U.S. Wins 2015 Solheim Cup
The U.S. squad captained by Juli Inkster staged an epic comback on Sunday to win back the Solheim Cup from the European side in a match filled with plenty of exciting golf and a bit of controvesy. The U.S. team entered the Sunday singles portion of the three day competition down 10 points to 6 point. The Europeans only need to win four points to retain the cup for the third straight meeting. With the competition taking place in Germany and after a touchy rules situation in the end of the fourball section of the event, one would think the U.S. may have just dug themselves into a hole to deep to get out of.
First the rules situation. The news occured on the 17th green in the fourball portion of the competition with the American’s Allison Lee and Brittany Lincicome against Europe’s side of Suzann Petterson and Charlie Hull. The match was all square on when the group got to the green. Lee had missed a birdie putt to take the lead going into the final hole. Just as the group was exiting the green Lee picked up her ball thinking the par putt was conceded by the Euro side. The stroke was not conceded and the referee stepped in and spoke to both sides and concluded the Euro side never gave evidence of a concession of the par putt. So the U.S.side went to the 18th tee down in the match and went on to loose the point on the final hole.
Now history of this kind of rules situation is evedent in these team competitions. Seve Ballesteros and Paul Azinger argued over what ball should have been in their foursomes match Friday at the Ryder Cup in 1991 at Kiawah Island. In the 2000 Solheim Cup Anika Sorenstam had holed a chip on the 13th hole for a birdie but unfortunately played out of turn. American Captain Pat Bradley at the time could have let the shot stand but chose to have it replayed. The U.S. side won that match 2 and 1.
Now back to golf on the course. Sunday started with the U.S. needing a herculean effort to win the Solheim Cup. That is just what they got. The first seven matches yielded 3.5 points of each side. At that point the European side only needed to halve one of the final five matches and lost all five. Gerina Pillar got up and down on the 18th green to secure a win that kept the U.S. side alive, if she had halved her match the Euros would have kept the Cup. Paula Creamer put the finishing touches on the match as she defeated Sandra Gal, in her host country, by the result of 4 and 3. What a Sunday comeback!
I really enjoy the team exhibitions that are on the calendar very year. The players all say it is such a high to compete for their country. There is nothing like it in our game, unfortunately this event may be know just as much for the situation that took place at the end of the fourball session as the great comeback the U.S. side authored on Sunday.