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Golf - 15. September 2019.

EUROPE WINS SOLHEIM CUP AFTER SENSATIONAL FINISH

Europe won The Solheim Cup for the first time since 2013 after an incredible finish to the final day singles, which ended with Suzann Pettersen holing the decisive putt on the 18th green to send the thousands of fans into raptures.

Team USA looked set to retain the trophy when they needed a half point from any of the final three matches, but Europe won all of them to secure a sensational victory.

With Anna Nordqvist closing out a 4&3 win over Morgan Pressel and Bronte Law beating Ally McDonald 2&1 in the final two groups in the minutes preceding, Pettersen and Marina Alex were both on the 18th green and with makeable putts for birdie.

Alex missed and Pettersen, one of Captain Catriona Matthew’s wildcard picks, stepped up and rolled in an eight-footer to give Europe the point they needed to get to the all-important 14½.

Team Europe went wild; the Americans were stunned.

All day the momentum swung either way, with Carlota Ciganda beating Danielle Kang on the last in the top group followed by Nelly Korda putting some red on the board with a two-hole win over Caroline Hedwall.

The next two points went to Europe, Georgia Hall defeating world number three Lexi Thompson and Celine Boutier seeing off Annie Park 2&1. Devastating as a pair, Hall and Boutier showed they could produce the goods individually too as both secured their fourth point from four matches this week.

The middle order matches all went America’s way and put them on the brink of a triumph which would have been Juli Inkster’s third in a row as Captain. First Angel Yin beat Azahara Munoz in the fifth match, then Meghan Khang won the 18th hole to claim a half from Charley Hull.

Next up was Lizette Salas who downed Anne Van Dam by one hole, and there were easy wins for Jessica Korda, 3&2 against Caroline Masson, and Brittany Altomare, 5&4 over Jodi Ewart Shadoff.

Team USA, on 13½ points, were preparing to pop the champagne corks on the 18th green, but a dramatic finish then ensued as the final three Europeans completed a remarkable comeback.

Pettersen, whose selection by Matthew last month raised eyebrows because of her lack of competitive action since having her son at the end of 2017, struggled to hold in the emotion after winning the Solheim Cup for her team.

“Can you ask for more?” she said. “The last putt to win the Cup, when it’s that close? History was just made, to win here in front of the Scottish crowd, to be here most of all. I could never in a million years dream of this.

“I mean, to hole the winning putt, to win the Cup. Nothing beats The Solheim Cup in my career.

“I honestly didn’t know when I stood over the putt that that was to win it. It was left centre and I couldn’t have hit it any better. I’m on the best team ever.”

USA Captain Juli Inkster was philosophical after the narrow defeat, saying: “The Europeans played great. You tip your hat.

“We had a few tears. And I said it’s okay. But the bottom line is we had a great week, the Europeans played great and we’re going to have a great party.

“The sun’s going to come up tomorrow. This will give them the fuel and fire for another two years to work at their game, to be on that team, to try to get that Cup back. I just said, ‘Hold your heads up because you should not be disappointed’.”

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