Captain’s pick Suzann Pettersen proved to be the 2019 Solheim Cup hero as she led Europe to a dramatic victory in Scotland.
Europe pulled of a remarkable last-gasp comeback to claim the Solheim Cup for the first time in six years against the United States at Gleneagles, winning 14.5-13.5.
USA had won the previous two tournaments and looked destined to make it three in a row late in Sunday’s singles when they required just half a point to retain the cup with three still to play for.
But the home team, earlier boosted by the outstanding Georgia Hall and debutant Celine Boutier, refused to give up the dream.
The 11-9 lead secured by Hall and Boutier – who both ended with 4-0-0 records – when they followed up their stunning fourballs fightback with another pair of turnarounds had been wiped out, with sisters Nelly and Jessica Korda instead appearing set to be the heroes for USA.
Down 13.5-11.5, Europe rallied and followed up Anna Nordqvist’s routine victory with a gritty Bronte Law triumph, meaning it came down to Suzann Pettersen against Marina Alex on the final hole.
The Norwegian, one of captain Catriona Matthew’s picks, dropped in a nerveless putt to take the hole, the match and an incredible victory for Europe.
Captain’s pick @suzannpettersen proves everyone wrong and sinks the winning putt of the 2019 Solheim Cup
— The 2019 Solheim Cup (@2019solheimcup) September 15, 2019
Europe had struck first on Sunday as Carlota Ciganda won the first match to finish at the final when Danielle Kang’s putt strayed right, with the American having led heading to the 16th.
That initial lead did not last long as Nelly Korda enjoyed a sensational back nine, winning six holes, to beat Caroline Hedwall 2up.
Then came Hall and Boutier, the former two down through eight but romping past Lexi Thompson 2 and 1, while the latter recovered from her own slow start – losing the first two holes – to win by the same margin against fellow rookie Annie Park.
It appeared their efforts would be in vain, however, as the remaining matches were going the USA’s way, and Brittany Altomare celebrated a dominant 5 and 4 thrashing of Jodi Ewart Shadoff, before Angel Yin edged out Azahara Munoz 2 and 1 to level the contest again.
The visitors edged nearer to the required 14 points to retain the title as Jessica Korda followed her sister’s success by topping Caroline Masson 3 and 2.
Charley Hull, a star of the 2013 European team, then lost a seemingly costly half a point at the 18th to see her 1up lead over Megan Khang wiped out.
Lizette Salas’ 1up success over Anne van Dam put USA on the brink, just half a point away, and even Nordqvist’s crushing 4 and 3 win over Morgan Pressel looked to be a mere consolation.
But Law beat Ally McDonald 2 and 1 despite a missed putt at the 17th, with Pettersen seizing the chance to clinch victory after Alex slid her effort past the final hole.