Europe defeats USA in thrilling Solheim Cup finish
She stood motionless as the ball rolled towards the hole, but when it disappeared Suzann Pettersen rocked backwards with a double fist pump as she secured a stunning victory for Europe against USA in golf’s Solheim Cup.
Norway’s Pettersen embraced opponent Marina Alex before falling into the arms of her European teammates on the 18th green at Gleneagles, Scotland, after her winning putt gave Europe a 14.5-13.5 win in the biennial team competition.
It was Europe’s first win since 2013 and sixth in the 16 matches that have been held since the competition — similar to the men’s Ryder Cup between Europe and USA — began in 1990.
The 38-year-old Pettersen, a two-time major champion, later announced her retirement from professional golf.
“This is it, I’m completely done,” Pettersen — a controversial wildcard pick — told reporters at a jovial a news conference with her victorious team mates.
“I think this is the perfect end for my professional career, it doesn’t get any better and to do it with these girls is amazing.”
Pettersen’s winning six-foot putt for a 1-up victory over Alex crowned a tumultuous final day in which Europe won the final three matches to overhaul the visitors, who needed to win 14 points to retain the trophy.
Europe led 4.5-3.5 after four foursomes matches and four fourball matches on Friday’s opening day, but the teams were tied 8-8 after Saturday’s action at Gleneagles, host of the 2014 Ryder Cup.
But USA won five and halved one of the first nine singles matches Sunday to lead 13.5-11.5 before Europe’s strong finish.
“All 12 players played their hearts out. We wouldn’t have won it if it wasn’t for all of us,” said Europe’s Scottish captain Catriona Matthew.