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Europe takes early lead in Solheim Cup

Morgan Pressel, pictured, and Jessica Korda earned the U.S. its lone point in the opening session of the Solheim Cup.

Story highlights

  • Europe takes an early 3-1 lead in the Solheim Cup in Colorado after Friday's foursomes
  • Europe is the defending champion and trying to win in the U.S. for the first time
  • British Open champion Stacy Lewis was one of the Americans on the losing side

Europe has dominated the Ryder Cup recently, winning five of the last six editions including the dramatic 2012 competition in Illinois.

It's still early but the European women could be on the way to starting a streak of their own in the Solheim Cup.

They took a 3-1 lead against the U.S. following the opening session of foursomes at the Colorado Golf Club on Friday. Besides making it back-to-back titles, a win in Parker, Colo., would give Europe a first ever victory on American soil.

Swedish pair Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall earned Europe's first point by upsetting British Open champion Stacy Lewis and Lizette Salas 4 and 2 before Suzann Pettersen and Beatriz Recari topped Brittany Lang and Angela Stanford 2 and 1.

While world No. 3 Pettersen is a veteran, Recari is one of six Solheim Cup rookies on the European team.

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She's joined by 17-year-old Charley Hull, who became the youngest participant in Solheim Cup history when she later played in the fourball matches.

"It's the most pressure I ever felt because it's not only for you, it's for a team and it's for something greater than yourself," Recari, twice a winner on the LPGA Tour this year, was quoted as saying by the LPGA's website. "So you have a little extra pressure to hit the shots."

The U.S. got on the board when Solheim Cup standout Morgan Pressel teamed with Jessica Korda -- the daughter of retired tennis grand-slam winner Petr Korda -- to down Catriona Matthew and Jodi Ewart Shadoff 3 and 2.

But the experienced pair of Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer fell to Azahara Munoz and Karine Icher 2 and 1.

"We're all trying to take care of our own match and definitely getting off to a good start really helps," Hedwall was quoted as saying by the LPGA's website.

Lewis' round began poorly and the world No. 2 behind Inbee Park was visibly frustrated, dropping her club at one stage after an errant drive.

Pressel, though, improved to 8-2-2 in the Solheim Cup as she played alongside rookie Korda.

"We didn't make a lot of mistakes," she told the Golf Channel. "We made a few but kept them to a minimum. Hit a lot of fairways and greens and made a couple of putts. Both of us made some pretty big par saves.

"We're good friends so it's a lot of fun to play together. She's got some fire in her belly, that's for sure."