U.S. triumphs over Europe in Solheim Cup
Europe took a 10-6 lead into the final session at St Leon-Rot in Germany, but could only claim three and a half points from the 12 singles to see the trophy slip from their grasp.
Victories from Karine Icher, Mel Reid and Anna Nordqvist left Carin Koch’s team needing just half a point from the remaining five matches, but none of those even made it to the 18th.
After Charley Hull lost her 100 per cent record to an inspired Cristie Kerr and Caroline Hedwall was thrashed by Michelle Wie, Angela Stanford amazingly ended a run of nine straight defeats with a 2&1 win over Suzann Pettersen, who had earlier been at the heart of the controversy which left two players in tears.
And when Sandra Gal missed a birdie putt on the 15th to keep her match with Paula Creamer alive, U.S. captain Juli Inkster could celebrate a stunning success.
“I didn’t have to say anything to them after this morning, they were all fired up and ready to go out and play,” Inkster told Sky Sports 4.
“Last night I put my line-up together and it fell in perfectly the way I wanted it and the girls just played awesome today. They never gave up. Everybody did their job and I couldn’t be prouder of those girls.”
The controversy erupted in the final fourball match carried over from Saturday, with Pettersen and Charley Hull all square with two holes to play against Brittany Lincicome and Alison Lee.
Lee missed a birdie putt to win the 17th and, after the ball finished two feet behind the hole, scooped it up with her putter thinking it either had been, or was certain to be conceded.
Hull gave that impression as she was already walking across the front of the green towards the 18th tee, but Pettersen said they had not conceded the putt and therefore won the hole.
European captain Koch approached the match referee on the 18th to ask if there was anything she could do and was told they could concede the hole, but opted not to after Pettersen insisted she would not have conceded Lee’s putt.
Hull, 19, and 20-year-old rookie Lee were reduced to tears as heated discussions took place around the green, with Inkster wanting to lead some of her team in a chant of “Europeans suck”, before they opted for “Class, style, U-S-A.”