Europe Maintains Lead in Afternoon at Solheim Cup

After winning three of the four foursome matches Friday morning, the Suzann Pettersen and Caroline Hedwall-led Europeans split the afternoon matches with the Americans to maintain their two-point lead after Day 1 of the 2013 Solheim Cup at Colorado Golf Club.

The Euros won two of the four four-ball (best-ball) matches after the lunch break for a 5-3 lead in the biennial competition.

The same two formats will be used Saturday. The event concludes with 12 singles matches, with the defending champion Europeans needing a total of 14 points to retain the Cup.

The Coore & Crenshaw-designed course dried out in the afternoon thanks to warm temperatures and breezy conditions. The 7,000-yard venue is situated at over a mile above sea level.

The Americans got on the board first in the afternoon when Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang beat Anna Nordqvist and Giulia Sergas 4 and 3 in the third match.

But then Pettersen, with Carlota Ciganda as her partner, edged Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson 1-up. Pettersen, with Beatriz Recari, beat Angela Stanford and Lang by a 2-and-1 margin in the morning.

No. 3-ranked Pettersen had three birdies in foursomes, while her Spanish partner made an incredible halve on the par-5 15th after Pettersen hit a wayward tee shot that involved about a 20-minute wait as officials tried to determine where she went into a hazard right of the fairway.

USA vice-captain Dottie Pepper and Lewis later engaged in a televised flap over whether a laser device was used improperly to determine Pettersen's point of entry into the hazard.

In Friday's second match, two Carolines - Hedwall of Sweden and Masson of Germany - beat Angela Stanford and Gerina Piller 2 and 1 for the Europeans' fifth point. Hedwall teamed with Nordqvist in the morning to beat Lewis and Lizette Salas 4 and 2, joining fellow Swede Pettersen as two-point earners for the Europeans.

No. 2-ranked Lewis, who won the Women's British Open two weeks ago at St. Andrews, has yet to earn a point for her team.

The Americans got their third point in Friday's final match when Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie got a 2-and-1 win over Catriona Matthew and Catherine Hull.

Two years ago at Killeen Castle in Ireland, the Europeans led after the first day and won. If they can hold on this year in Colorado it will be the first time they have won the Solheim Cup on American soil.

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