Pettersen's 8th Solheim Cup: 'It’s been a great ride'


ST. LEON-ROT, Germany – Suzann Pettersen’s Solheim Cup career began back in 2002 when she was a relatively unknown Norwegian who dropped the mother of all f-bombs live on national television.

When Pettersen tees it up Friday, it will mark her eighth consecutive Solheim Cup appearance for Europe. She’s collected a 14-9-6 record in her career and has helped Europe win three times, including the last two.

Although Pettersen is only 34, she is ranked No. 9 in the world and seemingly has plenty of gas left in the proverbial tank. She took time Tuesday to reflect on all her Solheim Cup memories.

“It’s been a great ride for me,” she said. “I feel very fortunate I got in the time I did. I got to play with some of the best players at the time, Annika (Sorenstam) obviously on our team, but also some of the great Americans of all time – Juli (Inkster) included, Beth (Daniel), Meg (Mallon), Rosie (Jones), which kind of for me sets a standard of how the play this Solheim Cup.”

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Now Pettersen is the one who is helping to set that standard with the influx of youth over the past few years in the Solheim Cup.

“They all want to go out there and compete and win,” Pettersen says of the younger players on both sides. “And I think it’s been great. It’s been a great transition. This is my eighth, but these youngsters, these kids keep us on our tippy toes.”

The biggest thing Pettersen has noticed during her tenure is how close the matches have been. The most lopsided were in 2003 and 2013 when Europe handily won both.

“If you go down to the wire on Sunday, it could literally go either way,” she said. “In Ireland (2011), they all went in instead of kind of missing, and that is the tipping point. So even though the final number could be quite a bit, there’s usually never a walk in the park for one of the teams.”