As far as team events go, it doesn’t get better than it did on Sunday at the Solheim Cup. The Europeans and the Americans tied at 13.5 points with just one match still on the course. Suzann Pettersen for the Euros vs. Marina Alex for the Yanks.
Pettersen never trailed, but as it turns out, she had to win. Tied for holes Nos. 15-17, all Alex needed for the U.S. to retain the cup was a half point. All she had to do was somehow eke out a tie against Pettersen on the last hole. The Solheim Cup would end tied at 14, and because the Americans won it last time, they would retain.
They didn’t retain. Pettersen birdied the last on an 8-foot putt, won the match and the Cup. It was a chills-inducing moment in a competition that has produced so many of them.
“Walking up to the green I think, ‘This is it,'” said Pettersen. “‘This is me and the Solheim Cup forever.’ And this is a chapter to close … I mean, can you ask for more? The last putt to win the Cup, when it’s that close? History was just made, to win here in front of … this crowd, to be here most of all. I could never in a million miles dream … This is it.”
This was it. Pettersen retired after the match. A walk-off. There are many ways to exit your sporting career, but burying a putt to win an event this big on your own turf has to rank at the very top.
“I think this is a perfect closure — the end for my at least Solheim career, and also a nice ‘the end’ for [my] professional career,” said Pettersen. “It doesn’t get any better.”
This is the first European victory at the Solheim Cup since they won at Colorado Golf Club in 2013.