The Finca Cortesin course is a good old yomp. Slopes here, undulations there, gasping elevation changes everywhere?  Forget a strokesaver, you just about need a sherpa to guide you up and down its precipitous terrain.

For Team Europe, there was a mountain to climb on day one of the Solheim Cup. A 4-0 whitewash by the US in the morning foursomes must have left Suzann Pettersen, the European skipper, dishing out the Kendal Mint Cake and Ordnance Survey maps at lunch in an effort to energise the troops and get them back on track.

But what a recovery they mounted amid morale-boosting, high-fiving, back-slapping scenes. “We got knocked down, we stand back up and we go again, it ain’t over,” said Pettersen with calm reason after a sobering morning. She was right.

A fascinating, fluctuating series of fourball encounters during an increasingly testing, gusty afternoon led to a valiant Europe taking the session 3-1 in the fading Andalucian light to repair the earlier damage and trail 5-3 overall. The egg and chips in the home side’s team room – or whatever high-performance athletes eat for supper these days – would’ve tasted nice last night.

It had been an opening day full of twists, turns, thrills and spills. In addition to that American rout in the morning – the first 4-0 in the foursomes by a US side in the event’s history – there was a hole-in-one from Europe’s Emily Pedersen, a couple of rousing chip-ins from Scottish rookie Gemma Dryburgh and Ireland’s Leona Maguire and a grisly shank from Lexi Thompson. Three of the four afternoon ties went to the 18th. Two of the four tussles in the morning were also decided on the last. The punters certainly got their money’s worth.

Those of a European persuasion may have been wanting their money back, mind you, as the hosts stumbled out of the blocks and left themselves with it all to do during the foursomes.

An out-of-sorts Charley Hull, who was nursing a neck niggle, and playing partner Pedersen were six-down at the turn and eventually finished seven-over-par in a 5&4 defeat to Ally Ewing and Cheyenne Knight as the US stamped their authority on affairs.

The stick-on pairing, meanwhile, of Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier, unbeaten as an alliance in the last two Solheim Cups, lost that proud record with a one-hole reversal to Danielle Kang and Andrea Lee.

The eventual whitewash took all and sundry by surprise. “I don’t think anyone saw this coming,” sighed Catriona Matthew, the former European captain who led the team to back-to-back wins in 2019 and 2021.

The turnaround was a sight for sore eyes, though. Pedersen, in partnership with Maja Stark, soothed the wounds of her morning humbling by making a hole-in-one, just the second in the biennial battle, on the 12th which helped the Europeans to a hard-fought and valuable half-point against Jennifer Kupcho and Allisen Corpuz.

As for Aberdeen’s Dryburgh? Well, she stood as firm as a clump of granite from the Rubislaw quarry and revelled in her Solheim Cup debut. The 30-year-old sat out the morning session but was paired with Madelene Sagstrom in the fourballs and conjured a moment to savour as their match with Megan Khang and superstar Rose Zhang ebbed and flowed.

Showing a lovely touch, Dryburgh’s canny pitch from some 30-yards on the 16th rolled into the hole. A tense, keenly-fought tussle would end in a share of the spoils. Dryburgh had made her mark. “I loved every minute,” beamed the Scot, who almost holed a bunker shot on the 18th. “That chip-in was the pinnacle. I had to calm myself down a bit on the next hole.”

Maguire, meanwhile, would show her class as the brilliant Irishwoman stepped up to the plate again in the Solheim Cup arena. The 28-year-old, who plundered a record haul of 4 ½ points during a dazzling debut in 2021, chipped in on the final hole to give Europe a chance of halving their match.

The aforementioned Thompson, however, made a right hash of a simple chip of her own and shanked it. That left her partner, Lilia Vu, needing to dunk a long birdie putt and when that didn’t drop, Maguire and Hall celebrated a thrilling one-hole win.

With host nation favourite Carlota Ciganda and Sweden’s Linn Grant enjoying a commanding 4&2 win over Ewing and Angel Yin, Europe’s morning of woe had been turned into an afternoon of wonder.

It should be quite the weekend.