Lexi Thompson silences doubters and leads Team USA to a sweep on Friday morning at the Solheim Cup

Lexi Thompson silences doubters and leads Team USA to a sweep on Friday morning at the Solheim Cup

Lexi Thompson has struggled throughout 2023, as she has missed eight cuts and failed to record a single top 10. She has not won an LPGA event in over four years too.

Yet, U.S. Captain Stacy Lewis sent Thompson out in the opening match of the 2023 Solheim Cup, which drew plenty of criticism.

Would the 28-year-old handle the pressure of striking the opening tee shot? Would her poor form diminish Team USA’s chances of getting off to a solid start on European soil? These are just some of the questions that came about Thursday after the first pairings were announced.

But the Solheim Cup is Thompson’s favorite event.

“It means the world to me to be able to play in the Solheim Cup,” Thompson said ahead of the competition. “I know it’s my number one goal every year to be on that team representing my country. There’s nothing like waking up, putting my country’s colors on, and going to represent and be alongside a team at that.”

Lewis took note of Thompson’s comments and passion for the competition, as her move to send Thompson out first paid off.

Thompson, along with Megan Khang, won the opening foursomes match 2 & 1 over Maja Stark and Linn Grant of Europe.

Lexi Thompson, Megan Khang, LPGA, Solheim Cup

Lexi Thompson and Megan Khang of Team USA during Day One of the 2023 Solheim Cup.
Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

The Americans dominated out of the gate, winning the first three holes to go 3-up early.

But Thompson and Khang cooled off, as the Super Swedes, Stark and Grant, rallied over the next few holes.

At the par-3 6th, the Americans made a bogey, while the Europeans took advantage of their mistake and made a par.

Then, like the 6th, Thompson and Khang made another bogey at the par-4 11th, and the Europeans seized the opportunity again.

So, by the time this group arrived at the 12th hole, the Americans held a 1-up lead.

That quickly became all square as Stark and Grant tied the match on the par-4 13th hole with a birdie.

Yet, Thompson was not phased. Neither was Khang.

The Americans dug deep and birdied the par-4 15th to regain control of the match.

Two holes later, at the par-3 17th, Thompson and Khang closed out the match with par, silencing the doubters.

“We work really well together, and it was definitely a great win,” Thompson said after the match. “We played some good golf, and we knew that we had to come out swinging and play hard and out here supporting our teammates now.”

That gave Team USA its second point of the morning, as the red, white, and blue would sweep the session for the first time in Solheim Cup history.

The Americans hold a commanding 4-0 lead heading into Friday afternoon fourball at Finca Cortesín Golf Club in Málaga, Spain.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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