Aug 19 (Reuters) - American Cristie Kerr made history as the United States retained a three-point lead at the Solheim Cup when they split the morning foursomes matches against Europe on day two in Iowa on Saturday.
Both sides won two matches, leaving the U.S. ahead -- 7-1/2 to 4-1/2 -- heading into the afternoon four-ball contests at Des Moines Golf & Country Club.
The American duo of Kerr and Lexi Thompson got the U.S. off to a winning start on Saturday morning, thrashing Carolina Masson and Jodi Ewart Shadoff 5&3, with Europe winning only one hole.
In the process, the 39-year-old Kerr passed American captain Juli Inkster for the most points in U.S. Solheim Cup history with 18. Kerr also now has the most match wins in American history with 16.
“She putted amazing today, walked in so many putts,” Thompson said of her partner Kerr. “I just gave her the opportunities and she was just rolling the ball.”
The U.S. won the second match by the same lop-sided margin as Paula Creamer and Austin Ernst outplayed Mel Reid and Emily Pedersen.
Creamer also reached a milestone, passing Inkster as the all-time American points winner in foursomes matches with 8.5 points.
With the Cup slipping away, Europe grabbed a lifeline by winning the final two matches, both by 2&1 margins.
Anna Nordqvist and Georgia Hall beat Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller, while Catriona Matthew and Karine Icher edged Michelle Wie and Danielle Kang.
“I think that was a huge point,” said Matthew. “We certainly didn’t want to lose another session. Ideally we wanted to win that session, but to come out with a draw, hopefully we can come out all guns blazing this afternoon.”
Heading into the afternoon matches, there were still 16 points up for grabs -- four in the fourballs and then 12 in Sunday’s singles matches. (Reporting by Andrew Both in Greensboro, North Carolina, editing by Pritha Sarkar)