Sept 15 (Reuters) - Europe’s women reclaimed the Solheim Cup in the most thrilling finish in the competition’s history when they beat the United States 14.5-13.5 at Gleneagles on Sunday.
After a three-day battle royal around the dramatic Scottish course, Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, playing against Marina Alex in the final match, sank a putt on the 18th green to spark delirium among the European team.
Moments earlier, with the scores locked at 13.5-13.5, Alex had a putt to keep the trophy in American hands but her effort slid by the hole. Had it gone in she would have been assured of at least a half-point on the 18th.
It was then all down to Pettersen, one of Europe captain Catriona Matthew’s picks. Somehow she steadied her nerve to fire her ball into the middle of the cup from around 10 feet.
The day had begun at 8-8 but with three of the 12 singles matches left on the course the Americans needed just a half-point to retain the trophy.
Anna Nordqvist finished off Morgan Pressel 4&3 to close the gap to one point at about the same time that Bronte Law holed a 20-footer for birdie against Ally McDonald to go two up with two to play and keep alive the European dream.
In nerve-jangling tension Law competed a 2&1 victory on the 17th and Pettersen did the rest.
It is the first time Europe have won the trophy since 2013.
“Just unbelievable! There’s never been a better moment. For it to come down to the last game... the Americans played great as well but for Suzann to get the winning putt is phenomenal,” Matthew said.
“Half-an-hour ago it looked like a draw would be a good result but those last three games were crucial. Just fantastic. I had faith in Pettersen all the time. This is the best moment, nothing tops this. There’s going to be a party!” (Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Fallon)