Team Europe’s Suzann Pettersen produced the perfect swansong to her golfing career by holing the winning putt at the 2019 Solheim Cup, writes Nicola Kenton.
The final day began finely balanced with the teams level on eight points, while the USA only needed 14 points to retain the trophy.
However, Europe prevented the Americans from winning for the third successive time when Pettersen holed a birdie putt on the 18th to seal the 14½-13½ victory.
Pettersen believes this is the dream ending to her career – announcing her retirement in the aftermath – after life changed following the birth of her son in 2018.
“I think this is a perfect closure – the end for my Solheim career at least, and also a nice end for professional career. It doesn't get any better,” Pettersen said.
“To do it with these girls, I never thought I was going to be here four months ago until I met Beany [Catriona Matthew] this summer.
“To have the confidence from Beany to give me the signal to play, this is it. I'm completely done
“This is an ultimate scenario for winning the Solheim Cup back.
“Life has changed for me. I can't really walk out on the course thinking of my son even though he's with me in heart.
“To see him afterwards, it's just surreal. He's obviously the biggest thing that's ever happened for me.
“But now I know what it feels like to win as a mum and I'm going to leave it like that.”
Europe got off to a strong start in the singles when Carlota Ciganda birdied the 18th to beat Danielle Kang 1Up but USA hit back when Nelly Korda won her third match of the weekend.
Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier continued their perfect weekends as they triumphed in their respective matches to put Europe on 11 points but the Americans fought back.
Victories from Brittany Altomare, Angel Yin and Jessica Korda put the USA in pole position while a half point from Megan Khang and a win from Lizette Salas left them just half a point away from retaining the trophy.
However, Anna Nordqvist beat Morgan Pressel 4&3 while Bronte Law holed a putt on the 17th to level the scores leaving Pettersen to sink the winning putt – a nervy eight-footer.
And captaining the Europeans to victory in the 2019 Solheim Cup was the pinnacle of Catriona Matthew’s career.
“It is just unbelievable. There’s never been a better moment and for it to come down to the last game too,” Matthew said.
“The Americans played great but it was always going to come down to that putt here or there and for Suzann to get the putt is just phenomenal.
“This is best moment of my career by far with the teammates and everyone else around you, nothing tops this.”