Hull and Ciganda steal show for dominant Europe

Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:35pm EDT
 
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By Tony Jimenez

ST LEON-ROT, Germany (Reuters) - Another remarkable display by teenager Charley Hull and a wonder shot from Carlota Ciganda were the highlights of a rain-marred first day as Europe snatched a 4-2 lead over the U.S. at the Solheim Cup on Friday.

Hull, who stole the show as a 17-year-old when Europe won the biennial event for the second edition in a row in Colorado two years ago, won both her matches at the St Leon-Rot Golf Club to spearhead her team's push for a hat-trick of victories.

The Englishwoman and compatriot Melissa Reid started the day with a 2 and 1 foursomes triumph over Michelle Wie and Brittany Lincicome before Hull combined with Frenchwoman Gwladys Nocera to defeat Alison Lee and Angela Stanford 3 and 2 in the fourballs.

Carin Koch's European side shared the honors in the foursomes before winning the only two fourballs to be completed after a thunderstorm caused a 65-minute interruption in the afternoon.

With almost the last stroke of the day, Ciganda produced a moment of magic in the gloom as her second shot pitched six feet past the flag at the 17th before spinning back into the cup for an eagle two amid wild scenes of jubilation.

The Spaniard and her partner Reid danced with delight in the middle of the fairway before turning to hug their caddies.

The out-of-the-blue eagle helped draw the European duo level with Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson and the quartet will now resume their encounter on Saturday.

Also returning in the morning will be German pair Caroline Masson and Sandra Gal, holding a one-up lead on Brittany Lang and Gerina Piller with three holes to go.   Continued...