U.S. captain Stacy Lewis conflicted on Solheim Cup tie rule, calls week a win

U.S. captain Stacy Lewis conflicted on Solheim Cup tie rule, calls week a win

For the first time ever, the Solheim Cup ended in a tie.

As a result, Europe retained the cup having won the last contest in 2021. However, should that rule change? After the matches were finished on Sunday, U.S. captain Stacy Lewis was asked if there should be a way to declare a bona fide winner.

"I was sitting there at (the) closing ceremonies next to (LPGA commissioner) Mollie [Marcoux Samaan]," Lewis said after the 14-14 tie. "We were talking about whether there should be — when it is a tie, should it be a playoff, should it be a retain the cup? I don't know, I mean, it obviously would be better TV. It would be a better experience for the fans if there was a —whether it was a team playoff or something like that, I think that would be pretty cool.

"But if you want to stick with the history of the event and history of what the men do as well, you probably stick with retaining the cup. I don't know how I feel about that either way, to be honest."

But for this year, the cup will stay in Europe. And even though that's the case, Lewis views the tie as a victory.

Solheim Cup 2023 - Day Three - Finca Cortesin
Solheim Cup 2023 - Day Three - Finca Cortesin

Spain’s Ciganda the hero as Euros retains Solheim Cup

Playing in her home country, Carlota Ciganda earned the point that retained the cup for Europe.

"For me, the whole week in general feels like a win," she said. "Just where we were coming from out of Toledo (losing 15-13 in 2021) to where this team is at now, it was a win, and that's all that matters.

"I think it's more about these girls, where they are mentally, how they felt about this. They were crying because it meant something to them, and that's all I was trying to achieve this week."

U.S. team member Danielle Kang feels Lewis executed the perfect game plan this week.

"I know people like to decide on the process on whether we win or lose, but without Stacy's process, I think we could have gotten crushed," Kang said, "because she gave us the best opportunity and best chance of percentages to go up against what they brought. ... She put us up together with the probabilities and gave us the best chance to go up against them. Both teams played their hearts out."

Though the Americans can't declare themselves victorious for the first time since 2017, the week went mostly as Lewis hoped. And with a rematch set for next year in Virginia as the Solheim Cup moves back to even years, Lewis, who will captain the U.S. again, believes her squad is in a prime position to enter the winner's circle.

"The process worked," she said. "When I got this call, my No. 1 thing for these girls, it wasn't winning the cup, it was to make sure they had a great experience and they had fun, and we succeeded at that. I do know that.

"We're so close. So no, we're going to go through the same process. We'll go to the drawing board again, come up with some new ideas to make it a little bit different behind the scenes, continue to make it fun, but the process of the pairings and how we went about putting players together, what order they put in, I don't see a whole lot of that changing because it worked this year. It works, and we're moving in the right direction, and I'm really excited about the future of this U.S. team."