Team USA won the 2017 Solheim Cup for a second year running, as they refused to let the European’s create history by not letting their five point lead slip.
Wins from Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Lizette Salas, Gerina Piller, and Danielle Kang, combined with halves from Lexi Thompson and Angel Yin and were enough to see USA win 16 ½ - 11 ½.
However, early in the day, there was plenty of blue on the board to cause Juli Inkster some concern, as the European’s looked to re-write the record books. However, Inkster’s team remained calm and ultimately Sorenstam’s side had left themselves too much to do heading into the singles.
Take a look at how the final day singles unfolded, as Team USA secured the victory.
Anna Nordqvist AS Lexi Thompson
The two highest ranked players on each side went head-to-head in the opening singles match, and what a match it was. Europe’s Anna Nordqvist went 4up through the first four holes, and the score would remain that way at the turn.
But Lexi Thompson isn’t the world. No 2 for nothing. The American made four birdies and two eagles between holes 10 and 16 to find herself 1up. But Nordqvist responded with a birdie of her own on the last to see the match end All Square. Between the pair they were 14-under par in what was arguably one of the best matches a Solheim Cup has ever seen.
“I'm just speechless right now,” Nordqvist said. “I played great all day. And the way she turned it around, I mean, I hit it to, what, three feet on 11 and she ends up making for eagle. And hit a great shot into 15, after we tied 14, made a good putt there. Didn't quite expect her to make that putt and mine ended up lipping out.
“Quality golf from Lexi on the back nine. To be 8-under over seven holes, very impressed. I had a great number into the last and hit a really good golf shot. But I'm tired and speechless right now. It's been a great week.”
“That was the weirdest round of golf I've ever played,” said Thompson. “Front nine I don't think I was awake. And the back nine I just played lights out. Being 4-down or 3-down going into the back nine, I was just, like, I just have to go all in and go for it all.
“And that's what I did. I think I shot six-under total, two-over on my front, and eight-under on my back. So, it was just a crazy round. Anna played great. I knew it was going to be a good match.”
Paula Creamer def. Georgia Hall 1up
Paula Creamer made it three wins in three matches with her final hole victory over Georgia Hall, and proving her critics wrong in the process. Creamer went 2up through three holes but Hall battled back to square the match at the sixth.
Creamer went 1up on the 10th hole, but again Hall rallied to find herself 1up through 13. This lead would last only one hole and the pair headed into the last All Square. A closing three-putt from Hall saw Creamer snatch this match and put USA just one point away from retaining the Cup.
Cristie Kerr def. Mel Reid 2&1
Solheim veteran Cristie Kerr defeated Europe’s Mel Reid 2&1 to remain unbeaten for the week. Despite Kerr going 2up through four holes, Reid was able to battle back and square the match after eight holes.
“When I was looking at the leaderboard, it looked awfully tight,” Kerr said. “And I knew that my match was going to matter so much. And sometimes for the board you just need somebody to get up another hole. So that's what I did.”
The turning point came at the 10th hole where Reid putted her ball off the green and Kerr regained her 2up advantage through 11 holes and closed out Reid 2&1.
Catriona Matthew def. Stacy Lewis 1up
Catriona Matthew picked up an unlikely point for Team Europe as she defeated Stacy Lewis 1up. After 11 holes the American found herself 3up, but the Scot came battling back with three wins of her own on holes 12, 13 and 14 to tie the match.
A bogey from the American would see the experienced Matthew go 1up and win the match with par at the last. Matthew was arguably one of the standout players at the 2017 Solheim Cup as she ended with a 3-0-1 record despite being an alternate pick.
Karine Icher AS Angel Yin
Karine Icher and Angel Yin’s half meant that Team USA would at least retain the cup, as Lizette Salas was 2up with two to play, meaning the worst she could secure was a half. The match between Yin and Icher was tightly contested throughout the day, and after Icher made par on the last, Yin needed to make a clutch putt to retain the cup for Team USA.
Caroline Masson def. Michelle Wie 4&2
Despite losing all her matches earlier this week, Caroline Masson was able to end her Solheim Cup with a 4&2 victory over Team USA’s Michelle Wie. After going 1up through three holes, the experienced German took a 3up lead on Wie at the turn.
“Yeah, I was really fired up, to be honest,” Masson said. “I feel like I played well all week. It just didn't happen to get a point on the board for our team. It was a little frustrating.
“But I knew I was playing well. I just wanted to, obviously, get out somewhat early and make a little bit of a statement, too. And I think I got off to a hot start. I just putted really well, played pretty solid.”
Lizette Salas def. Jodi Ewart Shadoff 1up
Lizette Salas made the Solheim Cup match winning putt on 18, as she defeated Jodi Ewart Shadoff 1up. “The fact that I made the last putt to secure it is indescribable,” Salas said. “I'm still shaking, and just glad I got it done for Team USA.
“This is what I work for all year. And today's probably the best golf I've played all year. And to do that in front of my home crowd and to wear the red, white and blue is such an honor.”
Charley Hull def. Brittany Lang 1up
Despite rumors of battling a wrist injury, Charley Hull was able to defeat Brittany Lang 1up. Lang was not able to put any red on the board throughout the day's match.
Carlota Ciganda def. Brittany Lincicome 4&3
After losing all three of her matches in earlier sessions, there was some redemption for Europe’s Carlota Ciganda as she defeated Brittany Lincicome 4&3. Two birdies on 11 and 12, when added to a bogey from Lincicome on 13, saw the Spaniard move to 4up and would ultimately see out the victory.
Gerina Piller def. Florentyna Parker 4&3
With the 2017 Solheim Cup already tied up, Gerina Piller further added to the Americans' total with her 4&3 victory over Florentyna Parker. Despite being All Square at the turn, Piller won three on the bounce to take the lead and never looked back.
Madelene Sagstrom def. Austin Ernst 3&2
Madelene Sagstrom had shown all week that she was up for the fight, but was never able to win a match until her Sunday afternoon singles match against Austin Ernst. The Swede won the match 3&2, and although Team USA had already won the cup, Sagstrom showed she could be a key European player in future Solheim Cups.
Danielle Kang def. Emily Pedersen 3&1
Danielle Kang and Emily Pedersen were the last pair left on the golf course. Although Kang was victorious, a moment of team unity from the Europeans was the highlight of this match as they walked the fairway arm-in-arm.
Final Score USA 16 ½ - 11 ½ Europe
This win for Team USA sees Inkster pick up her second win as captain and said: “I'm just proud of my team. The Europeans fought hard today. They made it really close.
“I really haven't been nervous all week. But today I was a little bit nervous. So it's just an honor to captain this team and I'm really proud of the girls.
“They just came in in good form. They came in ready to play. They knew what this golf course demanded. We had great preparation. We played loose. And we played free. We played for each other.”