WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – The Solheim Cup produced another epic comeback Sunday, but it wasn’t the Europeans working the magic.
It was American Lexi Thompson.
She didn’t win the match, but golf won a thrill watching Thompson and Anna Nordqvist stage one of the great singles matches in the cup’s history. They halved their match.
“That was the weirdest round of golf I've ever played,” Thompson said. “Front nine, I don't think I was awake. And the back nine I just played lights out.”
Thompson lost the first four holes.
She didn’t just look bad. She looked shaken. Thompson missed a 3-footer at the first, shanked a wedge at the second and missed a 4-footer at the third.
U.S. captain Juli Inkster came out and put her arm around Thompson, trying to pick her up.
So did assistant captain Nancy Lopez.
Somewhere along that front nine, Thompson regrouped in a big way.
“I don't really know what was going on,” Thompson said. “Having them there for me, picking me up, just telling me to keep my head up, and that I'm the best, and I can do this. I’m very proud of myself.”
Making the turn 4 down, Thompson caught fire and put on a ball-striking clinic. She played the next seven holes in 8 under in a head-spinning turnaround.
She holed out from the fairway for eagle at the 11th. She rolled in a 30-foot putt for another eagle at the 15th to square the match. She birdied the 16th to go 1 up.
But Nordqvist wasn’t done.
Despite playing with mononucleosis, Nordqvist came into the match 3-0 for the week. She claimed the half point sticking an 8-iron at the last to 1 foot to make birdie.
“I’m speechless right now,” Nordqvist said. “Just completely exhausted.”
Nordqvist ended the week 3-0-1 playing. Thompson ended the week 2-0-2.
They’ll both long be remembered in Solheim Cup history for some of the most memorable half points ever put on the scoreboard.