Captain Catriona hails ‘dream’ victory for Europe
Glory: Europe celebrate (pic: SNS Group)
Captain Catriona Matthew hailed Europe’s dramatic Solheim Cup triumph at Gleneagles as a ‘dream come true’.
USA looked set to retain the trophy when they needed a half point from any of the final three matches but Europe won all of them to secure a sensational 14.5-13.5 victory.
Controversial wildcard pick Suzann Pettersen birdied the last hole to spark scenes of celebration in Perthshire, capping a momentous week for Matthew and her team.
“This is the best for me without doubt. With the team around you, nothing tops this to be honest,” said North Berwick’s Matthew.
“It’s unbelievable, there has never been a better moment. It was always going to come down to a putt here or there and for Suzann to get it, that’s phenomenal. It was a fantastic moment and a dream come true.
“All 12 of these players, they played their hearts out. We knew it was going to be close, but to come down to that last putt and for Suzann to hole it? It was a fantastic team performance. They all contributed a lot and we never would have won it if it wasn’t for all of us.
“I think this is one of the biggest women sporting events in the world. Obviously the Women’s World Cup is huge, but this – like the Ryder Cup – has grown hugely over the last 30 years since it first started.
“It’s such a spectacle of women’s golf. And for it to come down to that last game, that last putt, you just can’t get anything more exciting.”
With Anna Nordqvist closing out a 4&3 win over Morgan Pressel and Bronte Law beating Ally McDonald 2&1 in the final two groups in the minutes preceding, Pettersen and Marina Alex were both on the 18th green and with makeable putts for birdie. Alex missed and Pettersen stepped up and rolled in an eight-footer to give Europe the point they needed.
“I had faith in her all the time,” added Matthew, who stood by her earlier claim that a Solheim Cup win would be bigger than her first major win at the Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham 10 years ago.
“It’s just been a great week. We’ve had great performances from everyone. Everyone remembers the last putt but we had to get there. So, well done everyone.”
Pettersen, whose selection by Matthew last month raised eyebrows because of her lack of competitive action since having her son at the end of 2017, struggled to hold in the emotion after sinking the winning putt.
“Can you ask for more?” said the Norwegian, who announced her retirement from professional golf in the wake of the epic finale.
“The last putt to win the Cup, when it’s that close? History was just made, to win here in front of the Scottish crowd, to be here most of all. I could never in a million years dream of this.
“I mean, to hole the winning putt, to win the cup. Nothing beats The Solheim Cup in my career. I honestly didn’t know when I stood over the putt that that was to win it.”
Europe will defend the trophy in 2021 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.