Blue was the colour but Europe let it slip at Solheim Cup

Europe have a narrow one point lead heading into the second day of the Solheim Cup - but it could have been much better.
Europe have a narrow one point lead heading into the second day of the Solheim Cup - but it could have been much better.

Europe captain Catriona Matthew was determined to accentuate the positives after her side let a commanding position slip at the Solheim Cup, writes Nicola Kenton.

The hosts took 2½ points from the opening foursomes and, at one point, blue was the colour during the afternoon fourballs at Gleneagles.

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But Juli Inkster's Americans showed their trademark resilience while Europe's Charley Hull and Bronte Law both missed putts on the 18th that resulted in their respective matches being halved.

Momentum is always key in these matches and the US captain seemed the happier skipper despite Europe's slender 4½-3½ first day lead.

And her glee was particularly obvious as Amy McDonald and Angel Yin matched the biggest fourball victory with a 7&5 demolition of Swedish pair Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall.

“I'd be lying if I said obviously it wasn't what we were looking for but I think you have to take the positives and we're leading,” admitted Matthew.

“We're a point up. If we're leading at the end of each day, that would be great.

“I think obviously everyone's a little disappointed but Charley [Hull] had a great putt in the last, it was just a little firm.

“We're still pleased with going in with a one-point lead.”

Blustery conditions made life tough with American Lizette Salas twice warned twice for slow play.

But Inkster certainly didn't appear too concerned by the first day scoreline.

“We’ve just got to keep Europe in our rearview mirror, or our front mirror, so we can see them,” she said.

“You don't want to get too far down. It was looking like we could be two and a half points down.

“It's not insurmountable, but you keep gnawing a half a point here and point there and it adds up. So to be only a point down, I'm very pleased with where we're at right now.”

Much has been made of Inkster's team including six rookies but the newcomers certainly stepped up.

Lexi Thompson holed an 18 foot putt to earn a halve and Nelly Korda and Brittany Altomare came from behind in their dramatic match with Hull and Azahara Munoz.

And history proves time and time again it's moments like that that decisively turn these matches.

“No one really ever talks about the half point," added Inkster.

"I have to say those two half points at the end were huge. For two rookies to be four down with five holes left and to come back and tie, you can't teach that. It's just in your belly. I'm just so impressed with them."

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