|The scene on the 18th green as Karine Icher holed a long birdie putt to make it a clean sweep for the Europeans in the day 2 afternoon fourballs
It was a truly stunning afternoon in Colorado as Europe enjoyed a 4-0 clean sweep of the fourballs and surged into a 10 ½ - 5 ½ lead over the USA.
And the best was saved for last as Karine Icher holed a massive putt from off the green for a birdie at the 18th to join Beatriz Recari in a one hole win over Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel.
So history beckons as Liselotte Neumann’s team need 3 ½ points to retain the Cup and four points to become the first European side to win on US soil, with 12 singles to go.
|Carlota 'Seve' Ciganda holes a birdie putt on 18 to win the match with Azahara Munoz
Take your pick of the European heroines. How about 17-year-old Charley Hull’s birdie at the 17th that helped her partner Jodi Ewart-Shadoff to a two hole win over Paula Creamer and Lexi Thompson?
“It was a really good match and the 17th was amazing,” said the fearless Hull. “I’ve never had a hole in one and thought it was going in.”
Or how about Caroline Hedwall? The Swede has played in every session and won all four matches. Another in the singles and she will become the first player to win five out of five.
“This is such a great week and I’ve enjoyed playing in every match and it’s always fun to win,” said Hedwall, who was also a star of the win at Killeen Castle in Ireland two years ago.
Then there was Carlota Ciganda. All square with Azahara Munoz playing the last against Angela Stanford and Gerina Piller, the Spaniard holed a ten foot birdie putt to put another blue point on the board.
“I love winning and I love beating the Americans,” said Ciganda. “It was definitely a tough day but we won the point and that’s the most important thing.”
Munoz also played a huge role in the win and summed up the attitude the players need to take into the singles.
“Everybody needs to win their point,” said the Spaniard. “If we get it done then it will be really good.”
Icher and Recari finished as the sun was setting and it was a picturesque finale to a truly fantastic day.
“It was very important to win,” said Icher. “That one point could make all the difference tomorrow. It is such a tough last hole but it was a great putt.”
It is the third time that Europe has enjoyed a series clean sweep. It happened in the first session of foursomes at Loch Lomond in 2000 and in the Saturday fourballs at Interlachen in 2002.
In the morning foursomes, Anna Nordqvist produced the shot of the week with a hole in one at the short 17th and it was a very timely blow.
Nordqvist and Hedwall had just birdied the 16th to go one up on Morgan Pressel and Jessica Korda in the top match and the fourth ace of the Swede’s career clinched a magnificent 2 and 1 win.
Another real key for the Europeans was a half point from Catriona Matthew and Caroline Masson.
Behind all the way from the second against Brittany Lincicome and Lizette Salas, a great second by the German and an eight foot birdie putt from Matthew secured a vital share of the spoils.
NEUMANN'S DREAM TEAM
“It’s a wonderful feeling,” declared Captain Liselotte Neumann after Europe whitewashed the USA 4-0 in the Saturday fourballs.
“The girls played their hearts out,” she continued. “It’s awesome and I’m so proud of them all. I could never imagine it would look like this going into the singles. But I think we did a pretty gutsy thing this afternoon.”
Rookies Charley Hull and Jodi Ewart-Shadoff led from the front, taking the top singles against Paula Creamer and Lexi Thompson.
“I had a good feeling abut them,” explained the European skipper. “I just sent them out there to put some blue on the board. We’ll celebrate a little tonight but then focus on tomorrow. We need to go out and try and win every match.”
US Captain Meg Mallon gave credit to the Europeans. “They had amagical day but it was shocking for us to lose all four fourballs,” she said. “But it can still be done. We just have to go out and win enough singles.”
Day One Results
Foursomes: (Europe first):
Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall beat Stacy Lewis and Lizette Salas 4 and 2.
Suzann Pettersen and Beatriz Recari beat Brittany Lang and Angela Stanford 2 and 1
Catriona Matthew and Jodi Ewart-Shadoff lost to Morgan Pressel and Jessica Korda 3 and 2
Azahara Munoz and Karine Icher beat Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer 2 and 1
Europe 3 USA 1
Fourballs: (Europe first):
Suzann Pettersen and Carlota Ciganda beat Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson one hole
Caroline Hedwall and Caroline Masson beat Angela Stanford and Gerina Piller 2 and 1
Anna Nordqvist and Giulia Sergas lost to Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang 4 and 3
Catriona Matthew and Charley Hull lost to Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie 2 and 1
Europe 5 USA 3
Day Two Results
Foursomes (Europe first):
Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall beat Morgan Pressel and Jessica Korda 2 and 1
Azahara Munoz and Karine Icher lost to Stacy Lewis and Paula Creamer one hole
Catriona Matthew and Caroline Masson halved with Brittany Lincicome and Lizette Salas
Suzann Pettersen and Beatriz Recari lost to Michelle Wie and Brittany Lang 2 and 1
Europe 1 ½ USA 2 ½
Fourballs (Europe first):
Jodi Ewart-Shadoff and Charley Hull beat Paula Creamer and Lexi Thompson two holes
Azahara Munoz and Carlota Ciganda beat Gerina Piller and Angela Stanford one hole
Caroline Hedwall and Caroline Masson beat Michelle Wie and Jessica Korda 2 and 1
Beatriz Recari and Karine Icher beat Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel one hole
Europe 4 USA 0
Overall: Europe 10 ½ USA 5 ½
Day Three Pairings (local times)
Singles: (Europe first)
12:40 Anna Nordqvist v Stacy Lewis
12:50 Charley Hull v Paula Creamer
13:00 Azahara Munoz v Brittany Lang
13:10 Carlota Ciganda v Morgan Pressel
13:20 Caroline Hedwall v Michelle Wie
13:30 Catriona Matthew v Gerina Piller
13:40 Suzann Pettersen v Lizette Salas
13:50 Giulia Sergas v Jessica Korda
14:00 Caroline Masson v Lexi Thompson
14:10 Jodi Ewart-Shadoff v Brittany Lincicome
14:20 Beatriz Recari v Angela Stanford
14:30 Karine Icher v Cristie Kerr