DUNSANY, Ireland – The Europeans were asked all week if they needed to win the Solheim Cup to keep these matches relevant. They won't have to answer those questions anymore.
Europe won the 12th playing of the Solheim Cup Sunday at Killeen Castle, 15-13, and it was a combination of rookies and veterans who helped grind out the final matches. This is the first time since 2003 that Europe has won and the fourth time overall.
The teams entered Sunday in an 8-8 tie knowing that the U.S. has historically dominated singles. But Paula Creamer got off to a rocky start and was 4 down after the first seven holes to Catriona Matthew, who ultimately won, 6 and 5. Criste Kerr the conceded her match with Karen Stupples because of a wrist injury, putting the Americans in a deeper hole.
Morgan Pressel, Vicky Hurst, Brittany Lang and Christina Kim all won their matches to keep within striking distance. Suzann Pettersen, however, birdied the last three holes to beat Michelle Wie, 1 up, and when rookie Ryann O'Toole lost the last two holes to Caroline Hedwall that match ended all square, guaranteeing Europe the victory.
'Unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable,' European Solheim Cup captain Alison Nicholas said. 'I've been in agony all day. But I've been trying to maintain a perspective. The players have had such heart and passion and purpose. I hand it all to them. They've been unbelievable.'
Said U.S. captain Rosie Jones: 'It's so emotional to watch these girls. They fought so hard and really came together in the last couple of days to do so well, and it's just really hard.'