WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — The favored Americans found themselves trailing Europe after a sluggish start to the Solheim Cup.

Then the U.S. players settled down Friday afternoon, pulling away with a record-setting fourball performance.

The United States swept the afternoon fourball matches to take a 51/2-21/2 lead at Des Moines Golf and Country Club.

Lizette Salas and newcomer Danielle Kang each won two matches, teaming up to beat Carlota Ciganda and Caroline Masson 1-up for the Americans’ lone full point in the morning foursomes, then leading the U.S. to its first ever fourball sweep in the afternoon.

“This is the history we really don’t want. We want the history on Sunday night. We want the Cup,” U.S. captain Juli Inkster said. “We’ve got a lot of work (ahead). I know (European captain) Annika (Sorenstam) is going to get that team fired up.”

Salas and rookie Angel Yin routed Ciganda and Emily Pedersen 6-and-5, and Kang and Michelle Wie topped Madelene Sagstrom and Jodi Ewart Shadoff 3-and-1.

In the other fourball matches, Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang beat Masson and Florentyna Parker 3-and-2, and Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller edged Charley Hull and Georgia Hall 2-and-1

In the morning foursomes, Americans Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson rallied to halve with Hull and Mel Reid. For Europe, Hall and Anna Nordqvist beat Paula Creamer and Austin Ernst 3-and-1, and Karine Icher and Catriona Matthew topped Lewis and Piller 1-up.

PGA: Ryan Armour shot a career-best 9-under 61 for a share of the lead with Webb Simpson after two rounds of the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Armour and Simpson were at 13-under 127 halfway through the PGA Tour’s final event of the regular season. Simpson shot a 64.

Henrik Stenson was a stroke behind them after a 66. Ollie Schniederjans and Vaughn Taylor were 11 under. Schniederjans shot 63, Taylor had a 66.

First-round leader Matt Every followed his 61 with a 72 to slip six strokes off the lead.

The field at Sedgefield Country Club is again full of players trying to qualify for the Fed-Ex Cup playoffs. The top 125 players on the points list earn berths at The Northern Trust next week in New York.

At No. 187 in the standings, Armour isn’t even close to the bubble, but he can still qualify for the playoffs with a top-two finish.

“Could turn your life around,” Armour said. “I had some goals at the beginning of the week. I knew where I stood and, you know, right now the goals are attainable.”

Rory McIlroy has decided his health is good enough for him to start the FedEx Cup playoffs next week in New York.

McIlroy said after the PGA Championship that he could feel a back muscle spasm in recent weeks as he practiced more to get ready for the final major of the year. He said before leaving Quail Hollow he could return in a few weeks or not until next year.

His manager said in a text message that McIlroy plans to play The Northern Trust, which starts next Thursday at Glen Oaks on Long Island.

McIlroy won two playoff events last year, including the Tour Championship, to capture the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus.

He has played only 13 times worldwide in 2017 and hasn’t won this year.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Scott Hend shot a 6-under 66 to move into a four-way share of the lead after the second round of the Fiji International in Natadola Bay, Fiji.

The 44-year-old Australian was tied with first-round leader Daniel Pearce of New Zealand, who shot 71, and Australia’s Jason Norris (69) and Malaysia’s Gavin Green (69) at 7-under 137.

Mike Weir (71) and home favorite Vijay Singh (72) were at 1 under in the tournament sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia, European and Asian tours.