Morgan Pressel, Jessica Korda shine
PARKER, Colo. -- Among the many gifts the U.S. Solheim Cup team got this week were cowboy boots. Solheim rookie Jessica Korda, 20, chose black boots.
"It is my first boot. I've got to be conservative," Korda said. "Next one is going to be outrageous."
Suffice it to say, Korda didn't go "conservative" in her first Solheim match. Paired with fellow Floridian Morgan Pressel, Korda helped the United States avoid a sweep in the Friday morning foursomes matches.
Traditionally, foursomes -- or alternate shot -- has been a format that favors the Europeans. And that held true Friday as Europe, the defending Solheim Cup champion, took a 3-1 lead in the women's golf team competition.
Korda and Pressel beat Scotland's Catriona Matthew and England's Jodi Ewart Shadoff 3 and 2 at Colorado Golf Club. They were the third group out, and it was the only match in which the Americans seemed confident and in control the entire time.
The Swedish "vikings," Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall, as European captain Liselotte Neumann called them, led the way out Friday with a 4 and 2 victory over Stacy Lewis and Lizette Salas in the morning's first match.
In the second group, Norway's Suzann Pettersen and Spain's Beatriz Recari beat the all-Texan duo of Brittany Lang and Angela Stanford 3 and 2.
"Incredible thrill," said Recari, a Solheim rookie. "I have won [on the LPGA Tour] before, but this tops it. This is a lot more than just the satisfaction you get for a personal win."
Said Pettersen, whose Solheim record improved to 13-8-5 with the victory, "I got goose bumps. For Beatriz to get her first point on American soil is massive and a great start."
The last match to finish was group No. 4, which pitted Spain's Azahara Munoz and France's Karine Icher against U.S. veterans Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer. Both Europeans were playing in the Solheim Cup for the second time, but Icher's first appearance was so long ago -- 2002 -- that she said she felt like a rookie again.
She didn't play like one, as she and Munoz won 2 and 1 over an experienced American duo. This is Kerr's seventh Solheim appearance and Creamer's fifth.
Despite being the only forward momentum for the Americans in the morning, Korda and Pressel were not in the afternoon lineup.
The two "babies" in this Solheim Cup -- Europe's Charley Hull, 17, and American Lexi Thompson, 18 -- both made their debuts in the afternoon, where the format is four-ball, or best ball. Hull, the youngest player in Solheim history, was paired with the oldest player in this Cup, the 43-year-old Matthew.
Both captain's picks for the United States -- Michelle Wie and Gerina Piller -- had their first matches in the afternoon. This is Piller's first Solheim appearance and Wie's third.
Thompson was paired with Lewis to open afternoon play, while Stanford and Piller went out second, Lang and Brittany Lincicome third, and Wie and Kerr fourth.
Neumann said earlier this week she had not decided whether any of her players might compete in all five matches. U.S. captain Meg Mallon, on the other hand, stated that her goal was for none of the Americans to play in all five.