I am very emotional right now. I am so proud of this team, U.S. captain Patty Sheehan emoted. 'They are ' they have so much heart, they are so tremendous. Put them out there, tell them to give it their all, they gave me more than their all.
The U.S. squad, undeterred by a two-point deficit at the beginning of the day, came out ready to win. We felt that being two down was a victory for us, Sheehan said. We are used to being farther down than that, and with the way the matches were coming down at the very end, we were coming from behind and we were starting to catch up, and I felt that we were starting to change the momentum back to our side late yesterday afternoon, so were not disappointed one bit; in fact, we felt pretty good about where we stood.
Cup veteran Juli Inkster was the first to put red on the boards after winning her match against Raquel Carriedo, 4-and-3.
Patty sent me out first because I like to play fast, but, you know, I just thought that if we could get a few points going, and Laura (Diaz) was right behind me and she was firing up some birdies, I think our team could see red on that board, I think it made them go out there and work harder, Inkster said.
Wendy Ward had the task of playing European opponent Annika Sorenstam in what was one of the toughest played matches of the day.
Annika and I go way back, we go back to college golf when we were rivals at Arizona State and Arizona, and I have always been very comfortable playing with Annika, Ward, a rookie member of the team, said. In fact, today was the day out of all of the days this week that I felt the most calm.
The five rookie members of the team, Kelli Kuehne, Wendy Ward, Emilee Klein, Cristie Kerr and Laura Diaz, all agreed that this was a feather in their careers cap.
I think I can speak for pretty much all of us, Kuehne, who now holds a 0-4 record, said. The golf was an amazing part of this week, but it was the bonding and the dinners and the tears and the laughter and the camaraderie off the course that helped build our relationship on the course.
What an experience, Ward said. Its been a complete joy, and I am going to work hard to get on the next team.
Sheehan, like five members of her squad, was a Cup rookie in captain's experience this year. This isnt to say that Sheehan has no Solheim Cup experience, quite to the contrary. The victorious captain played on four Solheim Cup teams, her last of which was in 1996, scoring a total of 5 points for the American teams.
Twelve team members, five of whom were first timers, were guided by four into the winners' circle. Sheehan, her assistant Jane Geddes, alternate Dorothy Delasin and should-be team member Dottie Pepper were there every step of the way, a huge part of the weave in this winning fabric.
Let me just tell you, Jane Geddes had been such a great support to me. She has given me great advice, she had given these guys great advice, and I dont know if I could have done it without Jane, said Sheehan
I am hoping that she will stay on until next year. I am not going to let her quit.
Sheehan has been named as the 2003 Solheim Cup captain, which is scheduled to take place Sept. 12-14 at Barseback Golf and Country Club in Region Skane, Sweden, but for now, she and her winning team will celebrate.
Full-coverage of 2002 Solheim Cup