (EUR) def. Ally Ewing/Angel Yin (U.S.), 4 and 2

Spain’s own Ciganda, who didn’t play the early session, made birdie to win the first hole and Europe never trailed in this match. Again, birdies were scarce, but a Grant 3 at the par-4 11th gave the home team a 2-up advantage and Ciganda made it 3 up with a birdie at 14th.

The match was over, two holes later. This was the third afternoon match to conclude, moving Europe within 2 points, 4 1/2 to 2 1/2.

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