Kordas shine but Europe take early lead

Spaniard Carlota Ciganda celebrating her birdie putt on the 17th hole in the foursomes which drew Englishwoman Bronte Law and her level with Americans Morgan Pressel and Marina Alex. This was the only morning match which went the distance. At lunch,
Spaniard Carlota Ciganda celebrating her birdie putt on the 17th hole in the foursomes which drew Englishwoman Bronte Law and her level with Americans Morgan Pressel and Marina Alex. This was the only morning match which went the distance. At lunch, Europe led 21/2-11/2.PHOTO: REUTERS

GLENEAGLES • Jessica and Nelly Korda, the first sisters to play together at a Solheim Cup, posted one of the biggest foursomes wins in the golf competition's history to get the United States off to a perfect start at Gleneagles yesterday.

But it went downhill from there for the Americans on the opening morning of their title defence in Scotland, where they are gunning for a third straight victory.

Europe finished the session with a 21/2-11/2 lead, winning the last two matches after Carlota Ciganda and Bronte Law came from 1 down with two holes to play to grab a half from the lead-off match against Morgan Pressel and Marina Alex.

While those three matches all went at least to the 17th hole, the Korda sisters walked arm-in-arm down the 14th fairway and were soon embracing on the green after beating Caroline Masson and Jodi Ewart Shadoff 6 and 4.

With four birdies and an eagle, they were 4 up at the turn and another birdie at the par-three 14th secured the victory.

Only four foursomes matches in the 29-year history of the Solheim Cup have finished with a heavier margin of victory.

"It was a lot of fun, and when you have your sister by your side, she kind of calms you down a little," said 21-year-old Nelly. "So you have someone to lean on."

Jessica, five years older, added: "It was great playing with my sister. It doesn't matter if one of us hits a bad shot - we just feel very comfortable together."

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  • Foursomes matches in the 29-year history of the Cup have ended with a heavier margin of victory than the 6 & 4 win by Jessica and Nelly Korda yesterday.

US captain Juli Inkster, whose team are looking to win the Solheim Cup for a third straight time, admitted that she had been a little reluctant to pair the Korda sisters together.

She said: "I wasn't too keen on it. But the more I thought about it, it would be stupid not to play them.

"I mean, this is not often you get two sisters on one team. They should have the right to play together."

European victories came from the pairings of Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier and Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz.

The opening tie was a real roller coaster as Ciganda and rookie Law made a fast start by winning two of the first four holes. But Pressel and Alex hit back and led by one hole with two to play.

The experienced Ciganda suddenly found her putting touch at the short 17th, holing a monster putt for a birdie and the match ended all square.

Hall and Boutier, one of the three European rookies, got Europe's first victory on the board with a 2 & 1 win over Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare.

The final match of the morning was a scrappy affair with never more than one hole between Hull and Munoz and Megan Khang and Annie Park for the first 16 holes.

But 1 up with two to play, the home duo snatched victory with a winning par three at the short 17th.

All the players who sat out in the morning were named in the afternoon four-ball, the result of which was not available at press time.

ASSOCIATED PRESS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2019, with the headline 'Kordas shine but Europe take early lead'. Print Edition | Subscribe