Friday morning at Formby Golf Club, and changeable conditions greeted players for the opening session of the Arnold Palmer Cup.
Format for the morning; 5 foursome matches with play underway on schedule at 07:30 local time.
The American pair of Alastair Docherty and Will Gordon settled quickly in the opening match, nearly holing for albatross at the driveable par 4 fourth. They would happily settle for eagle and an early lead.
David Boote and Sam Horsfield struck back for Europe. All square by the time they reached the 17 th green – then one up.
But bogey at the last left the door open for the visiting team to level the match. Docherty duly obliged.
Match 2 was just as tight, never more than a shot separating Meronk and Schwab for Europe, Ghim and Zalatoris for the United States. The latter would go one up at the 11 th hole... but Europe were back to all square going up the last, and won it with a birdie.
More joy followed for the hosts in Match 3. Antoine Rozner and Robin Sciot-Siegrist three up playing the 16 th and in scintillating form. Par there proved enough to win the match 3 and 2.
Derek Bard and Michael Johnson tried to stem the flow in match four. But their opponents were undeterred. Stuart Grehan and Lars Van Meijel eventually securing victory, 3 and 1.
It looked for a while that Match 5 would also go the way of Europe, Robin Petterson and Matthias Eggenburger starting strong. The latter with the shot of the session at the 16 th hole.
But it was the visiting team who would get the last say of the morning, this putt to avoid defeat.
That birdie at the last would secure a half for the United States in the final match but there is denying the morning belonged to Europe. They lead 4 points to 1 going into the afternoon fourballs.