Golf: Europe tighten grip on Solheim Cup

ST LEON-ROT, Germany (AFP) - Europe's grip on the Solheim Cup tightened at St Leon-Rot in Germany after Saturday's foursomes.

The two unfinished overnight fourballs both ended halved and the home side then edged the foursomes 3-1 for an overall 8-4 lead over the USA.

The biggest blow for the visitors was an extraordinary defeat in the second foursomes.

Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel were four up after 11 holes and seemingly cruising to victory against Suzann Pettersen and Charley Hull. But they lost the 12th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th holes to birdies and it was a remarkable and unlikely European point.

"Gosh," was Pettersen's amazed reaction after she had holed a 12-foot putt for the one-hole win. "Charley was just awesome. I told her to throw darts at the pin and she did. That was a robbery."

Added 19-year-old Hull: "I'm just buzzing. We just suddenly got going and Suzann holed that great putt at the last."

Melissa Reid and Carlota Ciganda, having gained a half point from the delayed overnight fourball, gave Europe the perfect lead in the foursomes with a runaway victory over Michelle Wie and rookie Alison Lee in the top match.

They won four of the first seven holes with birdies and were never troubled in a 4 and 3 victory. Lee, ill with food poisoning earlier in the week, struggled to find form.

"Carlota hits it miles and I have so much faith in her that there's no stress," said Reid, celebrating her 28th birthday. "I just hope we can bring the Cup home."

But it was not such a happy birthday for American Brittany Lincicome.

Thirty on Saturday, she joined Angela Stanford in going down to Sandra Gal, the home German favourite, and Catriona Matthew in a one-hole loss.

The final match was always red, white and blue. It was an easy win for the impressive Gerina Piller and a back-to-form Stacy Lewis. They scored a 5 and 4 win over the European standout pair of Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall.