HALMSTAD, Sweden, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer each chipped in 1 1/2 points Friday, helping the United States to a 4 1/2-3 1/2 lead after one day of the Solheim Cup in Sweden.
The United States, with Creamer and Juli Inkster getting one win and Laura Diaz and Sherri Steinhauer another, led 2 1/2-1 1/2 after the morning foursomes matches and only late rallies by teams featuring Annika Sorenstam and Laura Davies during four-ball matches allowed the Europeans to stay within 1 point of the Americans.
Kerr and Nicole Castrale teamed for a 3-and-2 win and had the United States in position to stretch its lead. But Davies chipped in on No. 16 to erase a one-hole deficit and allowed she and Trish Johnson to escape with a halve.
Consistent play by Sorenstam and Maria Hjorth forced Americans Angela Stanford and Stacy Prammanasudh, who led by two holes at the turn, to scramble. A par by Sorenstam on the 18th, which the Americans couldn’t match, secured the half point for the Europeans.
The tournament continues with foursomes and four-ball matches Saturday and concludes with 12 singles match play matches Sunday. The United States, which won the cup in 2005, needs 14 points to retain the title; the European team needs 14 1/2 to take the championship.