|Captain Liselotte and her victorious European team
Caroline Hedwall rewrote the history books at Colorado Golf Club when she sank a four foot putt birdie putt at the final hole to beat Michelle Wie and retain the Solheim Cup for Europe.
The 24-year-old Swede became the first player to win five out five matches – and by winning the 14th point for Europe she sealed the historic first win in the US.
The final result was 18-10: the biggest ever margin of victory.
“I am still shaking but it is an unbelievable feeling,” said the elated Hedwall, who was also a star of the win when she was a rookie at Killeen Castle in Ireland two years ago. “But I was so pumped and I ready to go.”
Minutes later and a half point from Catriona Matthew against Gerina Piller took the European tally to 14 ½ points and the Cup had been won outright.
After a stunning 4-0 whitewash in Saturday afternoon’s fourballs, Liselotte Neumann’s team needed just 3 ½ points from the 12 singles to retain the Cup and England’s Charley Hull led the way with a huge win over Paula Creamer.
But the outcome remained in the balance as matches swung one way and then another and there was more drama when play was halted for thunder and lightning with Europe leading 13-7 and a tantalising one point from glory.
Before the one hour delay, 17-year-old Hull, the youngest ever Solheim Cup player, had packed five birdies into 14 holes and beaten Creamer, the world No. 11, by 5 and 4.
“I wasn’t too nervous,” said the super talented English teenager who won two out of three points. “It’s always the way I look at golf, I’m not going to die if I hit a bad shot.”
An amusing touch at the end of the match was Hull getting Creamer to sign a ball. “I’ve got s friend, James, at home, who’s a big fan so I thought I’d ask,”’ explained the teenager who must have won a bundle of new fans over the past three days. “When I asked her she said ‘really’?
“I wasn’t too nervous. It’s always the way I look at golf; I’m not going to die if I hit a bad shot.”
Creamer, who lost 6 and 5 to Matthew in the top singles at Killeen Castle, was generous in defeat. “She played great but I just wish I could have given her more of a battle.
“The Solheim Cup seems to bring the best or the worst out in me and I just couldn’t hit a fairway on the front nine.”
Anna Nordqvist added a half point for Europe in the top match against the Ricoh Women’s British Open Champion, Stacy Lewis and then Spanish rookie Carlota Ciganda brought the historic win even closer with a 4 and 2 triumph over Morgan Pressel.
Brittany Lang finally got a full point on the board for the USA with a 2 and 1 victory over Azahara Munoz.
Following the weather delay, Hedwall and Matthew did their stuff and after that everyone was playing for pride.
For Matthew, it was another great Solheim memory. The 43-year-old Scot has played seven times and she gained the winning point at Barseback in 2003.
“I was told coming up the 18th that if I go a half we would win outright so I was kind of shaking,” said the mum of two who had parred the short 17th to draw level with Piller.
“I made a great par to win the 17th and then the five footer for the half at the last. Being able to celebrate with 11 team mates, the caddies and other helpers makes it far more exciting and more fun than an individual win.
“Lotta has done a great job. She inspired us and instilled confidence. We don’t need much motivation to go out and play but she got the pairings absolutely right. The key was the rookies, and the 4-0 yesterday afternoon.”
With the match over as a contest, Suzann Pettersen, Giulia Sergas and Karine Icher all had halved matches and Jodi Ewart-Shadoff beat Brittany Lincicome before Beatriz Recari took her point against Angela Stanford.
Caroline Masson lost, but it didn’t really matter. Europe won the singles 7 ½ - 4 ½.
Hedwall was Europe’s top points scorer, while rookie Ciganda also had a 100% record from three starts. Recari also scored three points out of four while everyone contributed at least half a point.
Singles: (Europe first)
Anna Nordqvist halved with Stacy Lewis
Charley Hull beat Paula Creamer 5 and 4
Azahara Munoz lost to Brittany Lang 2 and 1
Carlota Ciganda beat Morgan Pressel 4 and 2
Caroline Hedwall beat Michelle Wie one hole
Catriona Matthew halved with Gerina Piller
Suzann Pettersen halved with Lizette Salas
Giulia Sergas halved with Jessica Korda
Caroline Masson lost to Lexi Thompson 4 and 3
Jodi Ewart-Shadoff beat Brittany Lincicome 3 and 2
Beatriz Recari beat Angela Stanford 2 and 1
Karine Icher halved with Cristie Kerr
Europe 7 ½ USA 4 ½
Final score: Europe 18 USA 10