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Team Europe Beat US to Retain Solheim Cup
Matilda Castren – Photo Credit: Flickr
On Monday, Matilda Castren sank a final hole at the Inverness Club to ensure Team Europe retained the Solheim Cup before they went on to edge the United States 15-13 and win for only the second time on American soil.
Castren steered in a right to left par putt on the 18th to edge Lizette Salas as Europe kept hold of the trophy with three matches to complete before a half point for Dane Emily Pedersen secured victory eight years after they last won in the United States.
The day started with Europe scoring 9-7 ahead and sped to within touching distance of retaining the trophy before the Americans attempted a late comeback before faltering as the pressure mounted.
Both teams won five singles with the other two halved. Pedersen sank a birdie on the 18th with the last stroke of a gripping day’s golf as Europe triumphed. However, there were already ongoing celebrations after Castren finished one up over Salas.
“It was an amazing team effort after we got off to a great start this morning,” said Team Europe captain Catriona Matthew. “We knew it would be so tough with no European fans. I’m just so proud and happy for them.”
Meanwhile, Leona Maguire beat Jennifer Kupcho five and four to pick up the first point of the final day and extend Europe’s overnight lead as she became the third player in Solheim Cup history to earn her team four or more points in a single competition.
Subsequently, Madelene Sagstrom scored another point with a three and two win over Ally Ewing and then Celine Boutier and she completed a resounding five and four victory over Mina Harigae.
On the final day, the match between Anna Nordqvist and Lexi Thompson, was halved after 18 holes to take Europe even closer, but then began the US fightback.
The first full point of the day for the Americans came from World No. 1 Nelly Korda, who defeated Georgia Hall on the last hole at the end of a close contest that finally sent the crowd cheering.
Austin Ernst missed a short birdie putt on the last and halved with Nanna Koerstz Madsen but Megan Khang and Brittany Altomare revived American hopes to reduce Europe’s lead to 13-11.
Khang was six up at one stage and she completed a three and two win over Sophia Popov while Altomare ended Carlota Ciganda’s unbeaten singles record in the Solheim Cup with a two and one victory.
However, Salas faltered on the last to allow Castren to spark European celebrations while the Americans won two of the last three matches. Pedersen’s lead over Danielle Kang was big enough to survive a late mini-collapse and ensure cup success.