Golf-US stay one point in front of Europe in Solheim Cup

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HALMSTAD, Sweden, Sep 15 (Reuters) Europe produced a great fightback for the second day running to share the morning foursomes 2-2 and stay just one point behind the United States at 6.5-5.5 in the Solheim Cup today.

Start of play was delayed for two hours 10 minutes after high winds wreaked havoc. Railings and fences were brought down overnight and the course was deemed unsafe for spectators.

The conditions set a stern test but it was thrilling matchplay.

In the top match, Sherri Steinhauer and Laura Diaz were two down after five holes to Gwladys Nocera and Maria Hjorth but won the sixth and ninth to level the match by the turn and were two up after wins at the 12th and 15th.

Europe won the short 16th with a bogey four and Hjorth made sure of retaining her unbeaten record this week by holing a six-foot putt for par to win the 18th and square the match.

Suzann Pettersen and Sophie Gustafson also snatched a late share of the spoils. They were one down to Juli Inkster and Paula Creamer after losing the 15th to a par four but Pettersen almost holed her second shot for a two at the 18. Gustafson holed the five-foot birdie putt for another hard-earned European half-point.

Pat Hurst and Angela Stanford got the first full point on the board for the U.S. with a comfortable 4 and 2 win over Iben Tinning and German Bettina Hauert, who was making her Solheim debut.

In the bottom match, Annika Sorenstam and Catriona Matthew were ahead all the way but had to fend off a great US comeback to win on the final green. Nicole Castrale and Stacy Prammanasudh were five down with six to play but won the next three with birdies and the par-four 17th with yet another birdie.

Just one up playing the 18th, Matthew came up short with her second shot from the rough but eventually holed a five-foot putt for par to secure the one-hole win.

REUTERS PDS PM2105

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