GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Suzann Pettersen was a controversial captain’s pick before this 16th Solheim Cup started. When it finished, though, the European stalwart was the hero yet again.
Pettersen, who had made just three competitive starts since the last Solheim Cup, sunk an 8-foot birdie putt at the par-5 18th hole to give Europe a 14.5-13.5 victory at Gleneagles.
“She got a bit of stick for getting that pick, but this just shows it was the right one,” said European captain Catriona Matthew.
Europe took six-and-a-half of the 12 available singles points as it still has not lost a Cup in Scotland. It also won in 1992 at Dalmahoy and in 2000 at Loch Lomond.
American captain Juli Inkster, who won each of her first two Cups as captain, was defeated in her third and likely last go-round as captain.
Here is a match-by-match recap of every match from the week:
FINAL SCORE: EUROPE, 14.5, U.S. 13.5
Sunday singles: Europe 6.5, U.S. 5.5
Match 17: Carlota Ciganda (EUR) def. Danielle Kang (USA), 1 up
Kang birdied the first hole to take an early lead, but this match was all square for much of the first 12 holes. Kang took another lead with a 12-foot birdie make at the par-4 13th, but Ciganda’s birdie at the par-5 16th square the match back up. On the par-5 18th, Kang went bunker to bunker with her third shot and Ciganda hit a great pitch from a terrible lie to set up a conceded birdie.
Match 18: Nelly Korda (USA) def. Caroline Hedwall (EUR), 2 up
After playing just once in the first four sessions, Hedwall came out of the gates hot, birdieing the first two holes and leading 3 up after nine. But Korda birdied Nos. 10 and 11 to get to 1 down and then won three straight holes beginning at No. 13. Missed putts from close range by Hedwall on Nos. 15 and 17 helped Korda complete the comeback.
Match 19: Georgia Hall (EUR) def. Lexi Thompson (USA), 2 and 1
Thompson injured her back during her warmup and almost couldn’t go. She then hit her first 10 greens and built a 2-up lead through eight holes. But Thompson lost Nos. 9-11, the last two on short par misses, and Hall extended her lead to 2 up as Thompson lipped out her par putt on the par-4 15th. Two holes later, Hall closed Thompson out with par.
Match 20: Celine Boutier (EUR) def. Annie Park (USA), 2 and 1
Park jumped up early as Boutier double-bogeyed the first hole, and Park led 2 up after four holes. But Boutier was able to square the match after seven without making a birdie. Boutier got in the birdie column at No. 9 and a hole later she drained a 10-foot birdie putt to take her first lead. She made one of similar length at the par-5 16th and then converted a great up-and-down at the par-3 17th to end the match.
Match 21: Angel Yin (USA) def. Azahara Munoz (EUR), 2 and 1
Much like she did in her opening fourball match, Yin built a big lead, going 4 up at the turn. But Munoz birdied the next three holes to claw back to 1 down. She never got closer, though, as she bogeyed No. 13 and Yin closed her out on the penultimate hole.
Match 22: Megan Khang (USA) vs. Charley Hull (EUR), halved
Both players played the first 11 holes without a bogey. Khang won the first two holes, but Hull hung in there, taking her first lead with birdie at the par-5 16th. However, leading 1 up on the last, Hull had her chip roll back down to her feet and then putted through the green. Khang won the hole with a conceded birdie to earn a huge half-point.
Match 23: Lizette Salas (USA) def. Anne Van Dam (EUR), 1 up
Van Dam came out with lots of energy, with three birdies in her first five holes. But Salas played spectacular golf after her bogey on the first hole, making five birdies, including a long one at the par-4 13th to take her first lead. Van Dam had a chance to win the par-5 18th and earn a half-point, but she missed her 10-footer for birdie.
Match 24: Jessica Korda (USA) def. Caroline Masson (EUR), 3 and 2
Masson led for the first seven holes, but when she missed a 6-footer for birdie at the par-5 ninth she was 1 down. Korda chipped in for birdie at the par-4 12th to take another 1-up lead and closed Masson out with birdie at the par-5 16th.
Match 25: Brittany Altomare (USA) def. Jodi Ewart Shadoff (EUR), 5 and 4
Altomare took her first lead with a tap-in birdie at the par-4 fifth and never looked back. She drained a 20-footer at No. 8, the first of three straight birdies, and closed out the match four holes early with another birdie at the par-4 14th. Ewart, who lipped out a 2-foot birdie putt at the par-5 ninth, didn’t record a birdie until the last hole.
Match 26: Marina Alex (USA) vs. Suzann Pettersen (EUR)
Pettersen took a 2-up lead with a 15-foot birdie make at No. 6. She went back to 2 up with a 40-foot make at No. 11. But no putt was bigger than her 8-foot birdie to win the Solheim Cup on the last hole.
Match 27: Bronte Law (EUR) def. Ally McDonald (USA), 2 and 1
This match was back and forth on the front nine. McDonald drained a 25-footer for birdie at No. 3. Law responded with a 12-footer at No. 4. McDonald took a 1-up lead after Law missed a short par putt at the par-3 10th, but Law battled back late. She left her third shot in the bunker at the par-4 15th, yet somehow halved the hole. A hole later, Law drained a 15-footer for birdie to take the lead. She then closed out the match with par on No. 17.
Match 28: Anna Nordqvist (EUR) def. Morgan Pressel (USA), 4 and 3
The board went blue early in this one and stayed that way as Nordqvist didn’t make a bogey in 15 holes. The Swede added three birdies to close out Pressel, who actually made just three bogeys, with three holes to play.
TOTAL SCORE: EUROPE 8, U.S. 8
Saturday fourballs: U.S. 2.5, Europe 1.5
Match 13: Park/Altomare (USA) def. Pettersen/Van Dam (EUR), 1 up
Pettersen was her vintage self on Saturday afternoon, carding five birdies. But those came in a six-hole stretch beginning at No. 7. Van Dam, meanwhile, birdied just once and was the counting score just once in the first 13 holes. That left the door open for the rookie Americans, who took a late lead after Pettersen missed a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-5 16th. On the par-5 18th, the Europeans failed to find the fairway and make birdie, and Altomare’s par sealed the point.
Match 14: Thompson/Alex (USA) vs. Ewart Shadoff/Masson (EUR), halved
Both teams combined for 11 birdies, but Thompson accounted for just two. It was Alex who squared the match with a 12-foot birdie make at the par-5 16th, and then with a chance to birdie the last for the second straight day, Thompson missed badly on an 8-foot attempt. Luckily for the U.S., Masson missed from 6 feet and the match ended up halved.
Match 15: Hall/Boutier (EUR) def. Yin/McDonald (USA), 2 up
This American pair led for their first 28 holes in fourball until Boutier, who two holes earlier had eagled No. 14 from 20 feet, sunk a 10-footer for birdie at the par-5 16th. Hall then hit a nice approach into the par-3 17th to set up a winning par, and the Europeans won the last five holes to get a point.
Match 16: Kang/Salas (USA) def. Ciganda/Munoz (EUR), 2 and 1
Kang finally made headlines by winning a point, as she birdied four times, including Nos. 14 and 17 to put the finishing touches on the final American point of the day. The Europeans led 2 up after three holes, but the Americans didn’t card a bogey after that.
Here are match-by-match recaps from the first three sessions at Gleneagles:
TOTAL SCORE: EUROPE 6.5, U.S. 5.5
Saturday foursomes: Europe 2, U.S. 2
Match 9: Pressel/Alex (USA) def. Nordqvist/Van Dam (EUR), 2 and 1
Van Dam continued to look unbeatable early, teaming with Norrdqvist to birdie three of the first six holes and take a 4-up lead. However, Van Dam began to miss crucial putts – par saves at Nos. 7, 11, 13 and 15, the last coming from just 2 feet. Meanwhile, the Americans rallied, taking the par-4 seventh with par and then birdieing Nos. 9-12, the last coming on a 10-foot make by Alex, to go 1 up. They stretched the lead to 3 up after Van Dam’s miss at No. 15, and closed out the match with par at the par-3 17th.
Match 10: Hall/Boutier (EUR) def. McDonald/Salas (USA), 3 and 2
Hall and Boutier continued to be a formidable foursomes duo for Europe, earning their second point together. While this was a clean match (just three total bogeys), no team made a birdie in this match until Boutier sank a 10-footer at the par-4 11th to push her side to 2 up. Hall’s 10-foot birdie make at the next increased the lead to 3 up, and the European traded pars at the par-5 16th to end the match.
Match 11: Hull/Munoz (EUR) def. Kang/Khang (USA), 4 and 3
Kang’s nightmare Solheim Cup continued as her team got off to a slow start, falling 4 down through eight holes after a double bogey. Khang did chip-in for birdie at the par-4 12th, but the Americans were already 6 down. Hull, who putted well in this one, sealed the win with a 10-foot par make at the par-4 15th.
Match 12: J. Korda/N. Korda (USA) def. Ciganda/Law (EUR), 6 and 5
The Korda sisters reunited and wasted no time taking a lead, birdieing each of the first two holes. A bogey-double-bogey stretch, from Nos. 3-5, slowed their momentum, but they quickly regained it, not making a single bogey or worse the rest of the way. Jessica’s 12-foot birdie make at the par-4 13th closed out the Europeans, who had teamed to earn two halves Friday but netted just one birdie in this match.
TOTAL SCORE: EUROPE 4.5, U.S. 3.5
Friday fourballs: Europe 2, U.S. 2
Match 5: Pettersen/Van Dam (EUR) def. Kang/Salas (USA), 4 and 2
Instead of Kang taking souls, it was the other way around as van Dam and Pettersen combined to make eight birdies. Pettersen gave Europe its first lead with birdie at No. 4, but van Dam was the bigger star. She birdied three of the final four holes on the front nine, all from inside of 5 feet, and then added a clinching conceded birdie at the par-5 16th after both Americans missed birdie tries.
Match 6: Yin/McDonald (USA) def. Hedwall/Nordqvist (EUR), 7 and 5
McDonald was a late addition to the U.S. team, but she shined in her first Solheim Cup match alongside Yin. The Americans tied the fourball record for margin of victory in this event thanks to seven birdies, four by Yin and three by McDonald, who sealed the match with a two-putt par at the par-4 13th. The Europeans made just one birdie as a duo.
Match 7: Ciganda/Law (EUR) vs. Thompson/J. Korda (USA), halved
There was six lead changes in this match, as Thompson’s par at No. 1 got the Americans on the board early. From there, Law and Korda traded blows, Law making three birdies from Nos. 6-11 and Korda delivering a huge eagle at No. 9. After the U.S. won Nos. 13 and 14 to go 2 up, the Europeans won three straight holes, capped by Ciganda’s birdie at the par-3 17th. But Thompson’s closing birdie salvaged a half point.
Match 8: Hull/Munoz (EUR) vs. N. Korda/Altomare (USA), halved
Led by Korda’s 1-under start through three holes, the Americans led early. But Munoz notched three birdies on the front to give Europe a 2-up lead at the turn. On the back side, Hull got in on the action, making birdies at No. 10 (from 8 feet) and No. 12 (from 18 feet) to stretch the lead to 4 up. Altomare drained clutch birdies at 13 and 16 to close the gap, and the Americans fought all the way to the par-5 18th, where Altomare made a 20-footer to earn a huge halve.
Friday foursomes: Europe 2.5, U.S. 1.5
Match 1: Pressel/Alex (USA) vs. Ciganda/Law (EUR), halved
The first match was the best of the session and came down to the final hole, where it was halved with pars. A fitting end to this back-and-forth battle. The Europeans jumped out to a 2-up lead after four holes, but Pressel energized her side with a 20-foot birdie at the par-4 fifth. Europe bogeyed the next two holes to give the U.S. its first lead, but a short miss by Pressel at No. 8 gave it back. Ciganda forced the match to No. 18 with a 20-foot birdie at 17, but both teams played the last hole poorly.
Match 2: Hall/Boutier (EUR) def. Thompson/Altomare (USA), 2 and 1
Thompson debuts a new partner, but Hall and Boutier took control. Hall hit great iron shots into greens at 4, 5 and 7, and Boutier birdied two of those to give Europe a 2-up lead. Thompson had to make a 7-footer for par to halve the par-5 ninth, but overall, she struggled with the putter. The Americans clawed back, winning 14 and 16, but the comeback fell short as Thompson missed a long birdie at No. 17 that would’ve extended the match.
Match 3: J. Korda/N. Korda (USA) def. Masson/Ewart Shadoff (EUR), 6 and 4
For the first time in a Solheim Cup, two sisters teamed in the same match – and the Kordas delivered. The Europeans struggled, bogeying Nos. 3 and 5 to fall 4 down. Jessica and Masson matched birdies at the par-3 sixth and again at the par-3 10th, where Jessica chipped in. The Kordas went 6 up with par on No. 11 after the Europeans made their fifth bogey or worse.
Match 4: Hull/Munoz (EUR) def. Park/Khang (USA), 2 and 1
The Europeans didn’t make a birdie until Munoz sunk a 7-footer at the par-4 13th, yet somehow, they led for much of the match. Still, the U.S. stayed close thanks to Europe’s double at No. 6 and bogey at No. 8. When Khang made birdie at the drivable par-4 14th, it was just the Americans’ second of the match. Three holes later, Park missed a 6-footer for par that ended it.