|Anna Nordqvist (R) of Team Europe hugs Britanny Lang of Team USA on the 16th hole after Europe won their foursomes match on the second day of the 2011 Solheim Cup golf tournament at Killeen Castle in Dunsany September 24, 2011. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
Europe captured 2 1/2 points in Saturday morning's foursomes matches to extend its lead after the third session of the Solheim Cup.
Europe owns a 7-5 advantage over the American side at Killeen Castle.
The final match was yet another classic, but the U.S. team of Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer bogeyed the last to halve against Catriona Matthew and Azahara Munoz.
Caroline Hedwall and Sophie Gustafson got Europe off to a big start Saturday morning with a 6 & 5 rout of the disappointing American squad of Stacy Lewis and Angela Stanford. That U.S. team is 0-2 this week, while the European side moved to 2-0.
Ryann O'Toole was a controversial captain's pick by American leader Rosie Jones, but she hasn't disappointed. O'Toole, who halved her four-ball match Friday with Christina Kim, and Morgan Pressel bested Christel Boeljon and Karen Stupples, 3 & 2 for the lone American full point on Saturday.
Maria Hjorth and Anna Nordqvist handled Juli Inkster and Brittany Lang, 3 & 2. That American pair is also now 0-2 and it was especially frustrating for Inkster, who, at the age of 51, is also an assistant captain.
"Brilliant matches this morning," European captain Alison Nicholas said in a televised interview. "Hopefully, we'll be up by the end of the day. The girls are really wanting this."
The U.S. has some work to do and it looked like it was getting a full point from its strong anchor pairing of Kerr and Creamer.
After Kerr poured in a seven-foot birdie putt to go 1-up at 17, she put Creamer in an impossible spot at the closing hole. Kerr pushed her approach into a bunker, leaving Creamer a downhill shot with very little green between sand and flag.
Creamer did well to blast out to seven feet. Matthew ran her 30-foot birdie putt four feet by the hole, but Kerr missed her par putt. Munoz converted her tricky par putt to win the hole and halve the match.
"I had a chance to apply the pressure on the last hole," Kerr said on TV. "I guess the adrenaline got the better of me there."
Michelle Wie will come off the bench for the American team in the afternoon four-balls, but Jones made a curious decision, keeping Lewis in with O'Toole versus Sandra Gal and Boeljon. Wie joined Lang in the opener against Laura Davies and Melissa Reid.
Kerr and Pressel will meet Suzann Pettersen and Hedwall in match two.
Brittany Lincicome will also be in the four-balls as she'll play with Creamer in the anchor match against Hjorth and Munoz.
Kim and Vicky Hurst didn't crack the U.S. lineup on Saturday.
NOTES: Europe needs 14 1/2 points to win back the Solheim Cup, while the U.S. only needs 14 to keep it...The Americans have won the last three Solheim Cups...All 12 players tee it up on Sunday in the singles.