European Solheim Cup Captain Liselotte Neumann admitted she was “excited, proud and happy.” No wonder. Her side had just achieved an historic first away win by a record 18-10 margin and reduced the overall score to 8-5 in the USA’s favour.
After the most memorable three days at Colorado Golf Club, Neumann, who made history when she became the first Swede to win a major at the 1988 US Women’s Open, summed up her emotions.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” she said. “Everybody contributed and the whole team put in a huge effort. I was proud of the youngsters and my Captain’s picks. Everybody played extremely well.”
Germany’s Caroline Masson had extra reason to celebrate. Europe will defend the Cup in her country in 2015 at St. Leon-Rot.
“I will do everything I can to be on the team again in two years time,” said the rookie who contributed 2 ½ points. “I hope we can retain the Cup in Germany.”
Neumann acknowledged that the 4-0 whitewash in the Saturday afternoon fourballs was the key to success – but she also had to keep the team’s feet firmly on the ground on the eve of the 12 singles – Europe needed 3 ½ points on the final day to retain the trophy.
“I was in the team in 1996 when we led by four points going into the last day so I knew what could happen,” she said. “We were pretty calm and I just told them that they had to focus on every match and put pressure on the US team.”
For USA Captain Meg Mallon it was a tough outcome. “But my players kept fighting to the end,” she said. “But the Europeans played better and putted better. But I knew before the start that a young team with nothing to lose would be really dangerous.”
And so it proved.