History would have to be rewritten for the European team to win the Solheim Cup. The whitewash that was inflicted on them on Friday by the USA, had meant that Europe would have to win nine of the twelve singles matches to take the Solheim Cup back to Europe. The omens were not good. It has never been done before.
It wasn’t impossible but highly improbable. The USA overturned a four point deficit to win the Cup back in 2015. What was important was that the Europeans got off to a good start.
The match between Anna Nordqvist and Lexi Thompson provided just that for Europe in the early part of the match. Nordqvist was quick out of the blocks winning the first four holes in a row. Thompson didn’t know what had hit her. She looked jaded and in need of some guidance. Thankfully, Juli Inkster was there for her talisman. Some words of wisdom and a hug from the captain saw Thompson find her mojo. Thompson blitzed the back nine in eight under par to shock Nordqvist who had to fight back in the final hole to walk away with a half point.
Georgia Hall has been a shining light for the European side and now faced the experienced Paula Creamer. The match saw the lead constantly change as the pair matched each other blow for blow. It was only on the final hole that something had to give. With the chance to halve the match, Hall missed her final putt that saw Creamer clinch a valuable point for the USA. However, Hall can still hold her head high after her first Solheim Cup.
With the USA claiming one and a half points in the opening two matches, the writing was effectively on the wall for the Europeans. Cristie Kerr added another point with her win over Mel Reid. Kerr would leave Des Moines as the USA’s record points scorer in the Solheim Cup.
There was some from joy for the Europeans as Caroline Masson claimed her first Solheim Cup singles victory against Michelle Wie. Then, Carlotta Ciganda demolished Brittany Lincicome to earn another point for Europe.
There was also joy for Catriona Matthew. Called in as a late replacement for Suzann Pettersen, the Scot made the most of her chances to overturn Stacy Lewis. Once again, it came down to the final hole as Matthew clawed back a three hole deficit to beat Lewis by one hole. For Lewis, it would yet another defeat in the singles. Maybe she will get her first singles victory at Gleneagles in 2019?
Angel Yin’s half point against Karine Icher proved to be pivotal meaning that Lizette Salas had the opportunity to hole the winning putt at the Solheim Cup. She made no mistake. As the team celebrated to the chants of “USA, USA, USA”, there were still matches taking place. The only question was how big the defeat would actually be?
Charley Hull was rested on Saturday ahead of her battle against Brittany Lang. The rest seemed to work for her as she defeated the former U.S Open champion by one hole to maintain her impressive Solheim Cup record.
Madelene Sagstrom gained another point for Europe with her victory over Austin Ernst but the damage was already done. The Europeans may have won the battle of the singles but lost the war at Des Moines. It was a performance that showed their grit, determination, and desire but over the course of the three days, the USA was just too strong winning the Solheim Cup by five points. 16.5-11.5.