Brilliant Solheim Cup victory for Europe

8/19/2013 8:17:00 AM
Europe win the Solheim Cup  (Getty Images)
Europe win the Solheim Cup (Getty Images)

The Ryder Cup and the Solheim Cup both remain in Europe’s hands after Liselotte Neumann’s team made history by beating the United States on their own turf for the first time.

Caroline Hedwall sank the crucial putt at Colorado Golf Club, holing out from four feet to defeat Michelle Wie and retain the Solheim Cup. The Swede, who was imperious on the greens on all three days, also became the first player to win five matches in a contest.

The final result was 18-10, the largest margin of victory in the contest’s history.

Golf is the only sport where Europe competes as a team, and now both trophies remain on this side of the Atlantic after José María Olazábal led his men to glory at Medinah Country Club last October.

“I am still shaking but it is an unbelievable feeling,” said Hedwall, who was also a star in the win at Killeen Castle in Ireland two years ago. “But I was so pumped and I ready to go.”

After a stunning 4-0 whitewash in Saturday afternoon’s fourballs, Neumann’s team needed just three and a half points from the 12 singles matches to retain the Cup, and English teenager Charley Hull led the way with a 5&4 win over Paula Creamer.

However, the outcome remained in the balance as matches swung one way and then another, and then play was halted for thunder and lightning with Europe leading 13-7 and one point from glory.

Before the one hour delay, 17 year old Hull, the youngest Solheim Cup player in history, had packed five birdies into 14 holes to see off Creamer.

“I wasn’t too nervous,” said Hull. “It’s always the way I look at golf - I’m not going to die if I hit a bad shot.”

Anna Nordqvist added a half point for Europe in the top match against the Ricoh Women’s British Open Champion Stacy Lewis, and then Spanish rookie Carlota Ciganda edged Europe closer with a 4&2 triumph over Morgan Pressel.

Brittany Lang put a full point on the board for the USA with a 2&1 victory over Azahara Munoz, and after the storm delay Hedwall’s point ensured the cup was retained, before Catriona Matthew’s half against Gerina Piller ensured the contest was won outright.

“I was told coming up the 18th that if I got a half we would win outright, so I was kind of shaking,” said Matthew.

“I made a great par to win the 17th and then the five footer for the half at the last. Being able to celebrate with 11 team-mates, the caddies and other helpers makes it far more exciting and more fun than an individual win.

“Lotta has done a great job. She inspired us and instilled confidence. We don’t need much motivation to go out and play but she got the pairings absolutely right. The key was the rookies, and the 4-0 yesterday afternoon.”

With the match over as a contest, Suzann Pettersen, Giulia Sergas and Karine Icher all had halved matches and Jodi Ewart-Shadoff beat Brittany Lincicome before Beatriz Recari won a point against Angela Stanford.

For full results and more, click here