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Solheim Cup

Round 3 - USA wins Solheim Cup 16 ½ to 11 ½

August 20, 2017
Team USA wins the 2017 Solheim Cup

The United States retained The Solheim Cup with a 16 ½ to 11 ½ victory over Europe at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa.

The hosts held a five-point lead going into Sunday and only needed to earn three and a half points from the 12 singles matches, whereas Europe needed nine, but the sides shared the singles matches equally.

Europe came out fighting and Anna Nordqvist went four-up after four holes in the top match, but the world number two Lexi Thompson rallied and was seven-under for eight holes from the 10th.

Thompson made two eagles at the 11th and 13th and then birdied the 16th to take a one-up lead heading into the last, but Nordqvist, who had won all three of her matches despite suffering from a bout of glandular fever, fired a superb 8-iron shot up the last for a conceded birdie putt to halve the match, which will be remembered as one of the best in Solheim Cup history.

Nordqvist said afterwards: “I’m just speechless right now. 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, so quality golf from Lexi on the back nine. To be eight-under over seven holes, very impressed.”

Thompson said: “That was the weirdest round of golf I’ve ever played. 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 6-under total, two-over on my front, and eight-under on my back, so it was just a crazy round.”

There was a European point from the evergreen Catriona Matthew, who defeated Stacy Lewis 1 up to make it six wins, two losses and one half from her nine career singles matches.

She said later: “This is going to be my last one playing. You know, I was 3-down through 11 and I kind of said to myself this is going to be my last match, so give it my all, and got all the holes in, managed to play all 18, and just squeak it past, so I enjoyed the moment today, but I think it’s time for some younger players to take over.”

There was another point for the Europeans when Caroline Masson secured a 4&2 win over Michelle Wie.

“I was really fired up, to be honest. 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,” Masson said.

But then the momentum swung in America’s favour.

Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer posted victories for the home side, before Angel Yin halved her match against Karine Icher to reach 13 ½ points, effectively sealing the victory, with at least a half point already guaranteed from Lizette Salas.

Jodi Ewart Shadoff won the 17th to keep the match alive, but after her birdie putt on the last slipped past the hole, Salas holed a par putt from five feet to get the winning point for the United States team, taking the score to 14 ½.

Salas said: “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 honour. The fact that I made the last putt to secure it is un-describable. I’m still shaking, and just glad I got it done for Team USA.”

With tears of joy and draped in the United States flag, the daughter of Mexican immigrants added: “I have the best parents in the world. We’re just glad to be here and we’re proud Americans, and this is really special.”

With the match over as a contest, Charley Hull completed a victory over Brittany Lang on the 18th and Carlota Ciganda wrapped up a 4&3 victory over Brittany Lincicome. Madelene Sagstrom then earned her first point for the European team with a 3&2 victory over fellow Solheim Cup rookie Austin Ernst.

There were also two more points for the United States when Gerina Piller earned a 4&2 victory over Florentyna Parker and Danielle Kang defeated Emily Kristine Pedersen by 3&1.

Juli Inkster, who became the second United States captain to achieve two victories, after Judy Rankin in 1996 and 1998, said afterwards: “I’m glad we had a lead because Europe came out firing and I knew they would.

“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.

“I’m sure Europe had a good time, too. But we tried not to make anything too regimented, just let them do their thing. We had some great team-room dinners and had a lot of banter and a lot of ping-pong. But it’s amazing. I just can’t believe we won.”

After making it 10 wins for the United States from 15 contests, Inkster congratulated Annika Sorenstam and her team for an amazing match in Des Moines.

Sorenstam said: “We just got outplayed, there’s no doubt about it. I’m so proud how hard they fought. And it’s not easy coming out here on a Sunday with the team so far behind, but I’m proud of them. They’re out there fighting every single match, every single point. What can I say? Just congratulate the U.S.A. because they played some awesome golf.

“Sometimes it’s not always about the results. I must say that this has been a lot about the journey. I’ve learned a lot the last 18 months. It’s been a pleasure to represent the European Tour. I’m so proud of these young girls, and to get to know them, new friendships, new memories.”

When asked if she would like to continue as Captain, Sorenstam replied: “I want to give someone else the chance to do it. It’s time to move the torch to someone else and we have some great candidates.”

Despite the result, there were 12 happy faces on the European team and the praise for Sorenstam was unanimous as an ‘exceptional captain.’

The next Solheim Cup will be played at Gleneagles, in Scotland, on 13th to 15th September 2019. Tickets will go on sale on 24th August at SolheimCup2019.com.

Overall Scores: 11 ½ - 16½
Click here for full scores

Sunday: 6 - 6

Singles
Europe
6
6
United States
A. Nordqvist
HALVED
HALVED
L. Thompson
G. Hall
Wins 1UP
P. Creamer
M. Reid
Wins 2 & 1
C. Kerr
C. Matthew
Wins 1UP
S. Lewis
K. Icher
HALVED
HALVED
A. Yin
C. Masson
Wins 4 & 2
M. Wie
J. Ewart Shadoff
Wins 1UP
L. Salas
C. Hull
Wins 1UP
B. Lang
C. Ciganda
Wins 4 & 3
B. Lincicome
F. Parker
Wins 4 & 2
G. Piller
M. Sagstrom
Wins 3 & 2
A. Ernst
E. Pedersen
Wins 3 & 1
D. Kang

Day 2 - USA leading by 5 points heading into singles

August 19, 2017
Georgia Hall, Team Europe

The United States extended their lead to five points at the end of day two of the 15th Solheim Cup and will need 3 ½ points from the 12 singles matches to retain the trophy at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa, while Europe needs nine points.

The United States needs 14 points to retain the Cup, while Europe require 14 ½ to win outright.

European duo Anna Nordqvist and Jodi Ewart Shadoff defeated Lizette Salas and Angel Yin 4&2 in the second afternoon four-ball match, but the United States took the other three matches and Europe will now need to pull off the biggest comeback in Solheim Cup history.

That is exactly what the United States did two years ago in Germany when they overcame a four-point deficit and pulled off the largest comeback to date.

This is only the third time that the United States has led going into the singles matches and they won on both of the previous two occasions, in 1990 and 1998.

However, European Captain Annika Sorenstam told the media that it was still “Mission Possible.”

At the 2012 Ryder Cup, named the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ by the media, the European team needed eight-and-a-half points for the greatest comeback in history but Sorenstam went further.

“There have been a lot of comebacks in sports in general. Let’s not just focus on just golf. Sports, and life in general. March 16, 2001, before I teed off, nobody had shot 59. I’m still the only one that’s done that. I know it’s possible. There are a lot of things I can bring up that’s possible. And history can be made. So, like I said, hope is the last thing that’s going to leave us and we’re determined. We didn’t fly these miles to not put up a fight. The fight is not over yet.”

Earlier in the morning, the teams shared the foursomes, with two points each. Charley Hull rested for the whole of Saturday’s play with a wrist injury, while Anna Nordqvist, who has glandular fever, played 36 holes and is so far undefeated in the contest, with three wins from three matches and a 2017 record of 100 per cent.

The afternoon’s four-ball matches featured four tight battles. Brittany Lang and Brittany Linciome combined to shoot 12 under in their 2-up win over Carlota Ciganda and Mel Reid, who hung right in with the Americans with a 10-under round of their own only to be beaten by a birdie on the 18th green.

In the second match of the afternoon, Nordqvist holed a 4-footer for birdie at No. 2 to take the lead and the Europeans held the advantage from there.

Salas brought the huge crowd to their feet with a 50-foot birdie putt from the fringe on No. 5. But Nordqvist birdied No. 8 to take the Europeans 2 up, and Ewart Shadoff contributed a hole-winning birdie at No. 14 to put them three clear of Salas and Yin. Salas nearly holed out for eagle at No. 15, but the hole was halved with short birdies, and Ewart Shadoff won the match with a birdie at the 17th.

“There were a lot of birdies out there, not just between me and Anna, but Lizette and Angel played great, too,” said Ewart Shadoff. “It was a lot of fun playing with Anna. We have very similar games. We were there for each other when we needed each other.”

In the third match, Paula Creamer and Austin Ernst defeated Karine Icher and Madelene Sagstrom, 2 and 1.

“You have to make birdies in match play,” said Creamer. “And this golf course, it’s good to be aggressive. But you can’t be overly aggressive, just because of where some of the pin placements are. But when your partner’s playing well, it makes you feel good.”

The fourth match of the afternoon was another close affair, but ultimately Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson defeated Georgia Hall and Catriona Matthew 4&2.

The American duo started strong with victories on two of the first three holes before the Europeans got one back with an eagle from Hall at No. 4.

The Americans pushed their advantage back to two with a Thompson birdie on No. 6, a lead they held until the 10th, when Matthew snuck a birdie in on the left side. Thompson quickly answered with a birdie of her own on No. 11 to extend the lead.

After an extraordinary stretch saw both sides matching clutch putts from holes 11-13, Team USA went dormie when Kerr holed out a bunker shot for eagle on the par-5 15th, sending the crowds into a frenzy. When Matthew and Hall narrowly missed birdie putts on the 16th, the duo conceded a birdie to Thompson to wrap up the match.

“We just knew they were going to play really tough and they did,” said Kerr. “They made a lot of birdies and they stuffed it in some holes that we said I had to make putts on top of them. Lexi had to make putts on top of them. And we really ham and egged it out well there. I think that’s why we make such a good team because we’re there for each other.”

United States Team Captain Juli Inkster said: “I just love where my players’ heads are at right now. They know – they haven’t said one thing in the locker room. They just were just all putting the team, the lineup together and asking everybody where they would like to fall, where they felt comfortable.

“So we’ve got our work cut out for us, and I know Annika’s team will not quit, so we’ll be ready for the task.”

The five-point difference ties the largest margin going into the last day with 1998 and 2000, when the USA and Europe led respectively before going on to achieve victory.

The singles times for Sunday have been brought forward two hours due to the threat of storms in the afternoon and the first match tees off at 9.31am CT.

Overall Scores: 5 ½ - 10 ½

Saturday: 3 - 5

Foursomes
Europe
2
2
United States
J. Ewart Shadoff / C. Masson
Wins 5 & 3
C. Kerr / L. Thompson
M. Reid / E. Pedersen
Wins 5 & 3
P. Creamer / A. Ernst
A. Nordqvist / G. Hall
Wins 2 & 1
S. Lewis / G. Piller
C. Matthew / K. Icher
Wins 2 & 1
M. Wie / D. Kang
Fourball
Europe
1
3
United States
M. Reid / C. Ciganda
Wins 2UP
B. Lang / B. Lincicome
A. Nordqvist / J. Ewart Shadoff
Wins 4 & 2
L. Salas / A. Yin
K. Icher / M. Sagstrom
Wins 2 & 1
P. Creamer / A. Ernst
C. Matthew / G. Hall
Wins 4 & 2
C. Kerr / L. Thompson

Day 1 - USA sweeps afternoon matches for 3 point lead

August 18, 2017
Juli Inkster, Team USA

The United States produced a birdie fest on Friday afternoon to claim a three-point lead over Europe at the end of the first day of the 15th Solheim Cup at Des Moines Golf & Country Club in Iowa.

Europe led the morning foursomes 2 ½ – 1 ½ but Captain Juli Inkster’s Solheim Cup team achieved the United States’ first clean sweep in a single session, winning all the afternoon four-ball matches to give their side a 5 ½ – 2 ½ heading into the second day.

Lizette Salas and Danielle Salas, who won their morning foursomes match against Carlota Ciganda and Caroline Masson 1 up, proved to be the stars of the first day as they both earned a second point in the four-balls.

Lizette Salas was exceptional as she guided 18-year-old rookie Angel Yin to a 6&5 victory over Ciganda and European rookie Emily Kristine Pedersen for the first red point of the afternoon.

Kang also had a hot putter partnering Michelle Wie to a 3 and 1 victory over Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Madelene Sagstrom.

However, the Brittanys, Lincicome and Lang, who nickname themselves the ‘Killer Bs’ came out fresh and full of energy as they took on the German-speaking pair, Masson and Florentyna Parker, eventually winning by 3&2.

Although Charley Hull and Georgia Hall were only one down with two holes to play in the anchor match, Stacy Lewis made a birdie putt on the 17th green to seal the fourth four-ball match 2&1, Hull having been struggling with an injured wrist throughout the round.

European Captain Annika Sorenstam said: “It wasn’t the afternoon we had wished for, but the players fought very hard. I must say the U.S. team played very well. “They made a lot of birdies. They made a lot of putts. And we just didn’t have the same flow. So overall, just still feel pretty happy how we had the setup. And like I said, the girls fought to the end.

“It’s just one of those days in golf and luckily this was just the first day. It’s almost like playing 27 holes out of 72, which means you have a lot of holes left, and it’s a marathon. The players are back at the hotel and grabbing something to eat, and we’re going to start out fresh tomorrow. The spirit is still there, if not stronger. You get a little fired up when you see an afternoon like this. “We knew coming in here it was going to be a challenge. I have fighters on the team and I believe in them, so we’re just going to forget about this day. Tomorrow’s Saturday. New points. Go out there and grab as many as we can.”

However, Inkster also compared her mission to a marathon and said: “I’ll tell (my players), but I think they know, that this is a distance run. It’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint. We have to do the work. We have to do the process. We gotta go out there, and 36 holes, we got eight points out there tomorrow. That’s a lot of points and we need to get a lot of those. And that’s what I’m going to tell them.”

Numbers to know

0 – Number of points earned by Team Europe in the afternoon four-balls
3 – Lead that Team USA holds over Team Europe, which ties 1998 for the largest lead after the first day for the Americans
4 – Number of points earned by Team USA in the afternoon four-balls, the first time in Solheim Cup history that the USA has swept a single session
18 – Career number of points at the Solheim Cup for Cristie Kerr, putting her one point behind Juli Inkster for the most points in USA history

Friday Scores: 2 ½ - 5 ½
Foursomes
Europe
2 ½
United States
M. Reid / C. Hull
HALVED
HALVED
C. Kerr / L. Thompson
C. Ciganda / C. Masson
Wins 1UP
D. Kang / L. Salas
A. Nordqvist / G. Hall
Wins 3 & 1
P. Creamer / A. Ernst
K. Icher / C. Matthew
Wins 1UP
S. Lewis / G. Piller
Fourball
Europe
0
4
United States
M. Sagstrom / J. Ewart Shadoff
Wins 3 & 1
M. Wie / D. Kang
C. Ciganda / E. Pedersen
Wins 6 & 5
A. Yin / L. Salas
F. Parker / C. Masson
Wins 3 & 2
B. Lincicome / B. Lang
C. Hull / G. Hall
Wins 2 & 1
S. Lewis / G. Piller

Scores

Overall Scores: 11 ½ - 16½

Sunday: 6 - 6

Singles
Europe
6
6
United States
A. Nordqvist
HALVED
HALVED
L. Thompson
G. Hall
Wins 1UP
P. Creamer
M. Reid
Wins 2 & 1
C. Kerr
C. Matthew
Wins 1UP
S. Lewis
K. Icher
HALVED
HALVED
A. Yin
C. Masson
Wins 4 & 2
M. Wie
J. Ewart Shadoff
Wins 1UP
L. Salas
C. Hull
Wins 1UP
B. Lang
C. Ciganda
Wins 4 & 3
B. Lincicome
F. Parker
Wins 4 & 2
G. Piller
M. Sagstrom
Wins 3 & 2
A. Ernst
E. Pedersen
Wins 3 & 1
D. Kang

Saturday: 3 - 5

Foursomes
Europe
2
2
United States
J. Ewart Shadoff / C. Masson
Wins 5 & 3
C. Kerr / L. Thompson
M. Reid / E. Pedersen
Wins 5 & 3
P. Creamer / A. Ernst
A. Nordqvist / G. Hall
Wins 2 & 1
S. Lewis / G. Piller
C. Matthew / K. Icher
Wins 2 & 1
M. Wie / D. Kang
Fourball
Europe
1
3
United States
M. Reid / C. Ciganda
Wins 2UP
B. Lang / B. Lincicome
A. Nordqvist / J. Ewart Shadoff
Wins 4 & 2
L. Salas / A. Yin
K. Icher / M. Sagstrom
Wins 2 & 1
P. Creamer / A. Ernst
C. Matthew / G. Hall
Wins 4 & 2
C. Kerr / L. Thompson
Friday Scores: 2 ½ - 5 ½
Foursomes
Europe
2 ½
United States
M. Reid / C. Hull
HALVED
HALVED
C. Kerr / L. Thompson
C. Ciganda / C. Masson
Wins 1UP
D. Kang / L. Salas
A. Nordqvist / G. Hall
Wins 3 & 1
P. Creamer / A. Ernst
K. Icher / C. Matthew
Wins 1UP
S. Lewis / G. Piller
Fourball
Europe
0
4
United States
M. Sagstrom / J. Ewart Shadoff
Wins 3 & 1
M. Wie / D. Kang
C. Ciganda / E. Pedersen
Wins 6 & 5
A. Yin / L. Salas
F. Parker / C. Masson
Wins 3 & 2
B. Lincicome / B. Lang
C. Hull / G. Hall
Wins 2 & 1
S. Lewis / G. Piller

Preview

DATES: August 18-20
SITE: Des Moines Golf & Country Club, Iowa
Click here for tournament stats & info

The 2017 European and United States Solheim Cup Captains, Annika Sorenstam and Juli Inkster respectively, have announced their teams for the 15 th edition of the biggest event in women's golf, which tees off at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa, on Friday 18 th August.

Following the Ricoh Women's British Open at Kingsbarns, Annika officially named Georgia Hall, Florentyna Parker, Mel Reid, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Carlota Ciganda, Suzann Pettersen, Charley Hull, Karine Icher, Anna Nordqvist, Caroline Masson, Emily Kristine Pedersen and Madelene Sagstrom as her European team members.

Juli Inkster's United States team will include Lexi Thompson, Stacy Lewis, Gerina Piller, Cristie Kerr, Danielle Kang, Michelle Wie, Brittany Lang, Brittany Lincicome, Lizette Salas, Angel Yin and Austin Ernst, as well as Paula Creamer, who replaced Jessica Korda as the first alternate after Korda relinquished her spot due to a forearm injury.

Now, after the USA's victory in St. Leon-Rot, Germany, two years ago, Annika and her team will have their eyes set on revenge at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa. Success would mean a second away victory for the Europeans, following their first away win in Colorado in 2013, when Annika was a vice-captain. Annika is now applying her legendary planning and determination to her new mission as captain, having been vice-captain three times from 2011-2015. This time her vice-captains are Catriona Matthew, Marta Figueras-Dotti and Maria McBride (née Hjorth).

Annika started her preparations upon being named Captain at the ANA Inspiration in Spring 2016 and after visiting the Des Moines Country Club for the first time, she said: “Pete Dye is one of the known architects in the world so I know this is going to be a great test. It will be interesting to see how the US Team set up the course. I think it looks like it will set up well for a match play event with some risk-reward and a variety of holes. It was very diversified with long and short holes, dog legs left and right. It seemed like you would need all the clubs in the bag.”

Des Moines Golf and Country Club is the second Pete Dye-designed venue to host The Solheim Cup following the 2005 tournament at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Indiana. Other Solheim Cup tournaments in the Midwest have included the 1998 event at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, the 2002 event at Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minnesota and the 2009 event at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois – all won by the US Team.

The organisers expect an historic turnout for this year's tournament, as the U.S. Senior Open Championship drew a record 252,800 spectators when it was played at Des Moines in 1999. The atmosphere is expected to be electric as there will be seating for 7,000 fans on the first tee.

“West Des Moines is a small, Midwestern town, so I know the support will be amazing,” continued Annika. “They've had sport events in the past that have been received well and they love their sports, so it's going to be an incredible atmosphere. It will certainly make a mark in Solheim Cup history.

“The atmosphere at The Solheim Cup is nothing like any other golf tournament. I welcome you to show up and get a feel for it. It won't be your last if you do!”

The Solheim Cup has a long, rich heritage like no other event in women's golf. The brainchild of Karsten Solheim, founder of PING, this biannual clash of the continents evokes emotion and drama from players and fans alike.

With the inaugural match played at Lake Nona in 1990, The Solheim Cup was established to showcase the talent of the world's preeminent female golfers in a format that mirrored The Ryder Cup. Since these early days, The Solheim Cup has grown significantly in prominence and profile, establishing itself as a strong sporting brand.

Although Team USA started out strongly in the 90s, momentum shifted to the European team this millennium, before the United States competitors, under the guidance of their Captain Juli Inkster, captured the Waterford crystal trophy in Germany in 2015.

The United States players are as proud and motivated as ever under returning Captain Inkster, who will be supported by her experienced vice-captains Pat Hurst, Wendy Ward and Nancy Lopez. Inkster said: “Gallery-wise, this will probably be our biggest as far as the red, white, and blue.

“I know we're all looking forward to getting to Des Moines. It's great for women's golf. It really escalates the level of women's golf and brings it to the forefront, and all of these ladies can really play. I think you're going to be impressed when we get to Des Moines how well the matches will go, and you know, what I hope: it keeps growing. It's such a great event. I think Annika's job is to make it quiet and our job is to make it loud. So I think it's going to be great matches and I can't believe, you know, in a week it's going to be here. But I think we're all ready to go.”

The Solheim Cup's history of high sporting drama and entertainment has been described as ‘thrilling', ‘awesome' and ‘electrifying' and the atmosphere is expected to be no less intense in Iowa.

History, prestige and fearsome competition: no other women's tournament comes close. Get ready for the best Solheim Cup yet as Europe heads to the USA!





A Time For Teaching Warily

Ai Signs Off Amid Accolades

A Golfer Who Could Inspire A Nation

By ceding control Lewis conjures a miracle

Europe’s Solheim Glass Is Half Full

Feeling The Love In Iowa

Hall And Ko Bide Their Time

Park’s Victory A Powerful Indicator

Father’s Spirit Buoys Kang

Gender Mixing A Mixed Bag




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