DUNSANY, Ireland -- Team Europe captain Alison Nicholas won her first showdown with American counterpart Rosie Jones when she placed her power duo of Suzann Pettersen and Sophie Gustafson out last in the Friday morning foursomes session that kicks off the Solheim Cup. "You usually put them out early," Jones said Thursday with a smile as the pairings were announced. "Strike one."
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The first alternate-shot match will have Michelle Wie and Cristie Kerr taking on Maria Hjorth and Anna Nordqvist at 7:40. They will be followed by Paula Creamer and Brittany Lincicome against Karen Stupples and Melissa Reid; then Stacy Lewis and Angela Stanford will take on Catriona Matthew and Azahara Munoz before the session concludes with Brittany Lang and Juli Inkster going against Pettersen and Gustafson.
Sitting out the morning session for the Americans are No. 10 qualifier Christina Kim, captain's picks Vicky Hurst and Ryann O'Toole and short-hitting Morgan Pressel on a wet and long Killeen Castle course.
"We took into consideration the golf course and wanted to put out our strongest teams right from the start," Jones said.
Not playing for Europe in the opening session are Laura Davies, the only player to appear in all 12 Solheim Cups, and Solheim Cup rookies Sandra Gal, Caroline Hedwall and Christal Boeljon.
"I have some experience and a bit of youth," Nicholas said.
Both captains said they have an idea of who they will play in the Friday afternoon four-ball matches, but said the morning results could change their plans. "I have a master plan and I plan on getting all my players out [on day one]," Jones said. "But we have to see what happens in the morning."
Europe is playing two of its five Solheim Cup rookies -- Munoz and Reid -- while Stacy Lewis will be making her Solheim Cup debut for the United States.
The Americans competing Friday morning have a combined record of 16 wins, 11 losses and nine draws in alternate-shot play while the Europeans are 12-11-7. The afternoon four-ball pairings will be announced late during the morning session on Friday.
-- Ron Sirak
Follow on Twitter: @ronsirak