Cristie Kerr was forced
to withdraw prior to
her final-day match
due to a wrist injury.
COUNTY MEATH, IRELAND | The ex-
citement was there to the end Sunday
as Europe won the Solheim Cup at
Killeen Castle by a nail-biting 15 points
to 13 after three successive defeats.
The 28,000 spectators were in
raptures and, though there were no
Irish players involved, it seemed as if
every member of that crowd saw the
result as one to celebrate alongside the
major championship feats of Padraig
Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Rory
McIlroy and Darren Clarke.
“I was in agony all day,” admitted
Alison Nicholas, the European captain.
“Our players believed in themselves
and they fought to the end. Rookies and
experienced players have played amazingly. It’s been a real team effort.”
Rosie Jones, for her part, said she
could not have asked for a better side, a
better golf course or a better experience.
“Europe just played better than us in
the last 35 minutes,” she said.
When the 23-year-old Azahara Mu-noz left the 17th green with a one-hole
lead over Angela Stanford, all that needed to happen was for a second rookie,
Caroline Hedwall, to scrape a halve from
her match against Ryann O’Toole, one of
the newcomers to the U.S. side.
It was a big “ask” but the 22-year-
old Swede was up for it.
Two down with two to play, she had
won the 17th by dint of holing from 15
feet. She was first to hit up to the green
at the 381-yard 18th and, for those
who did not appreciate the amount of
spin this powerful player puts on her
shots, the tension was extreme. The
ball touched down on the very back of
the putting surface before rolling slowly
down to within four feet of the hole.
EUROPE GAINING GROUND
After early dominance by the United States, Europe has won three of the past
seven. The 2013 event is set for Colorado GC in Parker, Colo.
Year Winner Score Site
2011 Europe 15-13 Killeen Castle, Co Meath, Ireland
2009 USA 16-12 Rich Harvest Farms, Sugar Grove, Ill.
2007 USA 16-12 Hlamstad GC, Halmstad, Sweden
2005 USA 15½- 12½ Crooked Stick GC, Carmel, Ind.
2003 Europe 17½- 10½ Barsebäck G&CC, Malmo, Sweden,
2002 USA 15½- 12½ Interlachen CC, Edina, Minn.
2000 Europe 14½- 11½ Loch Lomond GC, Luss, Scotland
1998 USA 16-12 Muirfield Village GC, Dublin, Ohio
1996 USA 17-11 Marriott St. Pierre Hotel & CC, Chepstow, Wales
1994 USA 13-7 The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
1992 Europe 11½- 6½ Dalmahoy Hotel G&CC, Edinburgh, Scotland
1990 USA 11½- 4½ Lake Nona GC, Orlando, Fla.
arrived on the practice ground to find
that she could take the club back so far
and no further. Eventually, she col-
lapsed into tears.
“I’m devastated,” she said after-
wards. “I tried my best but I couldn’t
hold the golf club.”
Jones had known about the injury
since Thursday, but still she had gone
with Kerr for all four games over the
first to days. She had been tempted to
give her a break on the Friday morning
but had left her in place because she felt
she could not be “without my big guns.”
At the same time as the Americans
were a player down, the Europeans had
a 13th man on their side in the shape of
the weather, altogether more familiar
The players were called in three
times, with three of the matches being
completed after the second interruption.
Catriona Matthew contrived to make
two birdies and an eagle on her way to
defeating Paula Creamer. Four down
at the turn, the American had a tangle
with long and dripping grass at the 10th
which resulted in Matthew winning the
hole in a five to a six on her way to a
6-and- 5 win. This was Matthew’s fifth
successive singles success.
One more European point came
from Sophie Gustafson who showed all
the guts in the world in a two-hole win
over the feisty Stacy Lewis.
With Brittany Lang defeating Sandra
Gal by 6 and 5, the score was 11-10 to
Europe. Now came the third suspension.
When play resumed, there was a bad
moment for Europe as Laura Davies,
1 up playing 18 knocked her second
into sand to come away with an anticlimactic halve from her match with Juli
Inkster. That happened just minutes
before Christina Kim nailed one more
American point to the mast.
In a week when Morgan Pressel was
the leading U.S. points scorer with four
out of four, Cristel Boeljon had a win to
remember over Brittany Lincicome be-
fore attention turned to Suzann Petters-
en and Michelle Wie who were involved
in a contest which no one would have
been watching more avidly than David
Leadbetter, coach to both players.
The 17th was halved in birdies to
have the two level playing up the last.
Here Pettersen delivered one more
stunning iron to the flag before Wie
caught the same greenside bunker
which had earlier cost Davies a full
point. Wie emerged to four feet but
Pettersen holed from eight for the
match. She had birdied each of the last