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Americans lead, but Davies makes great escape to keep Europeans in it

Morgan Pressel, Paula Creamer, 2007 Solheim Cup, first round
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer halved their match in the afternoon fourball.

HALMSTAD, Sweden (AP) — Par of the century. Best par in history. Unbelievable.

And that's just what the other team was saying about the magic act Laura Davies conjured up on the 16th hole at the Solheim Cup on Friday.

Davies called her amazing par from the bushes and bramble behind a sinister creek called Backen a "hit and hope," a "500-1 shot," "something that a 36-handicapper might try for."

Or, quite simply, the best par of her life.

Even with the half point Davies helped salvage with that par, the United States still led the Europeans 4 1/2-3 1/2 after a windy, wet and frigid slog in Sweden — a good sign for a team that hasn't been ahead after the first day of this event since 1998.

But it was the Europeans who walked off the course with all the momentum and buzz.

And all because of Davies, who cemented herself in Solheim Cup lore with a hack through the tree roots and a 50-foot chip-in for par, saving her match and turning a rough opening day for the Europeans into something much better.

"Considering the circumstances ... it was beyond belief, really," Davies said. "I would say it was a pretty good moment."

Playing in the final fourball match of the day, she was the last player to hit on the tricky par-3 16th hole. She didn't learn a lesson by watching Americans Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer along with her own teammate, Trish Johnson, all push their shots and hit to the wrong side of Backen — the creek that runs in front of and down the right side of the green.

In fact, Davies hit the worst shot of the foursome.

So bad, that she found herself climbing through the shrubbery simply to get to her ball.

"We're walking by. I'm like, 'Where's your ball?"' Creamer said. "She's like, 'Oh, I'm just hoping to get through those trees."'

Davies did more than that. Pulling out her wedge — or was that a machete? — she took a wild swing and a huge gash of underbrush. She blasted the ball out to the fringe on the opposite side of the green. Still away, she chipped in her next shot from 50 feet to win the hole and draw even in a match she and Johnson had trailed all day.

"We both kind of looked at each other and just went, 'Wow,"' Pressel said. "I think that's the par of the century."

"Probably the best par you've seen in history," teammate Cristie Kerr added.

Then Creamer: "It was unbelievable."

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