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Nicholas managed to spring a surprise right away by putting Pettersen in the last of Friday’s four foursome pairings. Pettersen played in the opening game for Europe in the last two Solheim Cups, but Nicholas opted to match Hjorth and fellow Swede Anna Nordqvist against Wie and Kerr.

Pettersen will partner Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson against Lang and Inkster.

That choice caught Jones off guard.

“I actually thought that you would put out Suzann Pettersen in the beginning match,” Jones said with a grin. “You have a tendency to do that. I was kind of going on what you have done before.”

One of the keys to the Americans’ recent dominance in the series has been their success in the singles matches. They won 8-4 when Pressel delivered the clinching point with her 3-and-2 victory over Nordqvist.

But England’s Karen Stupples said the Europeans are better equipped to compete in that format this year.

“I think traditionally in the past the top players … have had a lot of pressure, because they know that their points are big,” Stupples said. “But this year we’re all playing fairly well. I think we have a better chance together as a team, so there’s not that same kind of pressure. I think we’re going to do just fine.”

The teams will play for 28 points over three days, with eight foursomes and fourballs on Friday and Saturday and 12 singles matches on Sunday.