GLENEAGLES: Morgan Pressel and Marina Alex staged a magnificent comeback as the USA desperately clung on to hopes of retaining the Solheim Cup at a wild and windy Gleneagles on Saturday.
Europe went into the second day one point ahead – and the margin stayed the same after a 2-2 share of the foursomes.
With big early leads, it was odds on that the home side – aiming to win for the first time since 2013 – would extend the advantage.
Europe now leads 6.5-5.5 – with another 16 points up for grabs, the USA needs 14 points to retain the Cup.
Out in the first foursomes, Pressel and Alex were four down after six holes to Anne Van Dam and Anna Nordqvist and seemingly heading for a thumping defeat.
But they then produced an extraordinary run – and their opponents started to collapse under the pressure of the onslaught.
The deadly US duo won seven out of nine holes from the seventh – including four birdies in a row from the ninth – to turn the match around and pulled off the unlikeliest of 2 and 1 victories.
“That’s right up there for a Solheim win,” said Pressel, playing in her sixth Solheim.
“It was so tough but we just never gave up.
“I missed a birdie putt at the sixth and got really mad and I think that helped.
“We’re both really tough and conditions were horrible.”
Alex did not play as if she were appearing in her first Solheim Cup, one of six Americans to be doing so.
“So happy,” she said.
“Conditions were unbelievable but we did so well to get right into it.”
The American Korda sisters – stars of the first day – again formed a potent partnership.
Winners by 6 and 4 in the first series, Jessica and Nelly scalped Carlota Ciganda and Bronte Law by an even more emphatic 6 and 5.
“It set a new record for the biggest Solheim foursomes victory.
The other two matches were comfortable European wins to give Captain Catriona Matthew a fillip on a day when the weather – chilly with near gale force winds – played a huge part.
Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz maintained an unbeaten record with a 4 and 3 victory over Danielle Kang and Megan Khang, while Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier made it two wins out of two by defeating Lizette Salas and Ally McDonald 3 and 2.