09/07/2021 at 05:30 CEST
. / Toledo
The team of Europe retained the title of champion on Monday of the Solheim Cup, which was her second win on American soil, after Finnish Matilda Castren beat Lizette Salas with a stroke advantage to give the visitors the decisive point in a 15-13 victory. Castren quietly snuggled into a three-meter par putt on 18 to beat Salas and hit Europa. consecutive Cup wins for the second time in the 31-year history of the biennial showdown between the two rivals. “It’s crazy, crazy,” declared the 26-year-old who became eligible to join the team only after winning an event in her native Finland in July. “I can’t believe I made that putt. I knew it was important. I knew it was going to break a bit to the left. Me and (my caddy) read the putt perfectly and it went in. It’s an amazing feeling and so proud to be a part of this team”.
Two years after needing a spectacular six-foot putt from Norway’s Suzann Pettersen to dodge the Americans at Gleneagles, the final putt this time was more of an exclamation point in three days of constant and occasionally spectacular gameplay by visitors. When Emily Pedersen of Denmark made a birdie putt on the 18th hole to close out Danielle Kang, the Europeans took to the green in celebration, lifting Scots captain Catriona Matthew on their shoulders as they shouted the chorus of “Sweet Caroline “. Good times have never looked so good for Europe, which has now captured four of its last six meetings with the United States.
Team Europe built a 9-7 lead over the weekend and quickly pressed on Monday, snuffing out any legitimate hope of a return from the hosts. Rookie Leona Maguire, the first Irish to appear in the Solheim Cup, capped off a brilliant 4-0-1 debut by making three birdies and an eagle in the first nine to beat Jennifer Kupcho 5-and-4 in Game 3 and give Europe the first of the five points it needed. Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom followed up with a 3-2 win over Ally Ewing and Frenchwoman Celine Boutier edged American rookie Mina Harigae 5-4 to bring Europe’s partial points to 12. Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist and American Lexi Thompson, who have combined for 12 Solheim appearances between them, were tied in a tense match in which none led by more than one at any time.
The Americans pressed briefly in the afternoon session, but were unable to take advantage of either the support of the fans or play at home. Austin Ernst watched as a three-and-a-half-meter downhill birdie putt that would have won his match against Danish Nanna Koerstz Madsen slid to the left, letting Europe slip away with half a point to take their points to 13.
Salas had a chance to equalize his match with Castren on the 17th hole, but his birdie putt of just over six feet went beyond the hole. When Salas failed to convert a six-meter uphill birdie putt on 18 and Castren recovered from a plugged approach shot in the bunker to pour his par putt into the heart of the hole, Europe scored its fourth Solheim Cup victory. in his last six meetings with the Americans.
Europe led from start to finish, building on a 3-point lead after the first alternate shooting session on Saturday morning and never gave up or gave up the lead, despite the fact that the United States had everything going for it when it came to the environment. Still, United States captain Pat Hurst remained confident heading into individual matches, saying her “united” team had enough talent and experience to come back. It had happened before. Eight times before Monday, Europe found itself in the lead in singles. Only four times had the Europeans clung to winning. However, England’s Mel Reid, 33, a four-time Solheim Cup veteran, said on the eve of the opening matches that this was the best team that Europe had presented to the event.
Over the course of three days, Reid and his 11 teammates played like this. The British golfer went 2-0-1 over the weekend while pairing up with the unstoppable Maguire. Reid’s spectacular 8-iron from 126 meters on Sunday’s 18th hole in the final match earned a half point and gave Europe the momentum that led to a victory that never seemed to be in doubt.