Europe win Solheim Cup during dramatic finale


Suzann Pettersen helped Europe edge out America on the final hole to win the Solheim Cup 14.5 to 13.5

It all came down to the final moments on the 18th green at Gleneagles during one of the most dramatic finishes in the history of the contest, with European Team veteran Suzann Pettersen in control of the fate of the Solheim Cup.

With the scores standing at 13.5 points each, the margins could not have been slimmer: After Marina Alex missed her birdie putt, Pettersen had to hole hers to win, or miss and tie her match for the USA to retain the Cup.

Catriona Matthew made her controversial wildcard pick in Pettersen for moments exactly like this, and the Norwegian player delivered, rolling in her birdie putt from seven feet to win her match, and the Solheim Cup for Europe. 

“There’s never been a better moment,” said European Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew. “To come down to the last game.

“The Americans played great as well but it was always going to come down to that putt here or there, and for Suzann to get it, just phenomenal. Nothing tops this to be honest.”

Matthew had been questioned about choosing Pettersen, who had played just twice in the past two years after taking time out from the game to start a family. But Pettersen guaranteed that there won’t be any residual questions left over her pick as she created one of the defining moments in Solheim history to help Europe win for the first time since 2013.

“She got a bit of stick for getting that pick, but it just shows it was the right one” said Matthew.

From the start of this Solheim Cup the teams have been hard to separate, and after two days of record-making victories the matches were tied heading in to Sunday’s singles matches for the first time since 2011. 

Leading Sunday’s matches off were Danielle Kang and Europe’s highest ranked player Carlota Ciganda, and it promised to be a close one from the beginning as Kang moved ahead at the first before Ciganda pulled them back to all-square at the next. The hard-fought battle came down to the final hole, and it was Europe who claimed the first point of the day as Kang struggled in the greenside bunkers. 

The USA levelled the scores soon after as Nelly Korda, who impressed as a rookie, fought back from 3 down against Caroline Hedwall to win her match 2UP 

Georgia Hall faced Lexi Thompson, who reportedly injured her back in the warm-up, in the third match of the day, and she ensured she remained unbeaten as she also turned her match around from two down after six to beat the World No.3 2&1.

Her partner of the first two days – rookie and wildcard pick Celine Boutier – increased Europe’s lead in the Solheim Cup to 11-9 with her fourth win of the week, a 2&1 victory over Annie Park. 

But Europe didn’t stay ahead for long, as Brittany Altomare won a convincing battle against Jodi Ewart Shadoff 5&4, and Angel Yin beat Azahara Munoz 2&1. 

Not to be outdone, Jessica Korda then joined sister Nelly in winning 3.5 points in this year’s Solheim Cup by defeating Caroline Masson 3&2, taking the USA one point ahead. 

Charley Hull looked to be in control of her match with a birdie on the 16th to go 1UP, but her chance to win the match on 17 lipped out and she failed to reach the green twice at the 18th before conceding the hole to earn a half for team Europe. 

Anne van Dam found herself one down against Lizette Salas at the final hole, but despite an excellent approach shot to set up a winning putt her try slipped past the hole, leaving the U.S. Solheim Cup team in need of just half a point to retain the Solheim Cup with three matches remaining on the course. 

Anna Nordqvist, playing in the final group against Morgan Pressel, won her match 4&3, while both the remaining matches on the course were left at all-square. 

Bronte Law, who was 1 down after the 10th, holed brilliant putts at the 14th and 16th holes to go 1UP, and closed out her match with a par at the 17th over Ally McDonald, at exactly the same time that Suzann Pettersen and Marina Alex found the 18th green. 

Alex was the further away of the two players, but her birdie try slid by the right hand side of the hole, leaving Suzann Pettersen with a seven foot putt to win the Solheim Cup for Europe. 

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