September 25, 2011
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It takes a mighty performance for women's golf to steal the spotlight in late September, but that's exactly what happened on Sunday at the Soheim Cup when players from both Europe and America put together a historical performance.
Yes, the Europeans beat the U.S.'s best group of LPGA stars by one point in the Solheim Cup to take back the trophy for the first time in the last four showings of this international affair. It was beautifully done by the Euros, concluding by their last three players on the golf course making five straight birdies between them to storm back in what looked like a fourth straight win for the Americans.
There were so many heroes it's impossible to even start.
Catriona Matthew (above) started things off by handing Paula Creamer her first-ever singles loss, and it was a big one, beating the American heartbeat 6-up.
Suzann Pettersen was clutch all week, closing her match against Michelle Wie with precise iron shots and dead-center putts to win her first-ever singles match and give the Euros a chance.
Then we had Caroline Hedwall nearly hole out her approach on the 18th hole that ruined the coming-out party for rookie and captain's pick Ryann O'Toole, who had a great week up until those last few holes.
You could list a number of others that made it happen for the Europeans, but as we know with these things, it's a team effort, and down the stretch, the Euros played incredible team golf.
Women's golf needed this. The LPGA needed this. Heck, maybe even the American squad needed this. The Solheim Cup is some of the best golf of the year, gender be damned, and it needed to have a finish this close with this much happening all at the same time. It was incredible if you were a European fan and devastating if you were pulling for the Yanks, but perfect for both if you enjoy watching good golf.
It had drama, it had controversy (mainly the Cristie Kerr situation that forced her to withdraw on Sunday because of injury and give the Europeans a full point before the matches had even started) and it even had a bit of weather to shake up the whole thing.
The Cup did what these things are supposed to do: come down to the end and force players to pull off golf shots not just for themselves, but for their caddies, their teammates, and their flag.
Two years from now the Europeans will come to Colorado with some new-found confidence, and the Americans will be waiting with revenge on their minds. Personally, I can't wait.
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