US maintain three-point Solheim Cup lead

Cristie Kerr set a US Solheim Cup record with her 19th career point as the Americans split Saturday’s four foursomes matches with Europe to maintain a three-point lead in the match-play showdown.

Kerr and Lexi Thompson beat England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Germany’s Caroline Masson 5 & 3 in the first match of the morning, as the US picked up where they left off in the wake of a sweep of Friday afternoon’s fourball matches.

Paula Creamer and Austin Ernst beat England’s Mel Reid and Dane Emily Pedersen 5 & 3 before Europe hit back with wins in the last two foursomes.

Swede Anna Nordqvist and Georgia Hall beat Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller 2 & 1, while Scotland’s Catriona Matthew and Karine Icher of France notched a 2 & 1 win over Danielle Kang and Michelle Wie.

Heading into the afternoon fourball matches, the US led the Ryder Cup-style competition 7 1/2 to 4 1/2.

Kerr passed US captain Juli Inkster for the most points in American Solheim Cup history.

For the second straight day, Kerr and Thompson won the first hole to grab a 1 up lead over their European opponents.

On Friday they ended up halving their foursomes match, but on Saturday they went from strength to strength.

Kerr and Thompson never trailed, going 2 up with Thompson’s eight-foot birdie at the eighth. Kerr’s birdie putt at the next stretched the lead, and they went 4 up at the 10th when Kerr walked in a long birdie putt.

At 15, Thompson landed her approach 15 feet from the pin and Kerr made the putt.

“She putted amazing today, walked in so many putts,” Thompson said. “I just gave her the opportunities and she was just rolling the ball.”

Reid and Pedersen were undone by four straight bogeys on the back nine, but the remaining two European duos both rallied from early deficits to win their matches and keep the Americans from pulling further away.

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Championship leader Neuville crashes out of German Rally

World championship leader Thierry Neuville crashed out of the Rally of Germany with a broken suspension on Saturday as Estonia’s Ott Tanak underlined his iron-grip on the race.

After 17 of the 21 stages, Tanak holds a commanding 21.4 seconds lead over Norway’s Andreas Mikkelsen, while the Estonian’s Ford team-mate Sebastian Ogier is third at 29.6 behind going into the final day.

Tanak took two of the stages on Saturday morning while Spain’s Dani Sordo claimed a hat-trick of three straight wins on the Panzerplatte arena which had dried out after Friday’s heavy rain had left the drivers battling mud.

“All okay – it’s been a clean day, no mistakes and the other guys have made some. I think we have a good margin. For the moment it looks okay, I don’t see any reason to worry,” said Tanak.

France’s Ogier, the four-time world champion, is set to leave Germany as the overall leader in the world championship after Belgium’s Neuville finished the morning’s ninth stage speed test with the rear left wheel hanging off his Hyundai i20.

Neuville, who was third overall at that point, and Ogier are tied at the top of the standings, so the Belgian?s early exit gives Ogier the opportunity to regain the overall lead.

“It’s not over, we won’t give up in the fight for the title,” said Neuville.

“We don’t really know what happened, we suddenly felt like we’d hit something on a left turn.”

Ogier said he would be cautious in Sunday’s four final super stages.

“I’m not taking a big risk, there are just three points between places two and three, but I’m still trying to put the pressure on,” Ogier said.

“A podium finish this weekend would be a good result.”

Standings on Saturday:

1. Ott Tanak (EST/Ford Fiesta) 2:31.32, 2. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR/Volkswagen Polo) at 21.4 sec, 3. Sebastien Ogier (FRA/Ford Fiesta) 29.6, 4. Elfyn Evans (GBR/Ford Fiesta) 1:48.3, 5. Juho Hanninen (FIN/Toyota Yaris) 1:52.5, 6. Craig Breen (IRL/Citroën C3) 2:06.7, 7. Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN/Toyota Yaris) 4:09.9, 8. Hayden Paddon (NZL/Hyundai i20) 4:31.3, 9. Armin Kremer (GER/Ford Fiesta) 8:54.5, 10. Jan Kopecky (CZE/Skoda) 9:54.1

Stage winners:

Dani Sordo (SS13, SS14, SS15), Ott Tanak (SS9, SS11), Juho Hanninen (SS10), Andreas Mikkelsen (SS12), Sebastien Ogier (SS16), Jari-Matti Latvala (SS17)

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