Solheim Cup recap

Europe won the Solheim Cup on American soil for the first time with an 18-10 victory at Colorado Golf Club.

Last Updated: 19/08/13 at 17:29 Post Comment

Europe celebrate Solheim Cup success in Colorado

Europe celebrate Solheim Cup success in Colorado

Liselotte Neumann's team were never behind and their final margin was a record for either side in the event.

We pick out some of the key performances and moments over the three days.

Rookie delight

European skipper Liselotte Neumann's decision to rely on six rookies was vindicated in style.

Neumann, the 1988 US Open champion, used three of her four captain's picks on players without previous Solheim Cup experience.

But the formula worked a treat, particularly on Saturday afternoon when the Swede rested her big guns - Suzann Pettersen, Anna Nordqvist and Catriona Matthew - and played five of her rookies in a session Europe won 4-0.

"They made me proud," Neumann said. "All of them. It was just a total team effort. Everybody's been playing well, everybody's been really helpful."

Unbeatable

The outstanding performer on either side was Caroline Hedwall, who became the first player to earn a clean sweep of five points at a Solheim Cup.

The Swede, winning her second cap in the event having been part of Europe's successful side at Killeen Castle in Ireland two years ago, combined with compatriot Nordqvist in the opening foursomes each day to set the tone.

In the afternoon fourballs, she formed a formidable alliance with German rookie Caroline Masson on both days and, on Sunday, won two of the last three holes to beat Michelle Wie on the 18th green.

Hedwall's approach to four feet at the last summed up her whole week and there was never much doubt she would roll in the putt that took Europe to 14 points and ensured they retained the cup.

Big-time Charley

Even among such a talented crop of rookies, the performance of Charley Hull merits special mention.

Hull, at 17 the youngest player in a Solheim Cup, combined with Jodi Ewart Shadoff on Saturday afternoon to send Europe on the way to a fourballs whitewash with a two-hole victory over Paula Creamer and Lexi Thompson.

She went out second in the singles and put the first point of the day on the board with a 5&4 demolition of Creamer, only being extended that far because the American holed from a bunker at the 13th.

Hull even asked Creamer to sign her ball afterwards so she could give it to a friend who is a big fan of the 'Pink Panther'.

Asked to sum up her Solheim Cup experience, Hull offered a one-word answer: "wicked".

One and done

Nordqvist was given the job of leading off Europe on all three days and the Swede was up to the task.

She won both her foursomes alongside Hedwall and halved with world No.2 Stacy Lewis in the top singles to immediately dent any thoughts of a final-day United States charge.

But her stand-out moment came at the par-three 17th on the second day when she holed her tee-shot - a seven iron - to close out her and Hedwall's foursomes win over Morgan Pressel and Jessica Korda with an ace, the first in Solheim Cup history.

Worth the wait

Europe ran out emphatic winners in the end but that had not looked likely during a hard-fought opening day.

Things turned against the United States in the afternoon fourballs when, after a wait of nearly half-an-hour for what turned out to be an incorrect ruling at the 15th, Pettersen and Carlota Ciganda went on to beat Lewis and Thompson.

Ciganda had been struggling up to that point and the official was needed to determine where she could drop her ball after finding the hazard.

After finally being told where to drop, the Spaniard eventually came up with a wonderful approach and her subsequent par five allowed Europe to keep the match all-square.

Pettersen took charge with a birdie at the 16th to give the Norwegian-Spanish duo a lead they did not surrender.

Their point allowed Europe to split the session 2-2 and carry a 5-3 overnight lead rather than going into day two level.

The Americans came away with a clear feeling of injustice - Lewis and vice-captain Dottie Pepper were still arguing with the rules officials long afterwards - and, in hindsight, it set the European landslide in motion.

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