Alison Nicholas

Europe's late surge wins Solheim Cup

Europe celebrates its Solheim Cup victory. Jenny Matthews www.golffile.ieSuper rookies Caroline Hedwall and Azahara Muñoz built on a brilliant comeback by Suzann Pettersen to snatch the Solheim Cup for Europe.

US with momentum for Solheim Cup singles

Ryann O’Toole celebrates. Photo by Jenny Matthews www.golffile.ieThe United States staged a dramatic rally to win the afternoon fourball session 3-1 and tie 8-8 with Europe ahead of Sunday’s singles series in the Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle.

Europe won the morning foursomes 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 to extend its lead to 7-5 over the Americans in the biennial match play competition.

Veteran Laura Davies then became the all-time Solheim Cup points record points scorer when she teamed up with Melissa Reid to beat Americans Brittany Lang and Michelle Wie 4 and 3 and put Europe 8-5 in front.

But the Americans stormed back to win the last three matches and leave the sides tied going into the 12 singles for the second match in succession and the third time in the event’s history.  

Europe extends Solheim Cup lead

Azahara Muñoz holes out ont he 18th to give Europe a crucial half in the final foursomes. Picture by Jenny Matthews/www.golffile.ieSpanish rookie Azahara Muñoz holed a crucial par putt on the 18th to help Europe extend its lead over the over the United States to 7-5 in the Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle today.

Americans Cristie Kerr and Paul Creamer went one up on Muñoz and Scot Catriona Matthew in the final match of the morning foursomes when Kerr birdied the 17th from six feet.

But the American bunkered her approach to the last and couldn’t save par from 12 feet, allowing the Europeans to halve the match with a winning par four and double the home side’s overnight lead to two points.

Europe one up in Solheim Cup strategy

European Captain Alison Nicholas and USA Captain Rosie Jones at the Opening Ceremony for the 2011 Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle. Photo Jenny Matthews/www.golffile.ieEuropean skipper Ali Nicholas scored a home run over US rival Rosie Jones before a ball was struck in the Solheim Cup.

Jones confessed that the canny home captain had out-foxed her by not putting world No 2 Suzann Pettersen out first in this morning’s opening foursomes at Killeen Castle.

After seeing the Norwegian superstar reserved for the anchor match, Jones confessed: “I was kind of going on what you have done before.  That didn’t work out, but it’s okay.  You got me there.  Strike one.”

Sorenstam and Morley get Solheim Cup jobs

Solheim Cup skipper Alison Nicholas has opted not to have an Irish vice captain when Europe take on the US at Killeen Castle next year. 

The English star hinted last month that she might include an Irish player like Maureen Madill in her back room team in Co Meath. 

It now appears that Ireland will not be represented on the sidelines as Nicholas yesterday named Swedish legend Annika Sorenstam and England’s Joanne Morley as her assistants. 

Nicholas not tempted to play Irish card in Solheim Cup

Rebecca Coakley and Hazel Kavanagh at the European Nations Cup last week

Ireland’s Solheim Cup hopefuls can expect no preferential treatment from European captain Alison Nicholas when she chooses her four wildcards for the 2011 matches at Killeen Castle.

If an Irishwoman fails to make the side automatically, don’t hold your breath waiting for Nicholas to cowtow to home sentiment with a pity pick.

Coakley wants Solheim Cup date with Michelle Wie

Rebecca Coakley believes she has the game and the confidence to win on tour become the Ireland’s first Solheim Cup player at Killeen Castle in 2011.

The 28-year old Carlow native has re-invented herself over the past two years and after three top 10s in her last four starts, she’s beginning to believe that she can make Alison Nicholas’s 12-strong side to face Michelle Wie and Co at the luxury Jack Nicklaus design near Dunsany in Co Meath.