Europe wins Solheim Cup
EUROPE SHOWED yesterday it can win the Solheim Cup anywhere.
Caroline Hedwall became the first player in Solheim Cup history to win all five of her matches, holing a 4-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a 1-up victory that assured the Europeans retaining the cup. Moments later, Catriona Matthew finished off a rally to halve her match against Gerina Piller. That gave Europe 14 1/2 points for its first win on American soil, at Colorado Golf Club, since this event started in 1990. And it wasn't even close.
Charley Hull, at 17-year-old the youngest player in Solheim Cup history, capped off her amazing week by demolishing Paula Creamer in a match that set the tone for Europe. Carlota Ciganda of Spain handed Morgan Pressel her first lost in singles in four appearances to go 3-0 for the week.
Not even a 1-hour delay due to lightning in the area could damper this European celebration. Suzann Pettersen was lining up her putt on the 16th hole when she heard the cheers from the 18th, got the news and began pumping her first.
Europe still trails 8-5 in the competition, but this was the first time it has won back-to-back.
"It's a fantastic feeling right now," European captain Liselotte Neumann said. "I'm so proud of them. They played such good golf this week. They just played tremendous golf."
Matthew holed the winning the putt, but the Europeans really won Saturday afternoon when they swept the fourballs matches to build a 10 1/2-5 1/2 lead, matching the largest margin going into yesterday.
Raucous cheering on the first tee raised American hopes of the greatest comeback in Solheim Cup history.
Once they got on the golf course, it was a hopeless cause.
U.S. captain Meg Mallon stacked some of her best players at the top of the lineup with hopes of filling the leaderboard with red scores and building momentum. Europe was ahead early four of the opening five matches.
Brittany Lang delivered a point, though she had a tussle with Azahara Munoz until winning on the 17th.
Stacy Lewis, in the opening singles match, didn't take her first lead against Anna Nordqvist until driving the green on the par-4 14th for a birdie. But the closing stretch belonged to Europe, as it had all week. Lewis missed an 8-foot birdie on the 16th for a chance to go 2 up, and the Swede found more magic on the 17th. One day after her hole-in-one, she holed a 20-foot birdie putt to square the match, and Lewis had to make a 7-foot par to get a half-point.
Ciganda, the Spanish rookie who couldn't break 80 in her opening fourballs match, finished with five straight birdies to pull away from Pressel.
In other tournaments
* At Greensboro, N.C., Patrick Reed won the Wyndham Championship for his first PGA Tour title, beating Jordan Spieth with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff. Reed and Spieth finished regulation at 14-under 266. Reed closed with a 4-under 66; Spieth had a 65.
* At Endicott, N.Y., Bart Bryant won the Dick's Sporting Goods Open, becoming the 1,000th tournament champion on the Champions Tour. Bryant, who shot a tournament record-tying 10-under 62 in the second round, completed his first victory on the senior tour with a closing 72 and finished at 16-under 200 to beat Russ Cochran and Corey Pavin by one shot.
* At Brookline, Mass., Matt Fitzpatrick won the U.S. Amateur, beating Oliver Goss 4 and 3 in the 36-hole final to become the first English champion of the tournament since 1911. Fitzpatrick, who will be a freshman at Northwestern this fall, won when Goss missed a par putt on No. 15 at The Country Club.