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Solheim Cup 2021: Europe takes the lead despite a controversial decision in favor of the USA

Date: 4th-6th September Venue: Inverness Golf Club, Toledo, Ohio
Cover: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:30 p.m. BST, Mondays from 4:00 p.m., plus a one-hour highlight show on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer and online.

Defending champion Europe leads despite a controversial decision in favor of Nelly Korda in Ohio with a 5½-2½ lead over the USA in the second day of the Solheim Cup.

The American had a putt stop at the edge of the hole and Madelene Sagstrom was punished for picking up the ball too early and thus losing the hole.

Korda and Ally Ewing won the afternoon four-ball game by one hole.

However, Europe drew 2-2 in the second session to maintain their advantage after dominating the morning foursome.

Anna Nordqvist and Matilda Castren took their second point on Saturday with a comfortable 4 & 3 win over Lexi Thompson and Mina Harigae.

Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas scored a final hole win against Carlota Ciganda and Sophia Popov to win USA game two, but Georgia Hall and Leona Maguire beat Yealimi Noh and Brittany Altomare for a hole.

Bad luck for some – US advantage on the 13th hole

But it was the four-ball encounter between Nelly Korda, Ewing and the European duo Madelene Sagstrom and Nanna Koerstz Madsen that was the biggest topic of conversation for the first of three days. Their match was perfectly even when rule 13.3 came into play and gave the Americans the edge.

However, while a clearly emotional Sagstrom admitted that she had broken the rules – giving her opponent a “reasonable time” to reach the hole and 10 seconds to see if the ball fell, she felt herself by the decision offended.

“I believe in integrity and honor the game of golf. I would never pick up a putt that had a chance to go in,” she said at Sky Sports.

“Personally, I disagree with the decision that the ball is on the edge.” [of the hole] But I didn’t follow the 10 second rule, so it sucks right now because I feel like I’m letting my team down. “

A rules officer stepped in after realizing Sagstrom had picked up the ball only to collect a birdie after just seven seconds, despite the American team not objecting.

World number one, Nelly Korda, added: “This situation was unfortunate and you don’t want to win a hole like this. We didn’t have a say. It was all in the hands of the regulations.”

Visitors fend off US resistance

While every sweetly hit American punch or holed putt was accompanied by a huge roar, by the time Korda and Ewing earned their first full point, Nordqvist and Castren had already served each other to a point.

The European pair picked up where they left off in the morning foursome and while Thompson brought in the third hole wonderfully to match the level of play, the Scandinavian duo won two of the next three holes.

A brilliant approach from a fairway bunker on the 10th gave Nordqvist their third birdie of the round and their fourth on the 13th ensuring they were never in danger of being caught.

And if Ciganda hadn’t missed a five-foot putt to take 17th place, Europe’s lead might have been greater.

But the Spaniard and the German Sophia Popov finally lost a match in which they are two in the lead after seven holes.

Luckily for the visitors of Catriona Matthew, who are only aiming for their second win on American soil, Hall and Maguire won a rocking Final Fourball in which they led and fell behind, before the English world number 29 with birdies on 10th and 15th Hole intervened.

Europe dominates early on

Mel Reid and rookie Maguire inflicted their first Solheim Cup defeat on the Korda sisters when Europe dominated the first four in Ohio.

Reid and Maguire’s win felt like a heavy blow to the US “golden pairing” of Nelly Korda and her sister Jessica, who asked their captain Pat Hurst to bring them together after they played their two foursome matches in 2019 Gleneagles had gained margins.

The European pair took advantage of an early two-hole advantage but, cheered on by a noisy home crowd, Jessica fielded in 13th to fill the gap before Maguire closed the win on 18th.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my Solheim career,” said Maguire.

“I think everyone wrote us off and we just accepted that and wanted to be as relentless and fearless as possible, and I feel like we did.”

The women’s Open winner Nordqvist and the Finnish rookie Castren set the tone with a fight victory and won the first European point against Danielle Kang and Austin Ernst. After four they were two ahead, but after nine holes they were one behind. However, they trotted three holes from the 13th hole to restore their lead and held the victory.

The hosts were apparently back on par with Ewing and Megan Khang by two, with two facing Hall and Celine Boutier, who were unbeaten at Gleneagles in 2019.

Hall punched from 15 feet for birdie to win the 17th hole, however, and a par was good enough on the last because Ewing pushed a three-foot putt to win the match behind the hole.

And Charley Hull and Emily Pedersen fought their way back to beat Thompson and Altomare when Europe began to blossom.

Hull and Pedersen made an excellent recovery from two losses with four ahead of the game, making birdies on the 15th and 16th before the Dane took a match-winning three-pointer on the 18th.

Solheim Cup Saturday foursome resultsFour ball results from Saturday at the Solheim Cup

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