US Dominates Singles Wins Cup

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2007 Solheim CupHALMSTAD, Sweden -- The American team dominated the Europeans in the Sunday singles, capturing 8 1/2 points in the 12 matches to successfully defend the Solheim Cup.
 
The U.S. won by a final score of 16-12 at Halmstad Golfclub.
 
The U.S. traditionally dominated the singles, having won the session 59-41 in the previous nine competitions. This was close to a record rout, but not quite.
 
Nicole Castrale and Stacy Prammanasudh
Rookies Nicole Castrale and Stacy Prammanasudh pose with the Solheim Cup. (Getty Images)
Since the format was changed to 12 players per team, the biggest Sunday was a 10-1-1 drubbing by the Americans in 1996.
 
That year marked the last American victory on foreign soil. In Wales 11 years ago, they were two points behind going to Sunday, but ended up winning 17-11.
 
'It's fun to win in enemy territory,' said American captain Betsy King, who was a member of the last U.S. team to win in Europe. 'I can't say enough about our whole team. We gelled well.'
 
Nicole Castrale, one of King's captain's picks, drained a 7-foot putt at the 16th hole to defeat Bettina Hauert, 3 and 2. Coupled with Paula Creamer being guaranteed a half point in her match against Maria Hjorth, that gave the Americans the 14 1/2 points needed to win the Cup.
 
'I knew I needed to win this match,' said Castrale. 'I had no idea that was to clinch it.'
 
The U.S. only needed 14 to retain, since it won the Solheim Cup in 2005 at Crooked Stick, but its dominance in singles proved too much for Europe.
 
'When you see a group of girls fight so hard, you want to see them get something out of it,' said an emotional European captain, Helen Alfredsson. 'The Americans obviously played a lot better than we did today. All congratulations to them.'
 
The U.S. faced a one-point deficit at the start of the singles matches. The Europeans won three points in the fourballs that were completed Sunday morning.
 
That could not have bothered the U.S. side too much. It had not held the outright lead heading to singles since 1998, but has now won three of those five Cups.
 
'We talked about it before we came out in the afternoon,' said Castrale. 'We needed to care of ourselves and not look at scoreboards. I didn't.'
 
Europe looked good early. Catriona Matthew led off with a 3-and-2 victory over Laura Diaz, but that would be the last European flag on the board for quite some time.
 
Pat Hurst defeated Sophie Gustafson, 2 and 1, then rookie Stacy Prammanasudh won the 16th with a par to go 1-up against the reigning LPGA champion, Suzann Pettersen. Prammanasudh was conceded the 18th for a 2-up win that really put the Europeans in a bad position.
 
Juli Inkster handled Iben Tinning, 4 and 3, Angela Stanford toppled Trish Johnson, 3 and 2 and Sherri Steinhauer pulled out a halve against Becky Brewerton by winning the 18th.
 
A pivotal match went to the U.S. when few expected it. Pressel, a major winner this year, won the 15th and 16th holes to knock Annika Sorenstam, 2 and 1.
 
'I made the putts when I needed to,' said Pressel, who knocked her tee ball to seven feet to set up birdie at the tough par-three 16th. 'I hit plenty of shots close and gave myself plenty of birdie opportunities.'
 
Castrale won her match, then Creamer finally came out with a 2-and-1 victory over Hjorth. Creamer, in only her second Solheim Cup, led the U.S. team with 3 1/2 points for the week.
 
Britain's Laura Davies, the only player to compete in all 10 Solheim Cups, had little difficulty in dispatching Brittany Lincicome, 4 and 3. She won her match early, but it was clear to the European team that was not enough.
 
'The Americans played so well, especially today,' said Sorenstam. 'I wish we could have done a little better. We fought til the end. They mastered the game this week.'
 
With the matches decided, Natalie Gulbis padded the margin with a 4-and-3 win over Gwladys Nocera in the anchor match.
 
In a match that was played out for pride, American Cristie Kerr conceded a putt to Linda Wessberg on the 18th green to give the Solheim Cup rookie a 1-up win.
 
Related Links:
  • U.S. Player Report Cards
  • European Player Report Cards
  • U.S. Player Records
  • European Player Records
  • Scoring - Solheim Cup
  • Full Coverage - Solheim Cup