The United States beat Europe 16½-11½ to retain the Solheim Cup on Sunday at the Des Moines in Iowa.
US, the host went into the Sunday singles matches with a comfortable lead of 10½-5½ and was not to turn back as they held any comeback from Europe.
Lizette Salas who ensured the win with one up win over Jodi Ewart Shadoff said after the victory; “To secure the point that wins us the Solheim Cup is unbelievable”.
“My hands were shaking. This is really special”, she added.
The captain of the US team, Juli Inkster also indicated that; “The Europeans fought hard today and made it really close”.
“I really haven’t been nervous all week but today I was a little bit. It’s an honour to captain this team and I’m really proud of the girls”, she continued.
Juli Inkster becomes the first woman after Judy Rankin to captain consecutive winning US Solheim Cup teams.
Annika Sorenstam, the captain for Europe also added that; “We just got outplayed, there’s no doubt about it”.
Lexi Thompson, 22, one of the players for the US team also indicated that; “That had to be the weirdest round of golf I’ve ever played”.
Front nine I don’t think I was awake and back nine I played lights out. It was just a crazy round but Anna played great”, she lamented.
Swede Nirdqvist who was part of the European team said; “I got a little shaky there in the middle watching her make birdies and eagles but she gave me the chance missing that putt on 17”.
“I’m very impressed with her back nine and very proud of myself”, she added.
The race to seal victory
Thompson’s comeback gave the American team momentum and Kerr wrapped up a 2&1 victory over Mel Reid on the 17th and moments later Creamer won one up against Georgia Hall.
That left the hosts needing one more point to triumph but victories from Germany’s Caroline Masson, who beat Michelle Wie 3&2, and veteran Scot Catriona Matthew, who trailed all the way until the 15th before beating Stacy Lewis one up, made the scoreboard look more respectable.
Angel Yin looked like she would complete the hosts’ victory but the 18-year-old bogeyed the 17th and halved her match with France’s Karine Icher, but with the US ahead in other matches it was enough to confirm they would retain the cup.
Spain’s Carlota Ciganda thrashed Brittany Lincicome 4&3 before Salas held off England’s Ewart Shadoff for a one up victory on the 18th.
England’s Florentyna Parker lost 4&2 to Gerina Piller but Charley Hull, who missed all of Saturday’s play because of a wrist injury, battled to a one up victory over Brittany Lang, and Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom earned a 3&2 win over Austin Ernst.
The competition finished with Emily Kristine Pedersen losing 3&1 to Danielle Kang but the European team showed their team spirit by walking arm in arm down the 16th fairway with the Dane.
Sorenstram confirmed afterwards she would not return as Europe’s captain for the 2019 tournament at Gleneagles.
“I said this was a one-time thing for me,” she said. “It is time to move the torch to the next person”.
Credit: Iain Carter