Suzann Pettersen wins dramatic Solheim Cup for Europe, then retires


Suzann Pettersen stood over the final shot of her golfing career, not quite realizing it also was the last shot of the most dramatic Solheim Cup ever played.

Europe’s players had their hands over their mouths, and their captain could barely watch. Unaware of what was unfolding was 1-year-old Herman, Pettersen’s first child who was also among the thousands around the 18th green at Scotland’s Gleneagles.

The putt was 7 feet, left to right, and it never looked like missing.

After being mobbed by her teammates on the 18th green, an emotional Pettersen held Herman in her arms and kissed him. The Europeans had regained the Solheim Cup, and one of the stalwarts of women’s golf had her perfect ending.

“Yeah, this is it. I’m completely done,” said the 38-year-old, confirming her sudden decision to retire. “It doesn’t get any better.”

On an afternoon of singles matches that pretty much had everything, Europe secured a 14 ½-13 ½ win over the United States to claim the biggest team prize in female golf for the first time since 2013.

The final act, spread over two holes with virtually simultaneous putts, could not have been more thrilling.

Just as Pettersen was addressing her putt at No. 18, U.S. player Ally McDonald slid a putt to the right of the hole at No. 17 and walked to Bronte Law to concede the match in favor of the Europeans.

The score changed to 13 ½-13 ½ and — without her even realizing — the outcome of the event hinged on Pettersen.

“I thought Bronte was in behind me on the (18th) fairway,” Pettersen said. “I actually didn’t know that it was the putt.”

That it was Pettersen who secured the winning point felt apt.

She was a contentious wild-card pick by European captain Catriona Matthew because Pettersen had played just two tournaments — missing the cut in both — since November 2017. She had time off before and after giving birth to Herman, and then because of injury.

The day started with the teams locked at 8-8 after four sessions, and the first definitive break of the entire event happened when the Americans took the lead for the first time since Friday lunchtime, at 12-11.

At 13 ½-11 ½, they needed just a half-point from the final three singles matches on the course to guarantee retaining the cup, but then came the European rally.

Anna Nordqvist completed a 4-and-3 win over Morgan Pressel. Then, on No. 17, Law sealed a 2-and-1 win over McDonald to tie the score. Pettersen delivered for Europe on No. 18, but only after her opponent, Marina Alex, slid a 10-foot birdie putt wide that would have been enough for the U.S.

PGA: Joaquin Niemann became the first player from Chile to win on the PGA Tour, shooting a 6-under-par 64 for a six-stroke victory in A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Niemann, 20, birdied the final three holes to finish at 21-under 259 at Old White TPC. Tom Hoge shot 65 and finished second at 15-under. Richy Werenski faded to a 69 and finished in a four-way tie for third at 14-under.

Champions: Jerry Kelly played bogey-free at Warwick Hills in Grand Blanc, Mich., and closed with a 4-under 68 for a two-shot victory in the Ally Challenge, his second victory this year on the Champions Tour.

Europe: Sergio Garcia won the 100th edition of the KLM Open in Amsterdam by one shot, holding his nerve for a par on the final hole to finish at 18-under and leave Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark in second place.

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