Golf: US sweep Solheim Cup session for first time, lead Europe 5 1/2 to 2 1/2 after opening day

USA players Danielle Kang (left) and Michelle Wie celebrate after winning their Friday (Aug 18, 2017) afternoon match during The Solheim Cup international golf tournament at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club.
USA players Danielle Kang (left) and Michelle Wie celebrate after winning their Friday (Aug 18, 2017) afternoon match during The Solheim Cup international golf tournament at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club.PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS/THOMAS J. RUSSO

Los Angeles (AFP) - The United States swept all four fourball matches to surge to a three-point lead over Europe on Friday, the first day of the Solheim Cup women's golf matches.

The Americans' afternoon surge at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa marked the first time in the history of the Ryder Cup-style competition that the US have swept an entire session - something Europe has done three times.

Europe held a slim 21/2 to 11/2 lead at the end of the morning foursomes, but the Americans head into Saturday's matches leading 51/2 to 21/2.

It was a dominant display. Europe never led at any point in any fourball match.

Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller finished it off with a 2 & 1 victory over Charley Hull and Georgia Hall - both of England - the tightest match of the afternoon.

Angel Yin and Lizette Salas thumped Spain's Carlota Ciganda and Denmark's Emily Pedersen 6 & 5.

Michelle Wie and Danielle Kang beat Sweden's Madelene Sagstrom and England's Jodi Ewart Shadoff 3 & 1.

Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang beat Florentyna Parker of England and Germany's Caroline Masson 3 & 2.

The United States, captained by Juli Inkster, are defending the title they won with a thrilling final-day charge in 2015.

Salas and Solhiem Cup newcomer Kang produced the United States' only win of the morning foursomes, beating Ciganda and Masson 1 up before going on to win again with different partners.

But the visitors gained the first advantage. Scotland's Catriona Matthew, pressed into action when Norwegian Suzann Pettersen withdrew from the European team on Wednesday with a back injury, teamed with France's Karine Icher for a 1 up foursomes win over Lewis and Piller.

"I was super nervous at the start but I always enjoy this event," said the 47-year-old Matthew, who now has 20 Solheim Cup points on her resume. "It doesn't matter how many of these you play in, you are always going to be nervous but I managed to get over that."

In other morning results, Sweden's Anna Nordqvist and Hall never trailed en route to a 3 & 1 victory over Paula Creamer and Austin Ernst.

The English duo of Mel Reid and Hull halved their match with Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson.

European captain Annika Sorenstam said on Friday is just a taste of what they can do.

"It's going to be a challenge the whole way," she said. "And I can tell you the spirit has not died down. I think, on the contrary, we're fired up. If they can do it; we can do it. So going to go home, take a shower, regroup and get some good sleep and be ready for tomorrow."