In one of the most dramatic finishes in Solheim Cup history, Team Europe used a furious charge over the final three matches to outlast the United States, 15 to 13, and win their first Cup since 2003. That was the last year the Europeans won the Sunday singles competition, and that’s what they did at Killeen Castle in County Meath, Ireland, in the 12th Solheim Cup.
Ultimately, victory was in the hands of Europe’s final three players: Suzann Pettersen, Caroline Hedwall, and PING Pro Azahara Muñoz. Pettersen birdied the final three holes to defeat Michelle Wie, giving the Europeans 13 ½ points. Playing behind Pettersen, Hedwall rallied for a critical halve, and Muñoz won her singles match after a key birdie on the 17th hole, giving the Europeans their winning margin.
Muñoz and her opponent, PING Pro Angela Stanford, conceded their putts on the 18th green, giving the Europeans their 15-13 margin. For the week, Muñoz, a captain’s pick and Solheim Cup rookie, was 2-1-1 in her four matches.
U.S. Captain Rosie Jones could only laud the Europeans’ effort. “They were really hungry for this and you could see it on those last four or five holes.”
In cold, wet conditions that brought three weather delays, European Captain Alison Nicholas said, “today it was about pars.” So she was impressed that her team managed to bring home birdies down the stretch to secure important points and half-points. “It’s just wonderful. They hung in there. They’ve got heart and true grit. It’s just wonderful. I’ve got no words. It can do nothing but elevate women’s golf.”
Morgan Pressel and Sophie Gustafson each won four points to lead their U.S. and European sides, respectively.
On Saturday, Europe’s Laura Davies, the only golfer to play in all 12 Solheim Cups, became the all-time leading points earner in the competition with 24 ½ points, surpassing Annika Sorenstam. She earned another ½ point on Sunday by halving her match with Juli Inkster, the leading points earner overall for the U.S. with 18.