Solheim Cup: USA mounts impressive comeback to pull within one point of Europe

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TOLEDO, Ohio – With their backs against the wall, the Americans did what was needed, even with World No. 1 Nelly Korda looking out of sorts.

The Europeans were up in all four matches on a quiet Sunday morning, but Pat Hurst’s team came roaring back, winning three points in foursomes play to pull within one point of the Europeans.

Danielle Kang and Austin Ernst put the first point on the board for Team USA, turning around their match midway through the back nine and holding on to win, 1 up.

“It was huge,” said Ernst. “We needed to get a point for the team and get it turned early so they could see some red early.”

Lexi Thompson followed with a birdie bomb on the 17th hole that gave her and Brittany Altomare a 2-and-1 victory. It marked the first Solheim Cup win for Thompson without partner Cristie Kerr.

Thompson said they came into the day playing for Grace Godfrey, daughter of LPGA player Jane Park and Pete Godfrey, who fell critically ill earlier this year at the tour stop in Dallas. Grace turned 1-year-old on Sunday. Players on both teams wore happy birthday stickers on their hats.

“We just wanted to keep a smile on our faces for her and keep her in our prayers,” said Thompson, “and came out today kind of with that attitude that we’re just blessed to be out here.”

Jennifer Kupcho ignited the crowd on the 17th with a long birdie putt to give her and Lizette Salas their second point of the week. They’ll go back out together in the afternoon four-ball session against Europe’s Mel Reid and rookie Leona Maguire, who are also 2-0.

Reid and Maguire delivered the only loss for Team USA, dispatching of Nelly Korda and Ally Ewing, 5 and 4. Korda, who was embroiled in a rules controversy on Saturday, hit a handful of shocking shots, including a bladed miss from the bunker on the par-4 fourth hole that found the hazard.

She’ll sit in afternoon four-balls while sister Jessica comes back out to partner with Megan Khang. Jessica sat out both the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning sessions.

Maguire, the first Irish player to ever compete in a Solheim Cup, first got to know Reid earlier this week. She’s a perfect 3-0 thus far and will be the only player in the competition who plays all five matches.

“I think it was a pairing neither of us saw coming, but the captains obviously saw something in us that we didn’t see in ourselves,” said Maguire, “and I think we’re both fearless on the golf course, which is something you need to be in those matches, especially given the pairings we were up against.”

Sunday Four-Ball Pairings

12:05 p.m. ET – Celine Boutier and Sophia Popov (EUR) vs. Yealimi Noh and Mina Harigae (USA)

12:20 p.m. ET – Carlota Ciganda and Nanna Koerstz Madsen (EUR) vs. Jessica Korda and Megan Khang (USA)

12:35 p.m. ET – Mel Reid and Leona Maguire (EUR) vs. Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas (USA)

12:50 p.m. ET – Charley Hull and Emily K. Pedersen (EUR) vs. Danielle Kang and Austin Ernst (USA)